Leeds United assistant manager Karl Robinson believes Sam Allardyce’s dressing room ‘presence’ could help keep the club in the Premier League.
Robinson was speaking to LUTV after Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Newcastle United in which the Whites were forced to come from a goal down to salvage a point.
Prior to Allardyce’s arrival, Leeds often crumbled in adversity with heavy home defeats against Crystal Palace and Liverpool clear examples of that.
While there was still an element of frustration at only picking up a point due to Patrick Bamford’s first half penalty miss at 1-0, it could prove to be crucial in the battle to beat the drop.
Robinson hails Allardyce ‘presence’ as key to Leeds survival bid
Allardyce has been in this situation on numerous occasions before in his career and knows what it takes to guide a team to safety.
Leeds have shown evidence of that in his first two matches in charge, particularly when you consider they have played two of the top three.
Robinson believes that Allardyce’s ‘presence and personality’ make players ‘want to play for him’ and thinks that was reflected in the performance on Saturday.
He said: “I’ve known him for a long, long time. And one thing he gives us, his presence is incredible in the dressing room.
“And sometimes our that presence and personality – you can’t help like that and you can’t help but want to play for him. One thing we’re immensely proud of as staff, and certainly the gaffer, is the desire the players showed.
“We can’t promise you all the flicks and rotations and all the tippy tappy football football people get carried away with, it’s not about that right now.
“It’s about making sure that we’re hard to beat and we’re aggressive in all areas. One thing I know you’re going to get when you come here is an honest fight and sometimes on the edge.
“That’s alright. That’s what this club stands for. The players showed tremendous personality. The way they conducted themselves was impeccable. I’m sure the thousands of fans are very proud of their team.”
It is hard to disagree with that based on the evidence we’ve seen so far.
Leeds were accused of showing a lack of fight and desire during the latter stages of Javi Gracia’s reign, which was reflected in the number of heavy defeats in April.
That has not been the case in the last two matches, though, and hopefully it will be enough to carry Leeds over the line.