Leeds United hunting more away day success

Leeds United player look dejected at the end of their game against Ipswich.
Leeds United player look dejected at the end of their game against Ipswich.

Leeds United are back on their travels for the rest of the month as they look to turn their mixed start into a successful one.

Successive away games on the next two weekends are ahead for Uwe Rosler’s men as they face MK Dons and Middlesbrough, but after the way they have coped with their away games so far they will not travel in fear.

A creditable draw with Reading, an unlucky draw after taking a two-goal lead at Bristol City and a win over Derby County have been the Whites’ efforts away from home so far and it can be argued they have been more impressive than at home where they have failed to win in their first four matches.

It will be a step into the unknown a little this Saturday, though, when Leeds go to Milton Keynes to take on a Dons side that they have only met in their current guise four times and not played since 2010.

United did the double over MK Dons in the 2009-10 League One promotion season, but the previous year they lost 3-1 in their first game in Milton Keynes, with then manager Gary McAllister sacked soon after. They did win the return match 2-0.

With the paths of the two teams not crossing in the last five years it will be obviously harder than recent games for Leeds to know what to expect, but the Dons have made a solid start to life in the Sky Bet Championship following promotion with seven points from their first six matches.

Ahead of their game at Burnley last night they had found goals a little hard to come by, however, with just five in the league so far, although they have built a reputation from their League One days of being a good footballing side under Karl Robinson.

Leeds boss Rosler will have some familiarity with their style after his battles with them while Brentford boss, but will be keen for his new team to impose their style on the Dons.

His chief selection decision will remain whether to start with Mirco Antenucci after he scored his third goal of the season when substitute against Brentford, but then failed to deliver after being given a starting slot against Ipswich on Tuesday night.

Rosler abandoned his preferred 4-3-3, but may be tempted to go back to it again after it has stood United in good stead in their previous away games. He will then have to decide who gets the nod for the right-wing spot with Sam Byram, who was left out against Ipswich, competing with recently signed winger Jordan Botaka, who has had a week to adjust to life in England now.

After Leeds suffered their first league defeat of the season on Tuesday night Rosler is demanding more from his players.

He said: “In general I think we should be playing at a higher tempo. Our players should have the confidence and belief that we can go for 90 minutes. We have enough in the tank.

“We’re a little bit hesitant and we’re not starting the game like the home team at Leeds United should start the game. That’s something we have to address.

“First and foremost we have to address with the players the sort of DNA we have and the way that we can win football games.

“We have to put more time in on the practice ground on that scenario, of playing out more from the back.

“Also, on the recruitment side going forward, we have to get players in who show they have that mental strength and bravery in their DNA.

“I’m not saying that we don’t have it already but we have to make sure we realise what our DNA is. We have to find ways to get the ball down and pass it.

“Every time we put three or four passes together we looked like a decent football team.”