YEP Jury: Doomsayers too quick to write off Leeds United’s play-off chances

Luke Ayling
Luke Ayling
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The YEP fans’ jury have their say on what went wrong for Leeds United in their shock defeat to Cardiff City at Elland Road on Saturday.

Stephen Clark

Pablo Hernandez

Pablo Hernandez

Leeds United lost for the first time at home since November as they went down to a 2-0 defeat against Cardiff City on Saturday.

Sean Morrison’s opening goal was the first Leeds had conceded at Elland Road since Newcastle had inflicted that last home loss, a run which has seen Leeds cement themselves in the playoff places as genuine promotion contenders.

You would struggle to believe that if the mood in the stands, certainly around me in SS5 was to be believed on Saturday afternoon. This defeat was greeted with doom and gloom, with backing for the team replaced by moaning and groaning at tactics and team selection.

Personally, I’m always a glass half full man when it comes to football, and after five years of watching frankly awful football, Im not going to be too depressed by five games of slightly-less-than-brilliant results.

The biggest gripe around me on Saturday was that we are not direct enough at home and should be playing two up front. This despite a system that has seen us pick up six wins on the spin at Elland Road prior to the weekend.

If we played an extra attacker, we would have to take someone from the midfield, and that is where games are generally won and lost.

What we do need is more creativity from there and the wide areas, and with Henandez having an off-day and the combination of Pedraza, Dallas and Sacko not providing any decent sevice, Chris Wood cut an isolated figure up front.

It also helps if you can defend set-pieces, and with Pontus Jansson missing, Leeds crucially failed to do that for the opening goal.

After that the team could not get out of the rut that Cardiff’s blanket defence had put them in, the second goal and Liam Bridcutt’s red card souring the afternoon even more.

However, as disappointing as the defeat was, it’s not time for pessimism to set in.

We are still comfortably in the top six, we have a winnable run of games to come and sides all around us are dropping points as well. Keep the faith, don’t panic and remember where we have been at this stage of the season for the last few years.

I see no need to panic. Yet!!

Man of the match: Luke Ayling.

Keith Ingham

It came as no particular shock to this Leeds fan that one of the most disliked managers ever to sit behind a desk at Elland Road returned and dumped his former charges on their preverbal backsides.

Not that his charges had to work overtime to do the job; two second-half goals were enough to take the three points and the sending off of the Leeds United captain Liam Bridcutt near the end was just the final straw for the freezing home supporters.

The head coach’s comments post match may have made a eye or two raise as not many, apart from him, thought it was a decent performance.

I hope I’m not the only one to think that since the ‘Lord Major’s Show’ performance against Derby, the displays have steadily got worse, ending the unbeaten recent home record.

A reaction is needed and it has to start tomorrow. Players who were rightly praised have now to stand up and be counted. Two defeats don’t ruin a season but it doesn’t help. Monk needs to find a ‘Plan B’ when teams like Cardiff stifle the natural rhythm of this squad. Pontus Jansson may be missing again for Bristol after ringing in sick Saturday morning, and Liam Bridcutt will be suspended for his sending off against Cardiff City.

We await a response!

Man of the match: The 30,000 United fans.

Mike Gill

They say that every promotion hopeful has a wobble. Let’s hope that Leeds have completed theirs in this game. Ineffective up front, shaky in defence and the captain sent off. This was a game that you want to forget quickly. Pontus Jansson was, of course, sorely missed but the team was poor throughout. Very difficult to pick a man of the match. A bounce back is sorely needed against Bristol City tomorrow.

Man of the match: Gaetano Berardi.

Matthew Evans

It was a real sickener at Elland Road on Saturday, especially after months of positivity, six clean sheets at home and coming off the back of an equally frustrating result last weekend.

United didn’t show enough will to win the game and seem to have lost the ability to turn good play into goal-scoring opportunities.

We have to remain calm and optimistic no matter how disappointed we are. It’s for Garry Monk and the players to pick things up again on Tuesday night and point us back in the right direction.

The fact our league rivals are all picking up points just adds to the pressure and means there’s increasingly little room for us to slip up again.

Man of the match: Gaetano Berardi.

Gary Newbould

Leeds shaded a poor first half but two self-inflicted defensive errors let the visitors in to claim all three points. The late dismissal of captain Liam Bridcutt made for a miserable day at the office. United need to regain their play-off form quickly.

Man of the match: Gaetano Berardi.

David Watkins

Everyone knew this game would be tough, but I’m sure we all felt our A game would be enough to overcome a workmanlike but ‘nothing special’ Cardiff.

The news that our brick-header extraordinary, Pontus Jansson would not feature was a blow but no-one could have foreseen quite how the rejigged defence would let us down. We were given a warning when Halford was allowed the freedom of Elland Road to head straight at Rob Green so you would have thought we’d learn that lesson. But no, without Pontus no=one seemed sure who should be dealing with such crosses and we then allowed a 40-yard free-kick to find the head of Sean Morrison and this time he headed home while our back-line did a passable impression of the Mannequin Challenge. Another simple goal was walked into our net later to seal the game.

With Liam Bridcutt now suspended we are in disarray and need to rediscover a winning formula quickly or else we’ll find ourselves struggling to keep that sacred play-off spot.

Man of the match: Pablo Hernandez.

Mateusz Klich

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