Leeds United: Positives for Whites despite FA Cup exit

Leeds United's Elland Road Stadium. Picture: Steve Riding.
Leeds United's Elland Road Stadium. Picture: Steve Riding.

Leeds United coach Neil Redfearn said the club could take plenty of positives despite bowing out of the FA Cup at the third-round stage on Wearside in a 1-0 defeat - an identical result to the famous final of May 1973.

A goal after 33 minutes from Patrick van Aanholt settled the contest, but Sunderland, after a wholly comfortable first period, were handed some alarms on the restart by much-improved Leeds.

Captain-for-the-day Liam Cooper went agonisingly close to a leveller in stoppage-time when he headed against the post, while Redfearn felt Leeds should have been awarded a penalty when Charlie Taylor was fouled by Seb Larsson.

Redfearn, who made seven changes to the side who lost meekly at Derby last Thursday with Luke Murphy, Casper Sloth, Brian Montenegro and Dario Del Fabro among those handed starts, said: “To be honest I think we deserved to go through on the second half performance.

“But you need to stick your chances in when they come along and we had no luck.

“In the second half I thought we dominated and it looked like we should have had a penalty to me.

“I think if we had scored a penalty then, Sunderland would have struggled.”

On Cooper’s late header, he said: “You are hoping for that little bit of luck that it drops the right side of the post and drops in, because really we deserved to get something out of the game for the second half showing.

“The second half was a cup tie and we sucked Sunderland into a scrap and came out on top and played our football as well and need to make sure we take that into the league now.”