Tom Lees drew comfort from another step up the Championship table and an extension of Leeds United’s consistent form after a frustrating tussle with Barnsley ended in stalemate.
Lees refused to be despondent at the end of a goalless derby at Elland Road as United profited from results elsewhere to climb to fifth in the league, despite the loss of two precious points on Saturday.
Bottom-of-the-table Barnsley negated a gap of 18 points between them and Leeds to record their second clean sheet of the season and deny Brian McDermott’s side a valuable win in their final game before Christmas.
The South Yorkshire club have been a thorn in United’s side during many of their recent derbies and a resilient performance during their first match under new manager Danny Wilson disappointed a crowd of 31,000 on a day which marked a year since the takeover of Leeds by GFH Capital.
United, however, are heading into the Christmas period in control of a play-off position having gone seven games without defeat at home and lost only one of their last eight league fixtures. Centre-back Lees said: “We’ve done well at home so from that point of view it was disappointing. But we also went up a place despite drawing.
“It was a bit of a leveller with them having a new manager so we couldn’t look at it like they were bottom of the league. Give Barnsley credit, they played well in the first half. But we’re getting consistency. If we can get through this busy period to mid-January in the same position we’re in now then that would be nice to build on. But no-one’s talking about promotion.”
“People will look at the game in the respect of Barnsley being bottom of the league and think we should be winning,” Lees added. “But anyone at the game will know they played well in the first half. They gave us a really tough game. All the time we seem to be coming up against teams with new managers.
“It was the sort of game where we were piling men forward and in the second half we were all over them. But you can switch off in situations like that and the other team end up winning. It was pleasing to keep a clean sheet.”