By Alex Stevens
Steve Evans claimed Luke Murphy, Liam Cooper, Mustapha Carayol and Stuart Dallas were all exhausted in the final stages of Leeds 1-1 draw against QPR on Tuesday night.
The Yorkshire giants went a goal up through a Chris Wood tap-in but the visitors pulled one back in the closing minutes after Giuseppe Bellusci conceded a needless late penalty.
It was the second consecutive match in which a blunder from Bellusci had proved costly for Leeds following his error in the 2-1 defeat to Rotherham last Saturday.
Evans felt his side were good value for all three points against Rangers but recognised that his team were unable to control possession after they had gone a goal ahead and explained why.
“I think we have to allow for people getting very, very tired and we tried to introduce them a little bit quicker than we could,” the manager told LUTV afterwards. “There was one period when the ball never left the pitch for two minutes.
“If you look at Luke Murphy he was running a wee bit, Liam [Cooper] was feeling his groin a little bit, we had Mustapha [Carayol] and Stuart [Dallas] who have not played a lot who were getting really tired. Yeah, we could do a lot more with the ball and I accept the bit about the final third.
“In all honesty, if you’re here as a neutral there’s no way QPR should go away with a point but they have done.”
The quartet all started the match, with Murphy, Dallas and Carayol substituted in the final seven minutes.
The draw at Elland Road leaves Leeds 15th in the Championship table following the draw against Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink’s side, the third match in a row that they have failed to win.