THE YEP jury provide their verdict on Leeds United’s clash with Leicester City at Elland Road.
After the humiliating defeats against Rochdale and Sheffield Wednesday, Brian McDermott called his squad in for a clear the air summit.
In that meeting the players will have been told some home truths by the manager and will have been asked to take a long hard look at themselves to ensure that the team can move forward with a united front.
What we saw from them was a much improved performance, one which for the most part was full of the hard work and endeavour which is the minimum we expect from the team.
The opening 30 minutes of the match were excellent from a United point of view and given a bit of luck and some better finishing would have seen us put the game put beyond Leicester.
Two minutes from time, and despite a slightly less effective performance in the second half, there would have been few supporters who would have left Elland Road unhappy at stopping the rot by earning a point against the runaway league leaders.
Unfortunately, that was when the clear difference in quality between the two sides stood out. Where Kasper Schmeichel had acted as a sweeper for Leicester all afternoon, quickly coming out to snuff out any sniff of an opportunity when the ball was played into the Foxes’ area, Paddy Kenny failed to come out as far as his six-yard line and allowed David Nugent to force the ball home for a gut-wrenching winner.
The defeat was a tough one to bear, but it was the reactions of some of our supporters that was more sickening.
It’s time, like the team did last week, to take some time and reflect as to what we can do to move forward with a united front.
To hear calls for Brian McDermott to be sacked are, in my opinion, frankly ridiculous at the moment.
All the best managers have been given time and the resources to build something, and after 10 managers in 10 years at United surely it is time for us to do the same.
Whilst comparisons sometimes do not always stand up, it took Don Revie three years to get Leeds promoted and it took a substantial cash injection to kick-start Howard Wilkinson’s promotion bandwagon.
Brian McDermott has had little time, and very little money. The least he deserves is a little patience.
Man of the match: Michael Brown (Six words I never thought I’d write).
Leeds sunk to their fifth straight defeat as Leicester stole the three points with a late David Nugent goal.
Leeds went at Leicester from the first whistle. Ross McCormack had four chances in the first half, a post, a goal-line clearance and a save from ex-Leeds keeper Kasper Schmeichel denied the Scottish striker. But the Leeds fans must still be wondering how the captain missed when one-on-one with the Leicester goalie.
The second half was an open affair, but with time running out, Leeds were dealt a sucker punch when Kevin Phillips dummied a cross to leave Nugent to beat Paddy Kenny.
A better performance and Leeds were unlucky to lose but you can’t miss at least three gilt-edged chances and hope to win a game. Leicester will go up, believe me. The manager echoed thousands of fans’ voices in hoping this farcical takeover is done soon. Mr Haigh please sort out this before another season drifts into another one of mediocrity.
Man of the match: Luke Varney – never stopped running.
I thought we were the better team and a certain former keeper kept us from being two or three in front at half-time. Ross McCormack was disappointing with his finishing, especially missing a golden one-on-one chance. I thought Michael Brown played well for us.
Man of the match: Michael Brown.
A much better performance but more importantly pride was restored.
We were good defensively giving very little away and should have been at least two up by the break.
Ross McCormack should have scored twice in the opening half-hour, hitting a post with a header before being denied when one-on-one with former keeper Kasper Schmeichel. What cost us at the death was Paddy Kenny’s failure to react when the ball fell three yards from his line and he hardly moved. Once they scored I thought to myself, that’s the sign of true champions, average for most of the game but they know how to nick games 1-0.
Men of the match: Luke Varney and Michael Brown.
This was a much improved performance against the league leaders and had the Whites taken their chances they would have won the game comfortably. The same amount of commitment and desire is now required week in, week out if the season is not to come to a premature end.
Man of the match: Sam Byram.