Derby County v Leeds United: YEP jury verdict

Alex Mowatt close down as Craig Forsyth clears the ball. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
Alex Mowatt close down as Craig Forsyth clears the ball. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
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The YEP jury provide their verdict on Leeds United’s clash with Derby County at Pride Park.


So it’s now 10 in a row to the Rams after yet another dreadful showing at Pride Park.

To allow a side like Derby to dominate us as they have over the past few years has, quite frankly, been embarrassing. “You’ll never beat the Derby” chanted the home fans after Will Hughes skipped through our defence and slotted home his side’s third goal. I doubt that many of the near 4,000 travelling fans expect them to be proved wrong anytime soon.

I will start by making it clear that Brian McDermott has my backing and I’m prepared to be patient while he is given time to get things right.

We are still burdened by the dross left by two previous managers and a further mid-season change would only leave yet another new man with a set of unwanted cast offs. McDermott went into the October international break in 2011 with his Reading side having taken 12 points from 10 games.

He turned it round then, and while I can’t see him achieving quite the same level of success this season, given a couple more transfer windows and the right backing, I still believe he’s the man to lead us back where we belong.

That said, Saturday’s performance was unacceptable and McDermott has to take his fair share of criticism as a result. Why does he persist with Noel Hunt? I genuinely cannot see a single attribute that he brings to the team. His two most expensive signings haven’t seen a minute of action in the last two games; has he spent the money he has been given correctly? Why can he not find a defensive pairing that doesn’t continue to leak soft goals?

Having handed Derby a two-goal head start, Leeds actually did well to get back into the game. Jason Pearce’s goal came after a spell of sustained pressure and at half-time the momentum was definitely with United.

Instead of coming out all guns blazing, United delivered a painfully inept second-half performance that saw only one chance of note created. Almost immediately after Lee Grant saved at Ross McCormack’s feet, Will Hughes made sure of the points. Alex Mowatt has carried this side for the past three games but even he faded towards the end of yet another impressive showing.

The international break is arriving at just the right time for Leeds and McDermott. Over the next two weeks we need a striker and a winger in on loan, we need Sam Byram back to full fitness and we desperately need to find a way to stop gifting teams goals.

Man of the match: Alex Mowatt.


Derby County made it ten wins out of ten games when they hammered another nail into this so disappointing 2013/14 season.

Derby started brightly and two goals in 25 first-half minutes – the first after Paul Green was dispossessed and Jamie Ward played in Chris Martin to score. Worse was to follow two minutes later when Johnny Russell beat Paddy Kenny with a good strike.

In both build ups for the goals the defence was absent without leave.

Without doubt Derby had exploited a very average Leeds defence.

Derby tied up the match with just over ten minutes left when Will Hughes ran through the Leeds defence and finished with an unstoppable shot.

The manager’s response was ‘he was angry’ but the four thousand fans who paid money to watch that, deserved better.

Brian McDermott has two weeks to either get the players we definitely need or kick some backsides to make the players already there work for their wages.

Man of the match: Alex Mowatt.


Simple, basic defending, so often United’s failing came back to haunt the Whites as they allowed the hosts to race into a two-goal first-half lead before Jason Pearce briefly raised hopes on half-time.

Hughes’ strike then put the game beyond doubt.

Man of the match: Alex Mowatt.


The natives are getting restless after another listless performance saw Derby County ease to a 3-1 victory.

Leeds conceded two soft goals in two first-half minutes, the ease in which the Rams cut through the defence giving huge cause for concern.

Leeds did have prolonged periods of pressure and helped by some eccentric goalkeeping managed to pull a goal back through Jason Pearce.

But the second half was a continuation of the season-long problems. Possession wasn’t turned into chances and Derby sealed the game on the counter. Brian McDermott’s honeymoon period appears to be over. It’s time for the fans to take a reality check and admit that mid-table should be our aim this year.

Man of the match: Alex Mowatt.


There was no passion, no grit and no determination and that is what the Leeds fans expect as a minimum when they travel up and down the country spending their money. McDermott must strengthen the squad or we could be at the bottom end of the Championship.

Man of the match: Alex Mowatt.


Another away-day hiccup and this time it could turn into an issue if we don’t address it.

The players only have themselves to blame. Most of these players helped us make a decent start to the season and now seem to be complacent. We are not good enough going forward and our lack of creativity in the final third is a major issue.

I think Alex Mowatt once again was the only positive from a game where a few snapshots are the only thing that stopped this being one sided. We need certain players to step up. I think we have a weak link at left-back in Warnock, but he isn’t the only one. We got the result we deserved.

Man of the match: Alex Mowatt.

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