Leeds suffered their second defeat in a row at the hands of Carlisle United as the JPT brought an unwelcomed distraction to Elland Road. Whilst many are delighted to have knocked Manchester United out of the FA Cup and would love a trip to Wembley in the JPT, the cup runs are clearly coming at a price to Leeds United and the slump in form can only be attributed to an Old Trafford hangover added to the continued uncertainty around the future of Jermaine Beckford with Everton amongst the latest rumours.

There’s an argument that could suggest this weeks cup games give us the chance to get our poor run out of the way before getting back to League One action next week, and if that’s the case then so be it, but this was a third consecutive poor display from the Whites who look jaded and seem to be lacking in ideas at times.

It’s like watching the Leeds United side pre-Simon Grayson with us failing miserably at defending set-plays, lacking organisation in defence and fight across the pitch and failing to put away the chances that fall for us. Whilst there was a noticable improvement on Saturday’s display and Leeds were perhaps a little unlucky to lose, this still wasn’t good enough from the league leaders.

The lack of fight is what worries me the most. Complacency has definitely crept in and despite the January transfer window being open, no one seems to be fighting for the right to wear the shirt as much as they should be. To be beaten at Elland Road is bad enough, but to be beaten by a side struggling like Carlisle are and for them to control the game in large parts like they did is quite frankly embarrassing. 

I aren’t going to go through the match blow by blow, because there are so few positives to take from it. To say I’m disheartened would be an understatement, but I rest assured in the belief that Simon Grayson can turn this round. Up next is another distraction as we head to White Hart Lane in the FA Cup. I hope Simon Grayson rests the first team for this one and fields the reserves because I honestly couldn’t care less about winning it. The league is all that matters.

After the Spurs distraction, we head to Swindon back in League One. The entire teams focus should be on this game and this game alone, Tottenham is quite simply irrelevant. This form can’t continue or Charlton and Norwich will make us pay. The team need to understand that the important thing is escaping League One and forget their moment in the spotlight.

Final score: Leeds United 1-2 Carlisle United

A more in-depth match report can be found here at Travels of a Leeds fan