Leeds United: Fans’ Jury Verdict: Leeds know how to put fans through the ringer

Alex Mowatt
Alex Mowatt
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Wow! For all the positive changes we’ve seen this season… they still know how to put us through the ringer!

At the end of the day, Leeds got the result most of us expected; a narrow victory against a freescoring and successful Cambridge side but it was every bit as tough as many predicted.

I guessed it wouldn’t be easy; Monk told us he was making changes and the 8 he made from the Rotherham win – Silvestri, Cooper, Denton, Grimes, Phillips, Mowatt, Dallas and Antonsson all came in – left us short of our best by a long way.

Several are nowhere near the quality of the players they replaced.

A rain sodden, bobbly pitch also hampered Leeds’ passing game while Cambridge revelled in the conditions and were determined to put on a show for a rare full house at the Abbey.

The U’s were in our faces from the off and the powerful figure of Ikpeazu caused havoc while another poor referee, who had two Leeds players in his book in the opening minutes, didn’t help either.

It was no surprise therefore that Cambridge went ahead but the manner of the goal – another shot that deceived Silvestri at his near post – was a huge disappointment.

Early mistakes by Liam Cooper also proved again that he is a bit behind Bartley and Jansson in that department.

As we’ve seen so often though, a half-time break is all it takes for the methodical Monk to fine tune his tactics and this time he decided he wanted the ball out of defence quicker to get his midfield operating further up the pitch.

It did the trick with the help of astute substitutions that saw the return of Lewie Coyle and some welcome guile from Bartley and Roofe. Goals from Stuart Dallas and a flick from Alex Mowatt turning in a Jansson header were enough to see us through to the fourth round against AFC Wimbledon assuming they beat Sutton in next week’s replay.

The worry now is we go into another huge game on Friday against fellow promotion hopefuls Derby without Jansson, –for certain – and possibly without Coops too if his injury is serious.

We could yet see Captain Cool alongside his good mate Luke Ayling for that one.

Man of the match: Stuart Dallas.

DAVID WATKINS

Leeds staged a second-half comeback to win this tricky-looking tie against a very spirited Cambridge United team. Their reward is an away day to either AFC Wimbledon or Sutton United.

Garry Monk made wholesale (eight) changes for the game at Cambridge – Silvestri, Denton, Cooper, Grimes, Mowatt, Phillips, Dallas, Antonsson.

Leeds had a very strong bench with Green, Bartley, Vieira, Roofe included, O’Kane and Coyle returned to the eighteen after their injuries.

From the off the home side penned back Leeds but Antonsson shook the woodwork in the early minutes. After that the second-division side seized on every misplaced Leeds pass – and there were plenty of them. Phillips, Jansson (he now is suspended for two games) and Berardi went into the referee’s notebook for late challenges.

It wasn’t a surprise when Cambridge went in front, but Leeds were better in the second half. They were level just before the hour, Stuart Dallas heading in Alex Mowatt’s superb cross, and man of the match Mowatt headed in a goalbound effort from Pontus Jansson.

Leeds lost Liam Cooper to injury which could cause Garry Monk a headache for Friday.

Leeds will be glad to have this game out of the way. Another win.

Man of the match: Alex Mowatt.

KEITH INGHAM

Whatever Garry Monk puts in the half-time teapot, it works. A lacklustre first half left fans thinking eight changes were too many. After half-time we got the performance we’ve come to expect. Great to see Mowatt apparently back to his old self

Man of the match: Alex Mowatt.

MIKE GILL

A typical third-round game that nearly ended in a typical exit for United until we had our, now familiar, second-half resurgence.

An unfamiliar line-up contributed to a very poor showing in the first half and Cambridge’s impressive pressing meant we were out-muscled and out-fought for 45 minutes. There is a great opportunity for us to progress into the fifth round as you would hope that we could beat either Wimbledon or Sutton.

Overall it was a job well done with the only real downsides being the suspension to Pontus Jansson and injury to Liam Cooper. Other than that we go back into league action in good shape and with another opportunity for a cup run.

Man of the match: Alex Mowatt.

MATTHEW EVANS

United progressed to the FA Cup fourth round, courtesy of a second-half fightback at the Abbey Stadium. The much-changed Whites were lucky to be only a goal in arrears at half-time. But whatever Garry Monk said at the interval did the trick.

Man of the match: Alex Mowatt.

GARY NEWBOULD

Leeds made hard work of getting past League Two opposition but progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 2-1 win against Cambridge United.

Once again Leeds were sloppy in the first half but turned things around with a much improved second half. With eight changes it was perhaps understandable that it took a while for the side to settle but Alex Mowatt at least gave Garry Monk food for thought with an impressive performance capped by the winning goal. The only real downside was the injury suffered by Liam Cooper which, coupled with Pontus Jansson’s booking, leaves us a little short at centre-half for Friday’s clash with Derby County.

Man of the match: Alex Mowatt.

STEPHEN CLARK

HUGE SUPPORT: For Leeds United.

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