Andy Ritchie: Leeds United are digging deep and showing real character

Chris Wood celebrates his goal against Bristol City.
Chris Wood celebrates his goal against Bristol City.
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YOU DON’T panic after back-to-back defeats but there is always a little bit of concern.

I read Garry Monk’s comments after beating Bristol City on Tuesday, saying it was important for the team to bounce back and have a reaction and I think that is what major teams always have in their locker.

Garry Monk.

Garry Monk.

Everybody talks about ‘bouncebackability’ and I think that’s what you’ve got to look for in your team.

You look for that sort of steel and that is definitely something that you need in the Championship.

It will please Garry that United bounced back after the defeats to Huddersfield Town and Cardiff City and I think there was a little bit more pressure on Tuesday’s game against Bristol City, especially at home.

Coming into that third game, it could have been a bit of a problem for the team.

Mick McCarthy.

Mick McCarthy.

I wouldn’t have said it would have been a disaster but it could have been a downer, so it was important to get that win and they gave a very good account of themselves by all reports.

Bristol City had chances but Leeds took control and that man Chris Wood got his 22nd goal! I don’t want to jinx him – just keep it going Woody. Let’s hope he gets up to 30 goals.

Leeds are now six points clear of the teams outside of the play-offs though that gap will become five points if Fulham win their game in hand.

Leeds also go to Fulham two weeks on Tuesday and that is a big game.

They will be looking at that one thinking ‘right, we will keep it on the back-burner for now and we need to make sure we get the points before we go there.’

Fulham are not too bad at home, they are not fantastic travellers but at home they seem to be okay.

I don’t think that will be a pivotal game but it’s another big one.

We talked about the Huddersfield game the other week and everything that went around that.

I know there were all the problems after the winning goal but it was a game United probably could have done with some points out of.

It was a bit of a minor knock but they have just got to keep going and the confidence is high and they must feel that, even though they had those two defeats to Huddersfield and Cardiff.

It shows a bit about the players and I think they will be in the play-offs, definitely.

Leeds now go to Ipswich this afternoon, a side managed by Mick McCarthy and I have played against him a few times.

I played against him when he was at Manchester City and Barnsley. He’s always a tough opponent and I would say his management style mirrors the way that he played.

He was a massive character at Barnsley, obviously.

He was their captain for so many years and he was a big voice around the place.

I remember him going there and it was like seeing Lord Of The Manor if you like – when he was at Barnsley as a player.

And I don’t think there was a lot of doubt that he would go into management.

He is very, very successful, he has got vast knowledge, he is very conscientious and I get on very well with him.

I have played golf with him a few times and he is a real good character to be around.

I would say that as a player playing for him, you would feed off the enthusiasm he has and I am sure that the players do that.

But they have had their ups and downs this season.

They have not had it all their own way, it’s been a bit of a mixed season for them so hopefully Leeds will get them when they’re not quite at their best.

I would say that Garry would be going there saying ‘come on, we can get three points here’.

That’s no disrespect to Ipswich but they have had a couple of bad results down there and I don’t think Garry will be going there expecting a point. I think he will be saying ‘we are not going to get beat, and let’s make sure that we get all three points’.