Leeds United manager Simon Grayson admitted he was at a loss as to why the team performed so poorly in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Sheffield United.
Despite both sides desperate for the points for different reasons, it was the relegation threatened Blades who dominated proceedings, thoroughly deserving their victory.
Speaking to the press following the game Grayson expressed his dismay at his sides’ performance: “To lose in that manner at such an important part of the season, and in a local derby, was hugely frustrating and very annoying. We didn’t get going from the first kick”, he said. “I don’t know why that is. We had a good week’s preparation and we did everything we needed to do. You’d have to ask the players what happened when they crossed the white line”, he added.
Grayson was frustrated at his sides apparent lack of desire to put one over their struggling local rivals: “We’ve been beaten by a team who, over the course of the game, probably showed that they wanted it more than us” he said, adding “Regardless of where both teams are in the league, it was a Yorkshire derby and we didn’t play like it was a derby match.”
Call-ups for Max Gradel and Eric Lichaj take to seven the number of Leeds United players away on duty for their countries as the Npower Championship takes a break for the International fixtures.
Gradel will be looking to earn his first cap for the Ivory Coast as they take on Benin in an African Nations Cup qualifier. Lichaj has been called into the USA squad for their friendly against Argentina.
Neil Kilkenny (Australia), Davide Somma (South Africa) and Ramon Nunez (Honduras) will all jet off to join up with their squads, whilst Robert Snodgrass and Barry Bannan have linked up with their Scottish teammates in a training camp at La Manga before Scotland’s prestige friendly against Brazil at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
No Paynter appeal.
Leeds United will not appeal against the red card received by striker Billy Paynter in Saturday’s derby clash with Sheffield United.
The former Swindon Town star received his marching orders following a clash with former United player Shane Lowry. Paynter was dismissed by referee Mike Jones following consultation with his assistant, who claimed that Paynter had head-butted the Blades left back.
The club have reviewed the DVD evidence, but without any conclusive proof of Paynter’s innocence, have decided not to risk a possible extension to his three game ban. Simon Grayson told the Leeds United website: “I’m disappointed that Billy will miss three games, but I’m confident in the players we have here.”
Paynter will miss the games against Nottingham Forest, Millwall and Derby County.