Leeds United: Six points crucial to igniting a late surge - Gray

HOPES REMAIN: Leeds United's Ross McCormack celebrates his free-kick goal at QPR. Picture by Simon Hulme.
HOPES REMAIN: Leeds United's Ross McCormack celebrates his free-kick goal at QPR. Picture by Simon Hulme.
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I think the reaction after the game at QPR on Saturday was one of disappointment that we didn’t win the game.

The game was there for us to win.

I thought we played well in the first half but I just don’t think we did enough in the second half to actually warrant us winning the game.

But it was a much improved performance compared with recent performances and I thought we played well – especially in the first half when we took the game to them.

And I thought Connor Wickham looked good.

He holds the ball up, he’s strong and he can do things on his own.

He can pick balls up and go by people and that makes a huge difference.

We nearly got off to a flying start with the penalty kick that Ross McCormack missed but I must say I thought the penalty kick was a bit dubious.

It was a soft penalty kick and you would have been pretty animated if that would have gone against you.

But Ross made up for it with his free-kick and, even though it took a big deflection, it was a good free-kick.

Then, just before half-time, QPR got back in it again and you’ve got to say it was a good goal from Jermaine Jenas.

He took it well the boy even though it was not great defending from us.

Jack Butland then made a terrific save at the start of the second half to keep the scores level but after that there was only really Connor Wickham’s shot that went right across the goal.

We never really created enough to warrant winning but I must say it was a much improved performance and I thought Jason Pearce did well defensively.

He looked solid and he deserved his man of the match award.

Saturday’s result leaves us eight points off the play-offs and our last two points – one at Middlesbrough and one at QPR – would normally be terrific results.

But those two results won’t mean anything if we don’t win the next two home games against Bolton and Reading.

We’ve got to win those two and then that gives you a chance but the important thing is winning the next two games – especially as we are at home.

Then that gives you an opportunity.

There are teams that are flying along around us and look at Wigan now.

They won 4-1 at Forest on Saturday and they are going really well.

When you actually look at the fixtures we have got left, all the home fixtures look pretty good. But other sides will be saying that as well – especially Wigan – and they’ll be looking at their fixtures thinking ‘we have still got Leeds United to come to our place’ and there are going to be some tough games for us.

But we are still in there with a shout, that’s the good thing.

And with Connor Wickham and Ross McCormack, if they are firing at home you can beat anybody but I think the league shows that. You can beat anybody at home if you play well but, by the same token, if you don’t perform, anybody can beat you at home.

It’s that type of league and there’s not much between the sides.

Obviously, we are still waiting on the take-over to go through and everybody will just have to be patient.

But we hope it is resolved quickly – everybody hopes that – and while the Football League are not meeting again until March 13 they might make an earlier decision.

I hope they do for the benefit of the football club. The quicker it is resolved the better but Massimo Cellino seems confident and he is putting his money up, there is no doubt about that.

After all, other clubs were chasing Connor Wickham and Jack Butland is highly rated.

Bolton are next up at Elland Road on Saturday and they have just had a good 4-0 win against Blackburn in a local derby.

Bolton are probably running into a bit of form at the wrong time for us.

But that can happen in football and, as with every week, if we are not at our best we will not get a result.

Either way, from here on in, the home form is going to be crucial.

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