A SECOND successive 1-0 defeat saw Leeds United drop out of the top six in the Npower Championship as they drew a blank at Derby in their Boxing Day battle.
A second half goal from Jamie Ward condemned United to a sixth straight defeat against Derby and added to the pressure beginning to build on manager Simon Grayson (pictured).
His team has suddenly lost its way in attack and the forthcoming January transfer window cannot come soon enough as the lack of investment in the side in the summer months has finally taken its toll.
Aside from a late flurry when they almost grabbed a point as Ross McCormack, Adam Clayton and Patrick Kisnorbo all saw efforts saved Leeds created little, although they defended well enough with the hosts also rarely looking like scoring.
Derby did hit the post in the first half with a Ward strike, but it was always likely that one goal would settle an ordinary match and it arrived for the Rams in the 67th minute when Ward this time netted after his initial shot had been parried by keeper Andy Lonergan.
Despite another poor display United manager Grayson is not concerned by the growing discontent.
He said: “There is always pressure as manager of Leeds United and expectancy from everybody. I put pressure on myself.
“He (Ken Bates) has given me three years so far, two years more than most managers get throughout the country. We’re still in the top half ready to kick on. I know what’s required at this football club because it means a lot to me and I’ll be doing my best to get us to kick on.
“Every chairman in the Championship wants to get promoted. Obviously, with the size of club that Leeds are there’s a need to be back in the Premier League. We are still in a decent position to try and crack on for the rest of the season and one or two players will help.
“There are different ways of being given money. There’s wages, loan deals and transfers and we’re looking to bring people in.
“We’re hopeful. When you do it in January is another question. We’re working hard to do that. It could be anything, I like to do my business in private and we’re trying to get the players we want without alerting other clubs. We’re not going to put a figure on what we’re looking to spend.”
Derby County 1
Leeds United 0
Monday, December 26, 2011
Derby: Fielding, Brayford, Shackell, Barker, Roberts, Green, Bryson, Bailey, Ward, Tyson (Robinson 65), Ball (O’Brien 90).
Leeds: Lonergan, Lees (Connolly 42), Kisnorbo, O’Dea, White (Nunez 74), Snodgrass, Clayton, Brown, Pugh, McCormack, Becchio (Keogh 68).
Referee: Tony Bates.