Leeds: Leeds United must find more composure in defence in their battle to avoid relegation, according to manager Javi Gracia, whose side conceded five or more goals in a second successive league game for the first time in their history on Monday.
Leeds were cut apart by a rampant and ruthless Liverpool in their 6-1 loss at Elland Road, which followed a 5-1 home defeat by Crystal Palace in their previous Premier League match.
Leeds now have the worst defence in the top flight with 60 goals conceded in 31 games and are only two points above the relegation zone ahead of a trip to Fulham on Saturday.
“It’s hard to accept the game today, the result as well,” Spaniard Gracia, who took over in February, told the BBC.
“We lost composure during the game. Maybe the first goal opened the game and maybe came from a handball (by Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold) but after that there is nothing to say, we have to improve for the next game.” Gracia was surprised at his side’s woeful defending in the last few weeks.
“It’s something we need to work on and try to improve,” he said. “It’s something we didn’t do in the previous games and now we are in the most important part of the season. We have to be more solid and defend better.” Leeds were booed off the pitch at the final whistle by those fans still inside Elland Road and Gracia acknowledged there was no quick fix to their defensive frailties beyond heightened effort and concentration.
“We played today against a very good team. They played much better, they deserved the result and we tried but it was impossible to do it better,” he said.
“The only message (to the players) is to try to play better next game, try and get a better result and this way they (the supporters) will be with us. There is only one way. Try to work hard and try to improve.”