LEEDS United manager Neil Warnock has admitted he is looking forward to refocusing on the npower Championship following Wednesday night’s fifth-round Capital One Cup exit at the hands of European champions Chelsea.
“We’ve got to move on,” Warnock declared.
“We’ve had a great cup run. We worked hard against Shrewsbury and Oxford to get to Everton, Southampton and Chelsea, and it’s been a great experience.”
While the competition has at times been an unwelcome distraction from the League campaign, Warnock was encouraged by a spirited first-half performance that sees his side in good form heading into tomorrow’s clash with Championship high-fliers Middlesbrough.
“We made it difficult for them, and if Tom Lees’ header had gone in just before half-time who knows what would have happened,” said the Leeds chief.
Luciano Becchio’s 15th goal of the season sent Leeds into the half-time break ahead, and exemplified the sort of counter-attacking flair that will be required against in-form Boro.
Tony Mowbray’s side sit a single point off the automatic promotion spots and will be looking to punish a Leeds team that has suffered several heavy home defeats this season.
Chelsea scored five at Elland Road, while Watford went one better back in mid-November.
But Warnock sensed that Middlesbrough may struggle if subjected to the raucous home support that met the Blues in midweek.
“I’ve never heard anything like the noise when the first goal went in,” said Warnock.
“It should be like that here every week. It was amazing to listen to that noise. It shows what can be done at a club like this.”
Leeds, keen to resurrect a push for their own promotion ambitions, are 12th in a congested mid-table, but can move to within two points of the play-off places if they secure victory over Mowbray’s men.