Proud Leeds United head coach Steve Evans was delighted with his side’s efforts in their 2-2 draw with Derby County just over 48 hours after they had played at Nottingham Forest.
Evans felt the odds were stacked against his team as they went into the game with a day’s less rest than their opponents and the fact they were up against one of the best two teams in the Sky Bet championship in his opinion.
But despite his fears it was Leeds still coming on strong in the second half, although some of the players were “running on empty”, and United were full value for their point according to the head coach.
Evans said: “It was always going to be a big ask. From a sporting integrity point of view we felt really disadvantaged that a team as good as Derby had an extra day’s recovery.
“To go ahead on 71 minutes is when you need oxygen masks in a normal week and that’s probably why Derby got a point.
“Perhaps a point shared might be right, but I can’t help but feel immensely proud of the group, their quality and their attention to detail.
“Derby will feel they deserved an equaliser, but we feel aggrieved that they’ve got it.
“It was a bit like Forest at the weekend and it’s another two points we’ve let go through our fingers.
“We’ve learned that we’ve got a lot of pride, a lot of tenacity and a lot of commitment because we don’t change because we’ve got a draw with Derby. It’s maybe a sign of how far we’ve come that the dressing room is so disappointed to have drawn with Derby,
“We’re a different team now. It’s a different team to what we had for the first four months of the season and we’ll be a different team when we add two or three selected others to the group.”
Evans took the chance to slam the fixture schedule that sees Leeds having to play three games in six days and the second of the matches so soon after the first.
He added: said: “I understand that any broadcaster wants to have Leeds United on TV because of the audience we bring, but I’m talking about the sporting perspective here. It’s really tough. It’s not Derby’s fault but I’d like to see some of these clubs play twice in two days.”
“Everyone in sport knows that the second day is particularly tough and to be asked do that and give Derby that extra day is simply shocking.”