Grant Leadbitter: I let the lads down

GRANT Leadbitter has shouldered the blame for the Blues’ failure to beat Middlesbrough last night.

The midfielder scored his fourth goal in as many matches to rescue a point against the promotion-chasers in a largely drab 1-1 draw.

But it could have been so much better for Town if Leadbitter had not seen his penalty saved by Boro’s Jason Steele 15 minutes earlier.

In between, Lucas Jutkiewicz grabbed the opening goal before the midfielder scored a cracking equaliser to leave himself with mixed emotions after the match.

Leadbitter said: “I feel I let the lads down with my penalty miss – we would have won 2-1 if I had scored. It was a good save by the keeper but I wanted to redeem myself.

“It was a good strike for the equaliser and I have been on a run of late. I have always felt I had a good shot and lately it has paid off.”

Leadbitter admitted he felt fortunate to go straight back into the team following a one-match suspension, but he once again excelled as he fights for a new contract in the summer.

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He said: “I knew when I came back into the team, I had to stake my claim again. I feel like my form this season has been pretty good.

“But when you are losing games, someone gets pinpointed. Now we are winning, I don’t feel like I am playing any better, but I am getting the plaudits.”

Leadbitter’s equaliser and overall performance earned him praise from manager Paul Jewell who described his side’s overall performance as “flat”.

But of Leadbitter, the boss said: “You have to say he has been terrific of late and it looks like he has got goals in him. He’s playing well and showed character after missing the penalty – it was a great goal.”