Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa has ordered his players to ignore their position at the top of the Sky Bet Championship after a second late win in a matter of days – this time 1-0 over lowly Reading – at the Madejski Stadium.
After an even first half had Leeds on top but failing to create any meaningful chances with the best effort falling to Reading, as Yakou Meite’s powerful header was saved by visiting keeper Kiko Casilla on the goalline.
Leeds improved after the break, Stuart Dallas seeing his fierce 20-yard drive cannon off the home crossbar.
With Bielsa’s side gathering momentum, Jack Harrison nodded home the 87th-minute winner from Helder Costa’s deflected cross after a length-of-field break.
Leeds stretched their unbeaten run to seven games after a fourth successive win.
“When you are top of the league, it is better than other positions in the table,” Bielsa said.
“But it is also true that today, it doesn’t mean a lot. The most important thing is what happens in May.
“Tonight, it was a tight match. It was difficult for us to create danger in the first half.
“In the second half, we changed and we attacked a little more. And enough to deserve the win. We defended well when we had to. Reading’s chances were linked only to set-pieces.
“It was a very demanding match but we were able to stay without conceding a goal. We had patience. This is a signal of our maturity and experience of the team.
“It showed in the way that we managed the ball, especially in the centre of the pitch.”
Bowen disappointed by Leeds defeat
Mark Bowen forged a four-match unbeaten run after becoming the new Reading manager last month.
But his side have now suffered successive 1-0 defeats at Brentford and against Leeds.
“That was a very tough one to take,” Bowen said.
“We had a game plan, we’d done a lot of homework and preparation on Leeds. They are a team that creates a lot of chances and dominates play.
“But although they had a fair bit of possession, I don’t think our keeper had a real shot to save.
“So, that’s a tick in one box. But I’m a little bit bitter about how it ended.
“Our game plan was to play more of a counter-attacking game. But in doing that, when we get a transition in play and we’re going forward, we’ve got to be better retaining the ball.
“I said when I first came into this job, I’m going to be putting demands on this squad of players.
“I believe that they are in a false position [in the table]. We should be further up the league, no doubt.
“So I’ll continue to put demands on them and also work with my coaching staff on the training ground to try to improve the players.”