Leeds United 2 Blackpool 0: YEP Jury verdict

Ross McCormack is challenged by Barry Ferguson.
Ross McCormack is challenged by Barry Ferguson.
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Our YEP Jury have their say on United’s home victory over Blackpool

Gary Newbould

Age: 42

United fan for 41 years

Lives: York

After what has seemed like an eternity of misery United finally registered a victory over lowly Blackpool at Elland Road on Saturday afternoon.

Following the midweek horror show at Watford, Brian McDermott made three changes to the starting line up with Marius Zaliukas, Luke Murphy and Matt Smith replacing Alex Mowatt, Dominic Poleon and Noel Hunt.

Also noticeable from the kick-off was the atire of Brian McDermott – celebrating a year at the helm – who opted for his tracksuit rather than his business suit, apparently at the direction of his daughter. No doubt the watching Massimo Cellino, being an advocate of a coach, rather than a manager would have wholeheartedly endorsed Miss McDermott’s advice.

For the record it should be reported that the Leeds United supporters impeccably observed the minute’s silence in respect of the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. All of us who were at that same ground for an FA Cup semi-final some two years earlier can more than appreciate that it so easily could have been us.

It was a nervous start from both sides, fully reflecting that these were the two out-of-form teams of the division, having only mustered an appalling eight victories from a combined total of 50 games between them.

However, it was the Whites who settled the better and their dominance was rewarded on 21 minutes as a fine through-ball from skipper Ross McCormack found Luke Murphy who converted his first goal since the opening-day defeat of Brighton and in doing so became only the third United player to register more than one league goal this season.

The final 15 minutes saw the visitors come more into the game and both Neal Bishop and David Goodwillie could have levelled matters with more clinical finishing. The opening minute of the second half almost saw the Seasiders draw level, but Chris Basham’s effort went just wide of the post. The next 20 minutes saw both teams cancel each other out. Substitute Noel Hunt replaced Matt Smith just after the hour mark.

And with under 20 minutes to go it was substitute Hunt who managed to flick on a Tom Lees long ball for Luke Murphy who chipped the on-rushing Gilkes to convert his and United’s second of the afternoon and send the loyal hordes of an impressive 23,416 crowd into raptures, some would say a state of shock. This victory brings not only relief at just about securing Championship football, but also hopefully signals the start of a massive rebuilding phase at this great club of ours.

With Cellino at the helm the only certainty will be that it won’t be boring, but at least we appear to have a football man back in charge at long last.

Man of the match: Luke Murphy.

Keith Ingham

Age: 52

United fan for 38 years

Lives: Keighley

Leeds returned to winning ways after a much better performance from them.

Massimo Cellino’s first home game and victory almost guarantees Championship football at Elland Road.

But whatever the supporters of Leeds have been through it pales into insignificance at the thought that it’s 25 years since that fateful day football lost 96 fans at a game at Hillsborough. We remember them.

Brian McDermott made three changes with Zaliukas, Murphy and Smith coming into the starting line up.

Leeds started well and asked questions of the Blackpool defence.

Leeds got the breakthrough on 21 minutes when Ross McCormack’s through ball found Luke Murphy and the young midfielder beat a defender and put the ball into the net. Leeds got a much needed cushion when Noel Hunt, a second-half substitute for Matt Smith, found Murphy who showed composure to give Leeds a two-goal lead.

I said before the game that the players needed to step up to the mark for both their manager and the supporters – and that they did.

This was the first win in five games and only the fourth in a miserable run.

It is hoped that from now on we can turn the corner and put the past events behind the team and the club. A better day in Leeds 11.

Man of the match: Luke Murphy.

Michael Hemsworth

Age: 29

United fan for 18 years

Lives: Leeds

Saturday’s win extended the gap between Leeds and the relegation zone to 10 points.

We can now safely say we will again be watching Championship football at Elland Road next season.

After three games on the bench Luke Murphy returned to the stating line up and finally repaid some of his transfer fee with two vital goals.

This was a spirited performance against a poor Blackpool side who are now in real danger of relegation themselves. A tracksuit-wearing Brian McDermott spent most of the game in the dugout with Nigel Gibbs in the technical area. Maybe that made all the difference!

Man of the match: Luke Murphy.

Stephen Clark

Age: 41

United fan for 23 years

Lives: Shipley

Leeds fans can breathe a little easier after Saturday’s win over Blackpool looks like being enough to secure our Championship status.

Let’s not get to carried away; the Tangerines were awful. Leeds did not breeze to victory but there were good signs.

Man of the match: Luke Murphy.

Elliot Bransby

Age: 24

United fan for 18 years

Lives: Alwoodley

The win was a great relief. It was a big result for us.

We are on 50 points and that should be enough, but you can’t think like that. I can only think about our next match at Barnsley. Thank God we have got Massimo Cellino in charge because I didn’t know where this club was going.

The fans gave him a really good reception and I am delighted for him. Luke Murphy was on target twice as we won the battle of the two out-of-form teams in the championship. We now have four games remaining and Brian McDermott can start to look forward to a rebuilding programme in the summer, if the results are good for him!

Man of the match: Luke Murphy.

Jonathan Ford

Age: 23

United fan for 19 years

Lives: Beeston.

Well, I’d forgotten what keeping a clean sheet and winning felt like, and I can tell you it feels good.

If you’d given me 2-0 at the start I would have ripped your hands off. Luke Murphy finally showed us what position he should have played in.

Man of the match: Luke Murphy.

Chris Wood controls a high ball against Fulham at Elland Road on Tuesday night. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

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