Ross McCormack says Leeds United players must take collective responsibility for their defensive failings - and insists it’s not just the back four who are to blame.United’s rearguard have come under renewed fire following the second-half implosion in the 3-3 televised Championship draw at Brighton & Hove Albion last Friday, when the visitors frittered away a comfortable 2-0 interval lead to leave themselves still searching for their first league away win this term.But Championship top-scorer McCormack, who saved United’s skins with a stoppage-time leveller at the Amex Stadium, says stupid schoolboy errors across the pitch was the reason for their downfall on the south coast and feels it is wrong to single out the defence.He said: “It was just stupidity. Everyone is going to point the finger at the defence, but it started before that.“The first two goals started from throw-ins and it was just schoolboy, suicidal stuff.“Brighton are up there for a reason and have good players and good strikers who score goals and they showed that. But we were massively disappointed after being in total charge at half-time.“At 2-0 up, we were cruising in the first half and never looked like conceding...We just capitulated really.”Confident United can be right up at the business end of the table if they iron out their well-chronicled defensive deficiencies, the super Scot added: “We’re scoring two or three goals in games at times and have got to keep that going. I think last season, we were the top (league) scorers - if not, certainly near the top. We were right up there.
“This season, we’ll do it again. It’s just the basics we’re not doing right.
“I’d say our league position is disappointing, but overall it’s probably what we deserve. If we can improve (our defending), we’ve got a chance.”
McCormack’s brace at Albion took his seasonal tally to within one of the double-figure mark, with the forward having netted in six successive Championship matches for United.
All told, the Glaswegian goal-getter has struck 11 times in his last 13 appearances in all competitions and is in the form of his life.
But the red-hot frontman admits he’d have gladly swapped his double at Brighton for victory, while revealing he is not yet totally happy with all aspects of his game, with the 25-year-old his own harshest critic.
He added: “I’m pleased with my form, but I’d have rather not scored (at Brighton) and we come away with three points. I’d have been more happy with that.
“But on a personal note, the season is going well for me. In pre-season, everyone was on at me saying: ‘Well, he’s missed two penalties’ and saying he’s done this and that. I never score in pre-season and the gaffer knew that as well.
“Pre-season is about getting fit and I got fit and I’ve started the season well and I’ve just got to keep it going. I feel confident and that’s a big thing.
“The first goal was a good hit and with the second, Jonny (Howson) did brilliantly and I was happy with that.
“But I wouldn’t say I feel at the top of my game yet. In terms of the basics, the ball is coming up, I’m taking a touch and turning and giving it away stupidly (sometimes). But that will come and I’ve no problems with that at the minute.”
Loan players Andy Keogh and Darren O’Dea have been named by Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trappatoni in his 27-man squad to face Andorra on October 7 and Armenia on October 11 in the Euro 2012 qualifiers.
Meanwhile, United have received an extra 1,000 tickets ahead of the derby clash at Doncaster Rovers on Friday, October 14 (8pm) - taking their overall allocation up to 4,200.