Leeds boss Simon Grayson blasted his United flops after the Canaries’ main title rivals went down to a lacklustre 2-0 home defeat to Millwall last night.
As a result, the Lions moved into third place in League One and now sit only three points behind the Yorkshire giants.
But while Kenny Jackett’s men are now a genuine automatic promotion threat, their victory at Elland Road in front of the Sky Sports cameras means that league leaders City enjoy an eight-point buffer between them and the west Yorkshire outfit.
And chief Grayson was clearly angry after the disappointing reverse, with Steve Morison and Shaun Batt grabbing a goal in each half, as their poor run of form in 2010 continues.
“It wasn’t good enough,” said the former Blackpool manager, speaking to the club’s official website. “Over the course of game they were the better team.
“They were hard to beat, got in tackles, and with the ball they were better. We have players who can do a lot better and they didn’t do it.
“When we’re at our best we pass it well with flair and imagination and we’re hard to beat as well – and we didn’t do any of those things.
“They are a handful and we couldn’t cope. None of our players won individual battles. We did pass it better in the second half, but it wasn’t good enough.”
Life doesn’t get any easier for the faltering Elland Road club, with a trip to Paul Lambert’s table-topping Norwich this weekend.
But Grayson has urged his troops to come out fighting, with their automatic promotion hopes now hanging in the balance. It really is quite remarkable considering their position at the back end of 2009.
“You have to accept what has happened and we have to come out fighting at the weekend,” he continued. “We knew the significance of the game and we knew Millwall were a good side.
“They are in good form and they are a threat to anybody. We knew what it was about, but we have to roll our sleeves up for the weekend.”
But while the doom and gloom merchants are voicing their opinion, with supporters venting their frustration on the team last night, Grayson reminded everyone that they are still in the box seat for one of those coveted top two places.
“We are still in a good position, and we have to come out and achieve what we set out to achieve at the start of the season.”
Closer to home, there is an injury concern for City boss Lambert after defender Zak Whitbread limped off in the second-half of last night’s 1-0 second string defeat at Watford.
The January signing from Millwall was making his second reserves comeback after recovering from a calf injury and his situation will be closely monitored at Colney this week.
City reserves: Rudd, Spillane, Francomb, Whitbread (Gordon 39), Askou (Lathrope 45), Gill, Tudur Jones, Adeyemi, McDonald (Clarke), Kelly, Dawkin. Subs not used: Steer, Clarke, Drmola.