Nottingham Forest 1 Leeds United 1: YEP Jury give their verdicts

Lewis Cook.
Lewis Cook.
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Have your say

Our YEP panelists have their say on Leeds United’s 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest.

JONATHAN FORD

Well, that’s one more point over Christmas than last year, but we were much higher up the table last year.

On reflection 2014 has been bumpy to say the least, more downs than ups, and a lot of problems on and off the field, with the only constant being the fans.

As far as Saturday was concerned, I thought it was a well-earned point, and one we really needed, yes, they had two goals chalked off for offside that were onside, but I thought we had chances to win the game too, with a couple of decent saves made against us.

I thought Billy Sharp looked busy and Lewis Cook was outstanding.

I didn’t think Tommaso Bianchi did much in the game, but when you have Cook and Alex Mowatt playing the way they are, most would go missing.

We lack a few things. We are missing Giuseppe Bellusci because he is a good ball-playing defender and offers us something different, while I think Jason Pearce would head a brick to save a goal. He lacks something we need – a confident ball-playing defender who can pick out a pass and be able to use his brain for something other than heading.

I think we lack a bit of bite in midfield, something Cook and Mowatt don’t have, but neither does Bianchi. We need an older head; whether we can get them with our embargo is a different story.

Rudy Austin could be the man if he wasn’t so inconsistent!

Although not a fan of Michael Tonge, I would definitely consider him for the next game. As an experienced head, who can pass, he also very rarely loses the ball; he could look after the young lads and keep things ticking over.

I thought Steve Morison did well when he came on – more as a defensive option than attack – when we were looking to consolidate the point.

I also think Liam Cooper is getting better and better as he adjusts to a higher league and better strikers.

In terms of our strikers, I think we lack a player who just is a focal point. Mirco Antenucci is a perfect second striker, scores goals and is cool as ice in front of goal, but he plays off the striker and there is no one to aim for.

Doukara lacks effort in some games, and then can have a game where he scores a great goal. If he was consistent he would be a regular.

We have yet to properly see Billy Sharp which is a shame; in this division he is a goalscorer!

On a final note, merry Christmas to all readers, may you have a blue, yellow and white one!

Man of the match: Lewis Cook.

KEITH INGHAM

Leeds United halted a worrying losing run with a better display than the previous two fixtures.

Neil Redfearn promoted Billy Sharp and demoted ‘Sully’ Doukara to the substitute bench. Rudy Austin failed to make the bench, but Steve Morison and Brian Montenegro made it an attack-looking bench.

The game looked to be heading into half-time goalless but slack marking at a corner allowed Fryatt to score at the far post. Leeds, though behind, still showed some attacking intent but the final ball just wasn’t good enough.

On 54 minutes Billy Sharp scored from the penalty after Sam Byram had been fouled in the penalty area to give Leeds their first penalty of the season. Sharp’s effort squirmed under the home keeper but past the post. And Lansbury and Tesche both were denied by smart Silvestri saves as Forest put pressure on the Leeds rearguard. Forgotten man Steve Morison replaced Adyran as Leeds needed some height to defend Forest’s corners. Fryatt again had the ball in the Leeds net but again the linesmen raised his flag.

A good performance and players that deserve a mention are Lewis Cook and his midfield partner Alex Mowatt. The use of substitutes has been questioned recently but Redfearn got it right this time.

A well deserved point.

Man of the match: Lewis Cook.

MATTHEW EVANS

You could say Leeds United were somewhat fortunate to pick up a point on Saturday against Nottingham Forest but it is Christmas and you should never look a gift horse in the mouth.

Besides, in a sticky patch both on and off the field, it’s picking up points that matters rather than the nature of the performance.

United actually looked better than Forest in spells but, as usual, there was little thrust up front and no little panic at the back.

There’s a good and consistent side in this squad waiting to break out.

Neil Redfearn just needs to find it.

Man of the match: Lewis Cook.

GARY NEWBOULD

United secured their first point on their travels with a battling display at the City Ground. Recalled Billy Sharp converted from the spot to level and despite another Forest goal being ruled out for offside United were well worth their vital point.

Man of the match: Lewis Cook.

JAMES HARRISON

Every time I predict us to lose, we seem to get something out of the game, Derby and now Forest.

It was a great performance against a very strong Nottingham team. We handled their style of play well and could have easily won the game.

We got a bit of luck with the two disallowed goals but we didn’t deserve to lose. The counter attacks were superb with Lewis Cook leading them terrifically. The 17-year-old was the best player on the field; he will definitely play for England in the future. I am glad Billy Sharp scored; he needed a goal to kick-start his career with us. It was a great point and something we can build on.

Man of the match: Lewis Cook.

STEPHEN CLARK

I feared a real pounding by Forest prior to kick-off so I was delighted that Leeds came away with a point on Saturday night.

The game itself wasn’t the prettiest and Leeds certainly had more than their fair share of luck but they deserved the draw against a poor Forest team.

Once again Lewis Cook was the shining light in midfield alongside Alex Mowatt and if Leeds can add a little more bite, then there is a decent chance we will move up the table.

Man of the match: Lewis Cook.

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