Stut­ter­ing start sees Steve look to Jan­uary

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

STEVE Evans is al­ready look­ing for­ward to the Jan­uary trans­fer win­dow af­ter home de­feat to Black­burn main­tained his un­der­whelm­ing start to life at Leeds.

Craig Con­way and Jor­dan Rhodes struck in­side the open­ing six min­utes – the former af­ter just 17 sec­onds – to earn Rovers all three points at El­land Road.

The re­sult means Evans is yet to pick up a win as Leeds man­ager, fol­low­ing a pair of 1-1 draws, and he is ea­ger to start mould­ing the squad as soon as pos­si­ble.

“The win­dow in Jan­uary will be a mas­sive one,” said the former Craw­ley and Rother­ham man­ager.

“To go where we want to go, we have to be much bet­ter in a lot of ar­eas.

“If two or three can get us to where we want to be, then it’ll be two or three.

“We’ve got some good play­ers in there, but I said to them, the min­i­mum we de­mand is that we have play­ers who come into the dress­ing room and they’ve given ab­so­lutely every­thing for the cause.

“I didn’t re­ally see that in the first half if I’m be­ing hon­est.

“I saw peo­ple shy away from the ball, peo­ple shy away from mak­ing pos­i­tive runs, from de­fen­sively do­ing a job.

“That’s when peo­ple talk about be­ing brave and play­ing for Leeds United.”

All is not well at El­land Road and fans at the game made their feel­ings to­wards con­tro­ver­sial owner Mas­simo Cellino abun­dantly clear on Thurs­day evening – al­though that dis­con­tent would not have been helped by two early goals which set Black­burn on the way to vic­tory.

Con­way found the net in the open­ing sec­onds to give Black­burn the per­fect start in York­shire, fir­ing Chris Tay­lor’s cross into the bot­tom cor­ner.

Rhodes then made it two five min­utes later af­ter poor Leeds de­fend­ing al­lowed him to turn away from Sam Byram and fire home. Leeds, who were rat­tled by Rovers’ fly­ing start and des­per­ate for a way back into the game, saw Tom Adeyemi head against the post be­fore the break but there was lit­tle else to shout about.

Rovers, mean­while, had rea­son to smile af­ter record­ing their first away win of the sea­son – and man­ager Gary Bowyer is urg­ing his play­ers to main­tain the mo­men­tum.

“We knew we had to come out and start prop­erly and it was a won­der­ful start,” he said.

“We’ve main­tained the con­fi­dence and the be­lief in the play­ers and the staff. They’re an hon­est bunch and they work hard for each other and I’m de­lighted for the sup­port­ers, they’ve stuck with us and they’ve given us ter­rific back­ing.

“It’s only one game but we’ve got to build on that and use it as a spring­board now.”

STAR MAN TOM LAWRENCE Black­burn

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