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Leeds poor away form continues with loss at Derby

Leeds slumped to a third consecutive away defeat, 2-1 at Derby, but boss Simon Grayson remains confident they can still secure promotion to the Barclays Premier League. The Whites are now eight points behind second-placed Cardiff with five games remaining after taking the lead against the Rams.

He said: "Until it's mathematically impossible we'll keep going but obviously back-to-back defeats is going to make it difficult.

"We've just got to keep working hard, we've got a big game at the weekend against Watford and we've got to roll our sleeves up and be confident we can go and win the next two home games against Watford and Reading and let's just see where it takes us.

"A couple of weeks ago we've said there would be twists and turns, we've had a couple of downward results, but we've certainly got enough in the dressing room to make sure we finish off in that top six."

Grayson felt they only have themselves to blame for the result.

He added: "It's a game we knew we could win, it's a game we knew we had to take by the scruff of the neck to try and put Derby under pressure.

"First half we were in control without ever really playing to the top of our game in terms of the final third and creating things, but we said to the players at half-time, 'let's up it, get the first goal and we can go on and win the game'.

"We do that but then we're just naive in what we did, straight from the kick-off we must have given the ball away three or four times which allowed them opportunities to get at our defence and that's really naive.

"We contributed to our own downfall with some naive football." Victory for Derby lifted them 11 points above the relegation zone.

Rams boss Nigel Clough said: "I thought the second 45 minutes was as good as we've been all season.

"We played well before Christmas but in the circumstances, with the team we were playing against and where we find ourselves I thought the second 45 was magnificent and to go one goal down and come back as well, even more so."

When asked if he felt the Rams were safe, Clough added: "Nearly, not quite but nearly. It would take a very strange set of results I think for that to happen but that can happen in football so we want to make sure."

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Dave Williams

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