Will Smallbone shares Leeds United admission ahead of 'Big' Championship clash v Southampton
Southampton midfielder Will Smallbone says his side must get a result against Leeds United on Saturday to end their miserable run of form.
While Leeds have undergone a resurgence under Daniel Farke, the Saints have had a poor start to the season under former Swansea City manager Russell Martin losing their last four Championship matches on the bounce, conceding 12 goals in that time and a whopping 19 in total.
Martin is already under pressure at St Mary’s and the crowd are becoming frustrated with the performance levels of their side.
Smallbone, speaking to the Daily Echo (25 September), admits mistakes must be eradicated from their game if they are to take all three points on Saturday (30 September).
He said: “With the way we’re going to play, there’s obviously going to be some mistakes. We need to be closer and fight for each other to stop mistakes turning into goals.
“It goes the other way, as well. We need to capitalise on mistakes to have that extra edge going forward and get us out of a sticky situation.
“We need to make sure we get a good result against Leeds. It’s a big occasion and we need to give the fans a performance and a result they deserve and to be proud of.”
Leeds on the other hand have found their attacking groove under Farke, scoring an impressive 10 goals in their last five championship matches, despite failing to find the net in two of those games and that presents a golden opportunity for the Whites.
Farke’s men will certainly be favourites for Saturday’s clash given the stunning form of the likes of Georginio Rutter and Joel Piroe who will be licking their lips at the prospect of facing an incredibly leaky Southampton defence.
Winning away to Southampton could be the sort of result that defines Leeds United’s ambitions.
The Saints were labelled as one of the favourites for promotion back to the Premier League and winning at St Mary’s would be a huge indicator of just how good Farke’s team are.
However, the Whites can take nothing for granted on Saturday as the Championship is arguably the most unforgiving league in the country and any lapses in concentration or any complacency could allow Southampton all the encouragement they need to end their torrid spell, especially in front of their own fans.
Leeds United must play the game, and not the occasion and they’ve already shown this season that they can win in differing forms because Southampton will be expected to have most of the possession given Martin’s ball-orientated approach.
A win over Southampton would send a message to the Championship that this Leeds team needs to be taken very seriously.
In other Leeds United news, the 49ers will now be on high alert to make a decision on the future of one incredibly gifted Thorp Arch academy graduate after some transfer interest involving a Premier League club.