Andy Ritchie: Last-ditch concession at Fulham won't hinder Monk's men
I DON'T think there will be a hangover from conceding in the 95th minute in Tuesday's 1-1 draw at Fulham.
I said before the game it was a case of ‘don’t get beaten’ but when you are in that position, leading deep into injury time, Garry Monk will obviously be disappointed that he didn’t get all three points.
But before the game they’d have said ‘let’s just not get beaten’ so Garry will have been happy with it but disappointed at the same time.
If I’d have been coming in after the game, I’d have said ‘let’s go, we’ve got a point, that’s what we wanted’ and try and be upbeat about it.
Maybe Garry did that, I don’t know, but I think in the end everybody would have been happy thinking ‘that’s not a bad result for us.’
Garry might be concerned a little bit by the performances lately because Leeds had been playing well and there’s now been a little bit of a dip in form in terms of they might not be dominating games like they had done.
But Garry will just be pleased that Leeds are grinding out results, that they are getting there and I don’t think it matters how you get results. If you are getting a point away from home in a very big game at Fulham, then you just say ‘let’s keep it going’. And while you might have said Fulham were the dominant force, they were still 1-0 down until the 95th minute.
There might be a few nerves kicking in at Leeds as this team hasn’t been anywhere near the play-offs for a long time.
Nerves might be playing a part but as long as the team are getting results then it’s not a problem for me.
It’s just about keeping that togetherness and they have got that, there’s no doubt about that. You can see that every time they play. They have got that team bond and that can take you so far.
I had that at Barnsley when we got promoted in 2006 and it was that togetherness of the players that pulled us through. It was a massive, massive thing for us.
Leeds are still eight points clear of Fulham in seventh place but I would never, ever say it’s guaranteed until the job’s done.
I don’t think you can say that they are definitely going to make it, because you can’t. Teams can go on a run of five losses and where does that then leave them?
Nothing is ever a given in football and you don’t take anything for granted but the players will know that.
But on the flip side there is still a chance of Leeds finishing second.
While it could be highly unlikely, those two at the top – Newcastle and Brighton – they are under more pressure than Leeds I think.
Because when you are at the top in those top two positions, it’s the chasing pack that have the advantage because they are hunting them down and it will be a massive game when Brighton come to Leeds, absolutely massive.
If they have still got a chance and Leeds win that then you have got to say they could finish in the top two.
I definitely don’t think it’s out of the question.
It’s not quite pie in the sky and there are ten games to play yet. Anything can happen.
QPR are next up for Leeds today and I’m good mates with QPR boss Ian Holloway.
We have crossed paths a few times when we were playing and obviously when I was a manager.
I have always got on really well with him and his teams are always difficult to beat.
They will be very passionate, they will know what he expects from them and that is total hard work. He wants 100 per cent out of his players and QPR will come and make a game of it. They will work really hard and if I was Ian Holloway I would be saying, ‘come on, let’s scupper their chances and put a dent in them’ to try and get the best out of my players. But I would hope Leeds would be aware of what he would probably be saying.
I think you can say that every game for Leeds now is a must-win. That’s not putting extra pressure on but in every game they have to perform and they have to get a result.
If they do that, they are in the play-offs, not a problem. It will just be whether they are in the play-offs or they might catch Brighton.