Performance against Derby County more important than a win for Leeds United

Leeds United are going to be underdogs against Derby County on Saturday, but a good performance could turn the Championship club’s season around.

There is a distinct possibility that by the end of the weekend Leeds United will find themselves in the Championship relegation zone.

The West Yorkshire club are currently 16th in the league table with 20 points from 18 matches, just two points above the relegation zone.

If Leeds lose to Derby County at Elland Road on Saturday and results elsewhere go against them, then they will be in the bottom three.

But that should not worry the Leeds players or manager Neil Redfearn too much if they are prepared for that.

Leeds are a good team with a number of quality players, but Derby are a better side. The league table proves that - the Rams are three points clear at the top of the league table and should finish at least in the top six this season.

Derby will be favourites to win on Saturday despite being the away side, and if Leeds are prepared for that, then they can build on it and kickstart their season thereafter.

Heading into the match prepared to lose is not something that any manager would endorse, but in this case it would prove to be something beneficial.

Things have not gone according to plan since the appointment of Redfearn and improvements need to be made, but the Derby game comes a bit too soon for those changes to show.

Remember, this is a Derby side who recently defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers 5-0 at home and then got the better of promotion rivals Watford 2-1 away.

What will be important for Leeds on Saturday is their performance, not the result. True, this sounds silly and goes against what football is all about (results), but getting a point against a rampant Rams side should be considered a bonus - nothing more.

Following Leeds’s 2-1 defeat to 10-man Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park, manager Redfearn highlighted a number of areas where his players need to improve.

If Leeds do improve in those areas against Derby, then they should be happy. Anything else from the match should be considered a bonus.

If you don’t have high expectations, you won’t get disappointed.

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