Milanic out to home in on first win with Leeds United

Leeds United's head coach Darko Milanic leaves the pitch at the end of his first game in charge.
Leeds United's head coach Darko Milanic leaves the pitch at the end of his first game in charge.

Following a poor start with defeat in his first game after taking over as Leeds United head coach Darko Milanic has stressed that he needs time if he is to make an impact.

How much he will be given will be interesting with knives already out for the new boss in some circles and the pressure on immediately following the four-match unbeaten run under caretaker Neil Redfearn that lifted spirits at Elland Road.

A 2-0 loss at Brentford in his first game has made it essential it would seem that Milanic oversees a victory in one of the back to back home games now coming up against Reading tonight and Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

Goals in either half from Jota and Alan McCormack ensured it was a miserable trip to London for the Whites last Saturday and the defeat would have been by a bigger margin had it not been for a missed penalty by Brentford and several fine saves by Marco Silvestri.

Milanic was less than impressed with what he saw from his new players and said he needed time to look at them and assess their strengths.

He said: “It was a very difficult game. I expected a game like this against a side with very aggressive forwards.

“We were not good enough in possession in the first half and were not dangerous.

“We have to play with a much more offensive mentality. In the second half we did it better and had some good shots, but we weren’t good enough to score and Brentford were very dangerous on the counter-attack.

“I want to play offensive and we played with two strikers, but it’s not enough if you don’t have offensive thoughts.

“That first game at Elland Road will be very important for us. With support and energy we can make it.

“But I have to know individual players in the division better and I need time.”

Milanic’s first home game comes tonight against a Reading side that Leeds have not beaten since 2005, drawing four and losing their last four meetings with these opponents.

It will be a good test as Reading stand just one point and two places above United in 11th place in the SkyBet Championship table.

With a cup success and three league wins from their first five games at Elland Road the Whites have started the campaign well enough in front of their own supporters and will have every incentive to continue that trend as victory would put them in the top half ahead of Saturday lunchtime’s showdown with Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday.

With the games coming thick and fast Milanic will not have much chance to work with the players in training this week so is likely to stick to the team pattern so far worked on, but may make a few changes after being critical of the midfielders that started at Brentford. Casper Sloth, Michael Tonge and Luke Murphy came on as subs and at least one of them could stay in the side against Reading.