WITH five defeats in seven league outings and Leeds United in danger of dropping out of the play-off places, Thomas Christiansen suddenly appreciates just how tough life in the Championship can be for a head coach.
Things will not get any easier this week, as tomorrow’s home encounter with Derby County is followed by a trip to one of the second tier’s most homely grounds that, for Leeds, has not yielded a victory since 1950.
Ahead of taking on the Rams and Brentford, United need a lift after a poor recent run that culminated in a thoroughly deserved defeat at home to Sheffield United on Friday night in front of the live Sky cameras.
Christiansen is determined to remain upbeat despite the recent run that has taken his side from the top of the Championship in mid-September to fifth.
“If you take these five defeats away, you can also say how many wins we had before that,” said the Dane. “But we cannot be happy with the situation and we have to find a way to come back and we will work hard on that.
“We have to be better (than Friday). From my point of view, we didn’t handle playing in the opposition half with patience. This is where we need to move the ball, create the spaces and opportunities.”
Before Friday’s derby, Christiansen had suggested his side could not afford to allow a promotion rival such as new leaders Blades to open a seven-point advantage even at this stage of the season.
A subsequent draw for Cardiff City and defeat for Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday afternoon means the damage inflicted by a derby defeat was not as bad as it could have been and the gap to the automatic promotion places stands at six points.
Asked about hauling in those sides leading the way, Christiansen said: “It is at an early stage. We have played only 14 games. There is a lot still to come now.”