Leeds United: Right subs earned us a deserved point at City – Gray

Lewis Cook battles for the ball with Birmingham's David Cotterill.
Lewis Cook battles for the ball with Birmingham's David Cotterill.
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I SAID before the game on Saturday that a draw would have been a good result for us at St Andrews as we couldn’t get carried away by the Bolton Wanderers match.

Let’s face it, Bolton were probably the better side and in my eyes to go to Birmingham and get a point was decent as on our travels recently, we haven’t been playing too well.

For long periods of the game on Saturday, especially in the first half, it looked as if it was going to be the same.

It was not a great game and the first half was average. But towards the end of it, there were a few chances for both sides and I thought we did a lot better in the second half and started to be a bit more progressive.

I think Neil Redfearn made a good decision by bringing Rudy Austin on and Souleymane Doukara as well after half-time.

We needed a bit of physical power in our game and those two provided it as we did not have a lot of that before they came on.

Before that, we were passing the ball around, but not getting anywhere and Birmingham looked the most likely winners in the first half.

In the second half, we picked up a bit and I thought the two young boys in the middle, Alex Mowatt and Lewis Cook, did well.

Alex managed to get forward a little bit more and was rewarded with his goal.

I thought Neil made the changes at the right times as well.

We were just starting to get on top of the game and the two new boys came on to give us that momentum to push on and get the goal.

The changes galvanised us a bit and enabled us to get into the game and we looked more of a threat.

That was the thing; at least we looked as if we were capable of scoring.

That said, I think we were lucky with the penalty shout at the end, which looked a spot kick for Birmingham; the only man who didn’t think it was a penalty was probably the referee!

I did think it was strange that he booked Demarai Gray as well, I have got to say. It was just a strange decision, as there was a bit of contact.

But in saying all that, we stuck to our guns and I think Neil will think, in terms of the game at Bournemouth on Tuesday, of starting with a little bit of a stronger line-up as well.

It is nice passing the ball around, but you also need to be able to get up the pitch. That was the one thing that Austin gave us at Birmingham and with his running power, he got in the right half of the pitch.

That was something that we struggled to do in the first half of the game, while the power of Doukara also made it difficult for Birmingham.

Their goal wasn’t a great one to concede from us. You can’t lose people like that inside the box, which is what happened when Wes Thomas scored.

We still look like we will concede goals.

But once again, I thought our goalkeeper, Marco Silvestri, did okay and made a couple of great saves, including one to deny Gray just after the penalty decision. It was a terrific save. We still do not look 100 per cent solid at the back and that is something that Neil will be working on.

The defence are obviously still getting used to each other a bit and time will tell on that one. As for the break to fix the goal, I don’t know if their staff wanted to get on the TV for a while. It was strange and it took them ages to fix it and the Leeds fans were singing: ‘You’re getting sacked in the morning!’ It was very funny.

Bournemouth will be tough, but Rotherham went there and got a point at the weekend and there is no reason why we can’t go down there and get a result.

We got a hiding there last year and let’s hope we do a lot better. It will be a difficult match as they are a decent side, especially at home. And they are hard to beat and play a nice brand of football.

They had one or two quick players last season who seemed to cause us problems.

Neil is still in charge and working for the club and the president has asked him to do a job and when you think about it three points at home and a point away is a good start.

We’ll have to wait and see what happens long term.

Just arrived, Jay-Roy Grot.

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