Leeds head coach Javi Gracia claimed it was time for action and not words as the pressure mounts on his Premier League relegation battlers.
The Yorkshire club have faced fierce criticism after conceding 11 goals in damaging back-to-back defeats to Crystal Palace and Liverpool, both at Elland Road.
Pundits and fans have questioned the players’ desire and when asked if his side lacked leaders, Gracia said: “I understand perfectly clear why you ask me.
“I understand that. But in this moment, I think it’s not to speak, it’s time to do. We have to show what we’re able to do.
“If you tell me all these things, I’ll agree with you. But we only can ‘do’ and this way, we’ll come back the way we played before.”
Gracia secured three wins and a draw from his first six league games in charge, but all momentum has been lost after successive 5-1 and 6-1 thrashings.
The Spaniard, who guided Watford to top flight safety in 2018, could be tempted to recall skipper Liam Cooper for Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off at Fulham and insisted there was plenty of passion in Leeds’ dressing room.
“In my opinion, there are different leaders, there are different ways to be a leader,” he said.
“Some of them speaking more, some of them doing and learning from examples every day.
“Maybe we don’t have players that show that character outside, maybe.
“But inside, I can tell you we have a good atmosphere. All of them respect each other, help each other, and I’m happy with the atmosphere we have.”
Leeds hope to be boosted by the return of defender Max Wober (hamstring), who has been sorely missed during a four-game absence.
Patrick Bamford is also hoping to return after a calf strain kept him out of last Monday’s mauling by Liverpool.
But Gracia was unable to give a timescale on key midfielder Tyler Adams’ return amid concerns he might not play again this season following hamstring surgery.
On the the USA captain’s pending return, Gracia added: “If I tell you something, I’d be lying to you. I don’t know.
“He’s working hard, the medical staff are working very well as well, but we’ll need time to know if he’s ready or not. I don’t know.
“He’s a player who plays in a position where we don’t have many other options. Now we have in the first team squad Adam Forshaw, who is ready, but he was injured long-term. It’s an absence that’s important for the team.”
Leeds sit two points above the bottom three with seven games remaining and after this weekend’s trip to the capital face relegation rivals Leicester and Bournemouth next week in the space of five days.