Paul Heckingbottom isn’t beating around the bush when it comes to what the players need to do at Leeds United. Today, in his pre-match press conference for the upcoming Wolves game he has made the point that players are playing for their futures, and a reaction in this game is something he doesn’t just want, he expects.
We were all hurting after the game on Friday night, the next morning I woke up and it almost felt like a hangover but it was just the sore feeling from the performance the night before. It still hasn’t really gone. If the players lose and we put in the effort I can’t complain, I felt like that in the recent defeat to Sheffield United but Friday was an embarrassment. Eunan O’Kane coming out and saying sorry after he put in a performance like he did just pisses everyone off, he gave up on Friday, everyone around him gave up and they need to quit trying to build bridges and do the business on the pitch in the next game, if they get the chance to. When I lose on a Sunday or Thursday it hurts me, and one thing you always guarantee is that at the end of the game almost every one of my team-mates have put in the effort, no matter the scoreline, the players didn’t do that on Friday, far from it.
Fans don’t expect world beaters, we didn’t play well against Brentford but the players grafted and we won, the fans made it very clear at the end of the game that they appreciated it. The same for the Bristol City game, the fans stayed back and let the players know how proud they were of their fight, spirit and passion on that evening and when they don’t give us that we don’t accept it. We turn up in numbers every week without any appreciation, we don’t really want any so all we expect is the players to give their all. Heckingbottom said the defeat wasn’t acceptable because of the manner of it, and has gone on to say that every player needs to react on Wednesday because he is now thinking long-term. Nice to have a head-coach who actually says what he thinks.