Paul Heckingbottom: Leeds fans made a huge difference in draw with Bristol City

Posted Monday, February 19, 2018 by PA

Paul Heckingbottom: Leeds fans made a huge difference in draw with Bristol City

New Leeds head coach Paul Heckingbottom paid tribute to the club’s fans for inspiring a late comeback that salvaged an unlikely 2-2 draw against Bristol City in his first home game in charge.

The Elland Road crowd made their feelings known at half-time, booing the team off following a lacklustre performance which included gifting goals to Famara Diedhiou and Bobby Reid inside 16 minutes.

But the home faithful continued to support their team after the break and were rewarded when Pierre-Michel Lasogga and substitute Kemar Roofe scored in the final 18 minutes to secure a point.

“I thought they were fantastic,” Heckingbottom said.

“It was still 2-0 and there were not many people not singing. The scarves were out and they played a part in getting the point for their team today, possibly even three.

“That is what the fans’ support deserved because that is what spurs the players on. My job is done at half-time and with the substitutions.

“I can’t shout as loud as 30,000 here. They made a huge difference today.”

Leeds even had chances to complete a remarkable turnaround.

Adam Forshaw curled a shot wide, Kalvin Phillips nodded over and Lasogga headed against the crossbar at the death.

“The third goal (in the match) was going to be vital,” Heckingbottom said. “We stressed that at half-time, although I did say the team who got the third goal would go on to win the game.

“Once we got the goal and got back in it I felt that was the minimum we were going to do.

“And we had chances at the death to win it. We know three points got away from us.”

The draw left Leeds eight points behind sixth-placed City, but Heckingbottom believes his side are still in the hunt for a play-off spot.

“We have a tough run of fixtures but if you pick up points against those teams, you gradually reel them in,” the former Barnsley boss added.

Bristol City threw away a healthy lead for the second consecutive game, having seen a 3-0 advantage evaporate at home to Sunderland last week.

And boss Lee Johnson believes his players are struggling from a lack of experience.

“It is disappointing. It feels a bit different to last week,” he said.

“Leeds are a good side. A difficult atmosphere and environment to come and play in. I think we showed everything of what we are today. We are probably a bit inexperienced.

“I thought we were excellent first half, very functional in our play. We were forcing Leeds into a lot of errors and arguably could have gone 3-0 up.

“There was a clear momentum swing. That is where a little bit of experience and better decision making plays its hand. We are going to have to deal with it better than we have done.”


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