Blackpool 1 Leeds United 1: YEP jury verdict

Billy Sharp.
Billy Sharp.
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Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s 1-1 draw at Blackpool.

JONATHAN FORD

We gained another point, another game without losing and another step in the right direction, albeit in a game that we should be winning.

That said we play a passing style of football and the days of Neil Warnock style ‘lump in the air’ ball are long gone. Neil Redfearn likes playing with wingers and plays a high-energy passing type of football, and things like that get lost on that Bloomfield Road pitch.

That is by far the worst pitch I have ever seen Leeds play on, and I include Histon because the weather was bad and they were a Conference team. It is a disgrace that a Championship club can have a pitch like that and get away with it. We struggled to adapt to that and we didn’t adjust our team to suit that pitch.

Neither team really did enough to win, but if we had Mirco Antenucci and Steve Morison on the pitch for longer, I’m sure we would have found a winner! Billy Sharp found it tough up there on his own.

Mirco Antenucci took his goal really well. He is a goalscorer and is starting to be more about the team which is good to see. And it’s paying dividends. We would have had three points had Gaetano Bellusci not fouled the centre-half in the box, which he didn’t need to do.

A game to take a point and move on.

With a pitch like that, League One is the right place for Blackpool.

We are heading into the last seven games with positivity, and if we take that forward to next season – who knows. Three or four quality players with wingers and a striker who suit our formation and maybe we could go for it next season.

The only thing that is disappointing is imagining how the season could have panned out if we had changed our formation sooner and kept Redfearn in when he was the caretaker instead of Darko Milanic. But at least we got it right in the end.

Now it’s time to sort the contracts out for our young players and get stability into the club, tie Redfearn into a longer contract, and sort the club out at board level.

No matter who takes the club forward, it needs to be sorted before August, as we don’t want another start like this season.

All I know is, with our crop of talented youngsters, that as long as they stay the future is bright, the future is white!

Man of the match: Scott Wootton.

KEITH INGHAM

The expected rout of struggling Blackpool never materialised as the Seasiders produced a spirited performance to deny Leeds in a 1-1 draw.

Neil Redfearn surprised a few people, myself included, by naming a unchanged team to face Blackpool at Bloomfield Road.

On a ‘pudding’ of a playing surface, both teams had early chances. Wednesday’s goalscorer Sam Byram nearly made it two in two but his volley sailed narrowly wide. Marco Silvestri was the first keeper to be called upon when he saved Madine’s shot. Just on half-time the hosts surprisingly went in front.

Billy Sharp – strangely out of sorts – was replaced as was Alex Mowatt with Mirco Antenucci and Steve Morison joining the fray. Antenucci cleared the bar but within minutes Leeds were level when the leading Leeds goalscorer, Antenucci, superbly lobbed Lewis. A lovely finish and his tenth of the season.

In the last five minutes both teams nearly took the points, Silvestri saving an Orlandi free-kick and, at the other end, Bellusci forcing the ball home but it was disallowed by the referee.

Another game unbeaten and four points out of six from two away trips is a satisfactory return for Leeds. Now it is hoped that in the international break those who hold the reins of the club finally sort out lengthier contracts for both Redfearn and Steve Thompson. They deserve nothing less.

Man of the match: Mirco Antenucci.

MATTHEW EVANS

The United players struggled to adapt their game to the Bloomfield Road pitch which resembled porridge more than grass.

The quality of the game was poor and the empty home stands made for a flat atmosphere.

A win should still have been possible. Blackpool looked incredibly poor and Byram, Taylor and Antenucci all had great chances to score for United. Steve Morison took lengthy treatment for a head injury which stopped dead a period of momentum where it seemed Leeds would inevitably take the lead.

Trouble in the stands during that break soured everyone’s mood and in the end both sides settled for a meaningless point.

Man of the match: Sam Byram.

STEPHEN CLARK

Leeds struggled to overcome a difficult pitch and a plucky Blackpool side, eventually gaining a point to keep the good run going.

Mirco Antenucci’s second-half equaliser earned Neil Redfearn’s side a draw after falling behind on the stroke of half-time.

Most people expected a host of changes, but there would have been little to gain throwing untried youngsters on such a dreadful surface. If any changes are to come, then surely the sanctuary of Elland Road is the place to make them.

Man of the match: Marco Silvestri.

JAMES HARRISON

What an awful game of football. Neither side looked interested and it felt like a pre-season friendly.

You could tell that the Blackpool players didn’t really want to be there and it made it hard for us to get motivated and play with intensity. The pitch was woeful which meant we couldn’t pass the ball. Without a target man up front, we were very easy to defend against and we didn’t look threatening.

The introduction of Morison and Antenucci really changed the game. They looked fresh and I thought if we played an extra five minutes, we’d have won the game.

It’s another point away from home and a good, tough experience for our younger players.

Man of the match: Mirco Antenucci.

GARY NEWBOULD

United escaped from the seaside with a point following a disappointing performance which resembled the sub standard pitch at Bloomfield Road.

The Whites went behind just before half-time when Madine reacted quickest to a free-kick which hit the bar for the home side. It was Mirco Antenucci who restored parity for United just after the hour mark for his tenth goal of the season. A disappointing result, however four points in a week has finally extinguished any lingering relegation fears.

Man of the match: Gaetano Berardi.

HAT-TRICK HERO: Leeds United's Kemar Roofe, left, leaves with the match ball alongside Ronaldo Vieira. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

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