Leeds United head coach Neil Redfearn says he wants his side to compete more in terms of their physical approach.
The boss has revealed that he was pleased with the way his team competed physically against Sunderland and believes it can give them an edge in big matches in the championship over the next few weeks.
“We won the physical battle up there and that’s something we need to do more often,” Redfearn told the Yorkshire Evening Post.
“I’m mindful of the fact that we lost the game but we were up against a decent Premier League side and in fairness, with the way the tie went in the second half, it wouldn’t have raised many eyebrows if we’d gone on and won it.”
“I want the team to play football and I want them to work the ball but it’s plain to see that we have to compete too. Murphy and Austin did that for us and it gave us the platform we needed.”
Leeds are just one point above the bottom three in the Championship and Redfearn will be keen for the side to start accumulating wins and pulling away from a relegation scrap over the second half of the season.
Leeds do have a lot of younger, and in some cases smaller, players, which makes it difficult for them to compete sometimes against sides that look to bully them out of possession.
Against Sunderland, Redfearn used a system which didn’t allow Gus Poyet’s side to take control of the game, with the Whites able to get more of the ball in the second half in particular.
A greater physical approach is a dangerous tactic for Leeds to adopt because their strength comes from their creative players, who like to dominate possession and build up play slowly.
However, with results needing to improve rapidly, ensuring that the side doesn’t get bullied is one way for Redfearn to create a platform where confidence can grow and the team can build momentum.