by Phil Hay
Brian McDermott has given Leeds United licence to gamble by telling his players to take more risks when their Championship season resumes on Saturday.
McDermott said United’s squad would be free to express themselves without fear of a “blame culture” developing at Elland Road after identifying a lack of invention within his team.
Leeds made a steady start to the season last month, taking eight points from five league games, but McDermott conceded after a 1-0 loss to Queens Park Rangers on August 31 that United weren’t “doing enough with the ball.”
The defeat was their first of the term, coming at the hands of a club who are joint top of the Sky Bet Championship, but McDermott has spent the international break urging his side to play with freedom and confidence during the second month of the campaign.
Leeds travel to bottom-of-the-table Bolton Wanderers this weekend with a squad which is unlikely to change from that which McDermott worked with during the home clash with QPR.
United’s manager failed to pull off any further signings before the summer transfer deadline 48 hours later, despite making an approach for Birmingham City’s Chris Burke, and he admitted yesterday that he is yet to line up any deals in the emergency loan market.
But McDermott believes his existing group of players have more to offer, saying: “Are we playing the way we really want to play for 90 minutes with the ball? Not just yet.
“But that will come.
“We’re looking solid and difficult to play against and that’s important but I’ve said to the players that we now need to get on the ball and start doing our stuff.
“We’ve got to take more chances and put the ball at risk. I think the fans will understand players giving the ball away if they’re trying to do the right thing.
“They’ll understand as long as they see the right body language and a desire to make things happen.
“Fans want to see players try and do things, and I do too. There’s no blame-culture here. I just want them to get on the ball and do their stuff.
“Because I see them day-in, day-out in training and I know they can do it,” said the United boss.