You don’t need to tell me that Tuesday’s win at Cardiff was a long time coming. The last time we won down there I played in the bloody game! That’s how many years we’re talking.
On a wet and cold Tuesday night, a 2-0 victory away at Cardiff is a really impressive result.
We owed a lot to our goalkeeper, who was fantastic, but I felt that, overall, we gave an extremely good account of ourselves all over the pitch.
You can point to Cardiff’s chances and you can point to the moments when they hit the bar and the post.
As a neutral you’d say that they did enough to get something from the game. But that’s football and the pleasing thing about our performance was that players delivered in key areas. The defence and the keeper kept Cardiff out. At the other end of the field, we took our chances.
The appreciation of that result was there for all to see and it was nice to watch the players going over to the fans afterwards.
There was a sense of real camaraderie which, if I’m being honest, hasn’t always been obvious recently. No doubt, the relationship between players and supporters has been a little tense.
That’s what happens when results are poor.
But virtually every jersey was thrown into the crowd on Tuesday – we’ll be running out of them soon! – and it was one of those moments when everyone seemed to be together. It would do the club the world of good to stay like that for the rest of the season. I don’t know about anyone else, but the feeling of everyone pulling together is so much better than bitter in-fighting.
To my mind we’re safe from relegation now.
We still need a couple of results to make absolutely sure, but Bolton and Charlton are gone and the likes of Rotherham are going to have to win four more games than us before the end of the season. I don’t see that happening.
In those circumstances, perhaps we’ve earned the right to a calm and quiet finish. I’ve been calling for a truce in hostilities at Leeds for a long time and I’d like to see everyone take a step back.
I’m well aware that a section of the support are critical of the owner, but there’s nothing I hate more than turning up to Elland Road and seeing people attacking one another, at each other’s throats.
It’s not the way a club like this should be.
The wins over Bolton and Cardiff don’t change the fact that this has been a poor season.
There needs to be some honest analysis of what’s gone on in the last 12 months and the point I’ve made for many weeks still stands – we have to buy better players when the transfer window opens in the summer or we’ll end up in another season like this one.
But I do think there’s a habit here of writing off players too quickly. Take the goalkeeper, Marco Silvestri.
He was brilliant on Tuesday night, especially in the second half. Without doubt he’s had days where he’s not been so good but if you’re being fair then that probably comes down to two things – firstly his age and, secondly, his confidence.
I always say that players need to earn the support of the crowd, not the other way round, but there’s a responsibility on us watching to be fair in what we say and fair in our criticism.
The team deserved to get hammered after Brighton. That performance was shocking.
But when they win as they did at Cardiff – a club we’ve got history with and a club that has had one up on us for ages – it reminds you that a number of these lads can do a job in the Championship.
After some hard results and some hard weeks, I hope they’re enjoying a bit of credit.