Mark Bowen has told Reading’s official website that Leeds United are the hardest side in the Championship to beat, but suggested that his side could look to exploit the demands of the Elland Road faithful when the two sides meet this weekend.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side are hoping to further prove that they have turned a corner on Saturday. They have taken four points from their last two games, and arguably outplayed both Brentford and Bristol City.
They will likely go into this weekend as overwhelming favourites for their clash with the Royals.
And Bowen has made no secret of the fact that his side are expecting the toughest of afternoons. However, he suggested that the home support could actually work in their favour.
“There has been questions asked about their form over the past six, eight, ten games,” he told the club’s official website. “For me, I think West Brom are possibly the best team in this league. But I think the hardest team to play against is probably Leeds.
“The intensity that they play at, the questions that they ask of you all the time, it’s never ending. We found that to our cost in the home game against them. We did play well that day and our physical stats were through the roof in trying to cope with them, but we got caught out.
“Their home crowd demand that they play and push forward; that can cause its own problems and we can try to exploit that. But it is going to be a tough battle and a tough game from start to finish.”
TBR View – Leeds fans galvanised after two superb displays
There is no question that there was some discontent in recent weeks as Leeds’ form went off the boil. But the fans arguably proved a big point ahead of the game with Bristol City.
The calls for Kiko Casilla to be dropped after the calamitous error against Brentford would have been too loud for most managers to ignore. However, Bielsa kept faith with the Spaniard for the game against the Robins.
And Casilla seemed to receive unanimous support from the fans once it became apparent that he would keep his place.
The last couple of performances seem to have galvanised the large majority of the club once again. And that will only ensure that Reading’s task is all the more difficult.