Leeds United manager wants side to embrace Elland Road on Bolton Wanderers visit

Brian McDermott is glad his side are finally back playing at Elland Road again

Brian McDermott is glad his side are finally back playing at Elland Road again

First published in Sport

LEEDS boss Brian McDermott wants to see his side make home advantage count against Wanderers today.

It will be Leeds’ first home match for five weeks after four straight away games.

“I can’t wait to get back to Elland Road,” McDermott told his club's official website on the eve of Wanderers' visit on Saturday. “It has been such a long time.

“We’ve got to embrace Elland Road. When we talk about must win games, that’s nonsense, let’s just embrace the game, the day and the occasion.”

Since beating Huddersfield 5-1 last time out on home soil, four away games have produced one win, two draws, and a defeat, and the boss and his players are looking forward to returning to Elland Road.

McDermott said: “After the Huddersfield game we knew we had four away games on the spin where we won one, drew two and lost one.

“We picked up five points so now we know that we really have to kick on to get our season where it needs to get too.

“We can’t be satisfied because we didn’t win all four games. We were satisfied when we beat Yeovil, then we lost to Brighton so you can’t be satisfied with that.

“Then we had the two games which we drew, against Middlesbrough and QPR.

“On paper they are decent draws away from home.

“On reflection the QPR game should have been three points. Having said that we feel that the team is getting better all the time and this is a good time to get better, with 14 games of the season to go.”

Leeds now have five of the next seven games at Elland Road, and home form will be key if play-off interest is to be kept alive.

“The players need to play with confidence and power,” said the Yorkshire club’s manager.

“We need to outrun teams, outcross teams, and these are all the messages we’ve put across to the players.

“We have to play with freedom and attack. We may have to take risks because we have to win as many games as we possibly can.

“What we don’t want is the season to just fizzle away. We are trying to build and we’ve been doing that since I got the job in April.

“There is a lot of things off the pitch that is a lot better than they were. We’ve just got to keep building.”

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