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Leeds United: Birmingham City bossed us - Gray

Luciano Becchio.

Luciano Becchio.

  • by Eddie Gray
 

Luciano Becchio is in great goal-scoring form and he has done the trick again.

I don’t think it was the best performance by us against Birmingham on Saturday.

We needed him because we didn’t play particularly well and I thought they caused us a lot of problems with their pace up front.

I think if they had been a bit more clinical with their finishing then we would have been struggling.

But we’re still in the hat, we’re still in the competition and I think that’s important for the football club.

It’s something to look forward to and if we can beat Birmingham in the replay we know we will play Tottenham Hotspur at home in the fourth round.

In terms of the goals on Saturday, the boy Wade Elliott scored a tremendous goal to put Birmingham 1-0 up and that was just unstoppable.

It was a great strike and a great finish.

Luciano Becchio then missed a great chance after the long ball when he was clean through and whether it was offside or not, I don’t know.

But he made up for that miss by taking his chance again and once again he was clinical in front of goal.

But it has to be said that Elliott’s goal was a great goal and you won’t see a better strike than that at Elland Road this season.

The goalkeeper had no chance as the ball was going away from him all the time and, from that point of view, we did well to get back into the game.

The manager and Mick Jones made a few changes at half-time by taking off Ryan Hall and bringing on El-Hadji Diouf and obviously with Sam Byram coming on.

I think it was something we had to do because we were just under pressure and we weren’t really getting in the game much.

Obviously young Will Packwood suffered a bad injury and that was very disappointing.

They are saying he has broken his leg and you just wish him all the best as he is a young player and he was doing quite well as well.

It was just an innocuous challenge, him and Luciano Becchio going up for the ball and it just looked to be how he landed.

His leg and his foot went the other way and it’s very sad. It takes a bit off the game when something like that happens as you don’t like to see any player get injured and we just hope the boy is okay.

He is basically just starting out his career.

That was disappointing but we are still in the Cup and the replay at Birmingham is something to look forward to for the Leeds United players.

Mick Jones was saying after the game that there is a virus running through the camp so the players probably did quite well to get a result even though you’ve got to say that looking at it before the game we looked hot favourites.

Then when you looked at the two sides, on paper, I still thought we were hot favourites but I thought they were the better team on the day. I thought they played well. People talk about the crowd which was just over 11,000 on Saturday but I think the thing about that is that there have been a lot of games recently.

And I don’t think the FA Cup seems to be the most glamorous competition now whereas many years ago in the third round of the FA Cup you’d have been nearly guaranteed a full house whoever you were playing because it was the FA Cup.

Those days are gone now, I think it’s all change and it was a bit disappointing the crowd but it was to be expected after a hectic holiday period where we have had a lot of home games.

There’s obviously the travelling to the games for the supporters as well and so it’s an expensive time for the fans.

The crowd was okay – it’s not great when you see an empty Elland Road but I think that’s just a sign of the times. Next up we’ve got Barnsley on Saturday in the league but I think this next week is going to be important to see who Neil gets into the football club.

I think behind the scenes he will be working extremely hard with the new owners and the chief executive Shaun Harvey to try and get the players he wants into the football club and to try and sign players up.

And obviously there will be interest in our players from other clubs as well.

Mick Jones has said how Luciano Becchio is bound to be a target and Byram as well.

He expects interest in those players so you just have to wait and see what happens – whether or not we’ll be able to keep our players and if we can secure a few into the club.

That’s going to be important leading up to the Barnsley game and it will be interesting to see if we have got any new players for a game which traditionally is always a tough fixture for us. Our away form has got to improve for a start because the last three away games have been pretty poor when you think of going to Derby, Hull City and then Nottingham Forest.

They haven’t ben great performances and we will have to improve against Barnsley who are coming in off a good win against Burnley in the FA Cup.

 

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