Head coach on Portman Road trip.

Leeds United head coach Thomas Christiansen spoke to the press ahead of Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship to Ipswich Town.

The Whites head to Portman Road on the back of a disappointing Emirates FA Cup Third Round exit at Newport County. 

There was also a further blow this week, with Luke Ayling ruled out for the season and Samuel Saiz being banned for six games, but there was good news on Stuart Dallas.

“We knew in the FA Cup that there was the possibility to go out and a team like Arsenal, who has the most trophies in this competition also went out to Nottingham Forest,” said Christiansen.

“I can only apologise, but now we have to focus on the league which is our main priority.

“It is disappointing to lose Luke and Samuel, both players are very important to the team, Luke has played the most minutes this season for us until now and Samu has made the difference for us a lot.

“We have had some games without Samu and we have managed to win without him, but of course to lose such an important player, for us is a handicap.

“I am always positive though and I have to be positive in this situation, the players believe in themselves and in me and what we are doing, we are in the top six and this is where we belong and have to fight to stay there.

“Matthew Pennington has been sick for a few days and won’t be fit for Saturday, we expect Ronaldo Vieira to be back with the team next week, Caleb Ekuban is still out and will need some time, but Stuart is in the squad and we will see if he has the possibility to start in the first 11.

“Stuart has been working hard to come back, he has willingness on the training ground and that will be important for the team.

“We know how Ipswich will play, it is always important to win a game, especially after going out of the FA Cup how we did.

“It is extra motivation for the players to come out and show their worth in this game.

"We are expecting a tough match, like the game we had at home, but we have to go there with our ideas and try to take a good result."

Christiansen also spoke about new signing Laurens De Bock who completed his move to Leeds on Thursday.

“Laurens signed and has gone back home, but in a few days he will be back with the team and ready to train.

“He is an interesting player at left full-back in a position we have been searching for and hopefully he will be a good signing for us.

“He is an experienced player who has played in the Champions League and Europa League and Laurens is a player we need in this moment.”

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