Simon Grayson was grateful for the "buzz" Luciano Becchio gave his Leeds side as they came from behind to earn a tension-relieving 3-2 win over Crystal Palace in the npower Championship.
Until Becchio's 59th-minute return for the first time since April due to a series of hamstring problems, the atmosphere inside Elland Road had been riddled with tension, partly owing to the ongoing protests against owner Ken Bates about a perceived lack of investment, and partly because Paddy McCarthy and Sean Scannell had scored to wipe out Ross McCormack's opener.
"Luciano was never going to play much more than 25 to 30 minutes of football because he's only played 60 minutes in a reserve game," said Grayson. "His arrival lifted the crowd and gave everybody a buzz. We had to play differently, we went with a longer ball, and him and Mikael Forsell caused problems."
He added: "We didn't play very well today. The biggest confidence boost was that we were only 2-1 down in the game. We need to be better at not conceding goals and need to stop making fundamental errors.
"I've sat after a game when we've played better than we have today and not won. I know (Palace boss) Dougie Freedman will be disappointed because they probably deserved to win the game."
Freedman, who scored six goals for Leeds during a highly-successful loan spell in the autumn of his career, did not disagree with his opposite number's assessment.
For so long his side had looked in control, with the outstanding Scannell rivalling McCormack for the man-of-the-match award as he ran rings around veteran Michael Brown in midfield.
"It's a strange feeling because half of me is proud of the way we played and the way we took the game to them, and the other half is disappointed," said Freedman.
"We expect to win when we play like that. But we move on. We'll win more games than we lose when we play like that.
"We did not get the result but I will not change my philosophy on the way we play. Our defensive duties lack a little bit of concentration, but in the last five minutes we still created chances."
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