Leeds United 1 MK Dons 1: YEP Jury give their verdicts

Liam Bridcutt.
Liam Bridcutt.
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Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s 1-1 home draw with MK Dons.

MATTHEW EVANS

United slipped back into old habits to round off the holiday period by recording a hat-trick of score draws.

Unfortunately, however much we were as good as Forest and Derby in our two previous games, we were as bad as Milton Keynes here.

It’s a long-running theme for us, particularly at home, that we perform to the standard of the opposition time and time again. Part of the reason for that is the chronic lack of creativity in the current United side. Hard work and industry is all very well against an opponent that wants to attack you but we consistently struggle to break more limited teams down.

Added to that is the difficult atmosphere at Elland Road. It’s no secret that the fans are fed-up and there’s a long list of reasons why, but it means that the crowd are quick to lay into the team when it is huffing and puffing against inferior opposition. United were booed off at the end of both halves and many fans had left the ground before the comical equaliser.

The game was in no way an example of the home team having all of the possession but struggling to score; in fact it’s safe to say that this point was a very fortunate one.

MK should have had a penalty midway through the first half and, aside from Charlie Taylor’s excellent free-kick going very close, we created next to nothing.

Chris Wood was missed and Souleymane Doukara failed to recreate the form he has shown as a substitute in recent weeks. Sam Byram was busy, Liam Bridcutt accomplished, and Charlie Taylor solid, but there were far too many players that had an off-day.

Hopefully Steve Evans can use the transfer window to add the right additions and balance the squad. A fellow supporter summed it up nicely yesterday when he spoke about Stuart Dallas’ late substitution for Lewie Coyle: “We’ve got a centre-back playing right-back and a right-back playing right-wing so we’ve got the right-winger playing left-wing but we’ve brought him off to put a right-back at left-back and the left-back at left-wing.”

One of the players in question, Scott Wootton, has come in for a lot of stick over his time at Leeds (from me as much as anyone) but his recent showings deserve credit and he was closest to what you would call a good performance in a Leeds shirt on Saturday.

Ultimately though, this really was one to forget.

Man of the match: Scott Wootton.

KEITH INGHAM

Lucky Leeds stayed unbeaten, the 1-1 draw was scant reward for the visitors and if not for Marco Silvestri they would have left Elland Road with all three points.

Steve Evans made two changes to the team that played so well versus Derby. The first was due to Chris Wood failing to recover from a hamstring injury. Lewis Cook replaced Tom Adeyemi. Lee Erwin was on the bench.

The match can be summed up by the head coach’s post-match comments that they weren’t very good, the team (Leeds) really underperformed, strangely after two recent admirable displays against Forest and Derby. It took a remarkable own goal to rescue them in the dying minutes of the game. MK Dons went ahead in the first half, when Rob Hall netted after 30 minutes. There was lots of effort from the men in white shirts but very little quality. It’s not for the first time we’ve struggled against one of the lower placed teams. We still look vulnerable on home soil.

The burning question now to be answered by Mr Cellino is whether he is willing to gamble a few million pounds on the hope that Leeds can claw back the nine points that lie between 13th and sixth place.

Myself, I doubt that he will and even the top 10 looks a struggle with little or no investment in the squad.

Man of the match: Anthony Kay.

DAVID WATKINS

A new year and we all thought we were going to see the new Leeds United, the one we’d grown accustomed to in recent games and the one collecting results befitting a top half side. But no, this was that other Leeds, the one that toiled under Uwe Rosler all those weeks ago; the one that can’t create openings and often looks unsure where the next pass is going; the one that couldn’t come up with a single shot on target against one of the worst defences in the Championship.

This performance was right up there with the worst we have seen. We can only hope it was down to some over exuberant new year partying or the fatigue Steve Evans warned us about. Thank goodness for Liam Bridcutt, about the only player who can hold his head up after that and let’s hope he does remain with us as Evans intimated in his post-match interview.

Man of the match: Liam Bridcutt.

GARY NEWBOULD

United got out of jail against MK Dons courtesy of a truly comical late own goal. The Whites started in sloppy fashion and it didn’t get much better. At least Steve Evans was honest with his own assessment and at least we got a point.

Man of the match: Liam Bridcutt.

STEPHEN CLARK

Last year was a pretty forgettable year on a footballing front for Leeds and 2016 followed suit with a fortunate draw against MK Dons.

The Whites showed a lack of depth in the final third in Chris Wood’s abscence.

Souleymane Doukara probably deserved a chance to start after some recent impressive contributions from the bench, but another anonymous display highlights the need to bring in a striker in the transfer window. In fact but for one of the most idiotic own goals of any season, Leeds’ unbeaten run would have come to an end after a pretty abject display. If 2016 is to offer any hope to the long-suffering support, the business it does in January will be a key indicator.

Man of the match: Liam Bridcutt.

JAMES HARRISON

These are the games we should be winning. It was an awful performance and we were lucky to come away with a point. We looked lost in the final third without Chris Wood. We didn’t play well but we didn’t lose either; let’s move on.

Man of the match: Liam Bridcutt.

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