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McAllister tells Leeds to battle

Gary McAllister
McAllister's side have won five and lost five of their last 10 games

Leeds United manager Gary McAllister has called on his side to toughen up after their 2-1 defeat at Northampton.

The result saw Leeds slip outside the League One play-off places and McAllister told BBC Radio Leeds: "We've got to be up for these battles.

"When we're going away to grounds - I don't watch Northampton week-in week-out, but the effort used by them, is that the same every week here?

"If it was, they'd maybe be up in the similar position as us in the league."

The defeat came just eight days after Leeds won 5-2 at Sixfields in the FA Cup, and McAllister's prediction that Tuesday's League One clash would be a different affair proved prophetic.

"We knew it would be different from the cup tie," he said.

"They made it very difficult, they got in our faces and in the first half we never got going at all.

"In the second half we responded well and got on the front foot, but two bad goals again.

"We go in at half-time and I'm looking for a response again and I did get that - it was like night and day.

"I'm not looking for excuses for the first half but Northampton came and pressed and pressed and we were a little bit naive I felt - still trying to play too many passes when it might have been a night for knocking it a little bit longer.

"Second half we did knock it a little bit longer and got up behind it and looked a better team."

Jermaine Beckford's second-half equaliser was his sixth goal in just three games, but United's top scorer had to be withdrawn 10 minutes from the end.

"He's got a hamstring so we need to wait to see the degree of the problem," McAllister said.

But should Beckford be sidelined, McAllister said he would not rush into the loan market, which closes on Thursday.

"There's no point in bringing people in that aren't going to better the side - if there's somebody that can come in and make us better then we're going to be there trying to act.

"I don't think there's any need to panic and make massive changes - the crux and the ethos is going to stay the same and the 20 players have bought into that."

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see also
Northampton 2-1 Leeds
25 Nov 08 |  League One

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