Luke Ayling has discussed some of the attempts to ‘score points’ at the expense of Leeds United that goes on across the Championship, insisting that he and his teammates know the score.
Leeds have been the butt of the joke for a long time since dropping out of the Premier League and their every result is scrutinised on social media, not just by their owns fans, but by every person who follows football.
‘Leeds are falling apart, again’ is the main one levelled at Marcelo Bielsa’s squad on Twitter and the terrace, whilst other comments from rival managers have left a bitter taste in the past.
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Thomas Frank questioned Leeds’ desire to face his Brentford side back in February, which proved to be a move that ultimately backfired as Ayling and his teammates impressed in a 1-1 draw at Griffin Park.
It’s part of the game that Leeds’ players try to pull themselves away from, but the topic recently cropped up in Ayling’s interview with The Athletic.
“That’s one of a few things that’s happened this year,” Ayling told The Athletic with reference to Frank’s comments.
“I’m not going to sit here and talk too much about everything other teams have to say about us but we’re Leeds United and they’re going to try and score points against us. They’re going to try and get likes and retweets on Twitter. We know what it’s all about.”
Frank’s comments about Leeds inspired Bielsa’s side on a six-game unbeaten run, which has cemented their place in the Championship’s top-two ahead of the run-in.
Bielsa’s side are just nine games away from winning promotion and know that pressure is on them to deliver when they restart the season at Cardiff City on Sunday.
Leeds are big enough and clever enough to ignore a lot of what is said about them, but it is clear that Frank’s comments didn’t sit right with Bielsa’s squad.
It inspired them on a great little run of form, which they are now tasked with continuing in the nine remaining games.
In their history, Leeds have been able to really play off the ‘us against everybody else’ and use it to their advantage, which needs to be the case in the coming weeks and months.
Everybody is waiting for them to slip up, but the task with them is to put any doubt to bed early on by starting fast at Cardiff on Sunday.
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