Leeds United: Two huge tests facing Whites - Matteo

BLUNTED: Leeds full-back Eric Lichaj's own goal set Sheffield United on the way to 2-0 victory. PIC: PA

BLUNTED: Leeds full-back Eric Lichaj's own goal set Sheffield United on the way to 2-0 victory. PIC: PA

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AFTER the defeat to Sheffield United at the weekend, I think the next two games are going to be massive for Leeds United.

Next up are Nottingham Forest and I think that’s a huge game but it’s a match we can win, I think, and when we don’t perform well, we usually bounce back.

But it will be a difficult clash because Forest are no mugs in this league and they are pushing for promotion themselves.

That will be a tough encounter and then we’re off to Millwall and lately our record there hasn’t been too great.

There are some tough matches in the run-in but while I don’t worry about Leeds at home, I do worry about them away from home.

I think we concede too many stupid, silly goals and at the end of the day that will cost you.

At the Sheffield United game, personally speaking, it just looked like they got outbattled and that was disappointing for me, as it would be to the manager.

When you send your team out, the first thing you expect is for your team to work hard and compete and for the first game in a while Leeds didn’t do that in Sheffield.

In a derby game, and at somewhere like Sheffield United, if you don’t do that you are going to get beaten.

They were totally outbattled and these places are tough places to go if you are not ready for it and Sheffield United worked really hard.

But I don’t worry about Leeds at home, I just don’t think they are solid enough away from Elland Road.

If Leeds had won at the weekend, they would have been right in with a shout of a top two place and the results have gone well for the Whites over the last two weekends so we could have done with winning that game.

I’m not saying it’s totally out of the question to finish in the top two now, but I still believe it will be a play-off place for me, though I would rather we went up automatically as we are not too great in the play-offs! They could miss out altogether but I think they will get enough points at home to do it.

Cardiff City’s Craig Bellamy was on the radio the other morning and he was saying what a weird division the Championship is and how everyone beats each other.

And it is – there’s only QPR who have been consistent this season.

Everyone has a bad spell only to go and win 4-0!

But I really hope we can get promoted, as I feel partly responsible for the team going down when we went did back in 2004 and I’d love to see them back in the Premiership where they belong.

The club has got a Premier League fan base and let’s see if we can get a Premier League team to give the fans what they deserve.

I think we owe the supporters one, but looking at our run-in now I don’t think there are any easy games at all and I think that from the away games they have got to pick up the odd point as it may prove the difference between finishing in the play-offs and not.

If we can keep on a good run at home and pick up the odd point away then we will definitely be in the play-offs.

It’s also the deadline for loan deals today and it would be nice to see another centre-back being brought in.

Whether Simon Grayson will do that or not I don’t know, but I’d like to see him bring in another central midfielder and another centre-half if possible.

Whether he will or not is another question, but if he can I think it would improve our chances.

In the Sheffield United game I don’t think anyone performed to be honest and I just think if you can get one or two more decent players in then great as it will boost the team.

People might say that it could upset the dressing room at this stage of the season, but in my opinion if we are going to be stronger you’ve got to bring players in to the move the club forward.

I think if he did bring a couple in now it would definitely give them a better chance of getting in the play-offs and a better chance of going up.

With the international break upon us it provides Leeds with a great opportunity to recharge the batteries ahead of the final push for promotion.

* Sportingbet are currently offering odds of 7/2 on Leeds winning promotion to the Premier League.

For the best selection of Leeds markets visit www.sportingbet.com

2 November 2013...     Police patrol Elland Road at Leeds United's match with Yeovil. (TJ1001/01d). Picture Tony Johnson

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