Dominic Matteo: It is not all bad news at Leeds United

LET'S GET BEHIND THEM: Dominic Matteo wants United's fans to get behind the side, especially at Elland Road, and help build a positive atmosphere as the Whites press for the play-offs.
LET'S GET BEHIND THEM: Dominic Matteo wants United's fans to get behind the side, especially at Elland Road, and help build a positive atmosphere as the Whites press for the play-offs.
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There’s been a lot of doom and gloom at Leeds United in the past few weeks and I really do think things need a bit of a lift.

For me, it would be great if the fans got to the ground on Tuesday for the game against Birmingham City, which is a massive one and gave the team their full support to try and get us a result.

For the stake of the team and staff, we need to put whatever differences we have away during the game to get behind the team for the remainder of the season. If we do that, I think we can still have a real chance this season.

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When games have kicked off recently at Elland Road, the thing I’ve noticed is that stadium has been so quiet. That’s not Elland Road. Obviously, we know it isn’t full these days, but you usually can rely on the singing and the noise and the fans all getting behind the team and trust me, it makes a real difference.

As a player, when the crowd are buzzing at Leeds, it gives you such a lift and you feel 10 feet tall. When you start the game as a player and the stadium is dead, it really doesn’t help. The atmosphere against Ipswich for instance wasn’t great. Looking at it, the players have done nothing wrong and when they are out there on the pitch, there are trying their best and it would be nice if some fans put the off-the-field stuff to one side and got behind the team.

Lots of our players are young and some are on loan and they need all the support they can get. I do remember being a young player at Liverpool when the club were going through a rebuilding period when a lot of young lads were coming through.


At a club used to winning things, it was a bit of a change and the crowd weren’t always supportive and that was a tough time, especially as a young kid with fans booing and shouting.

That’s football at times and what I will say is that fans are always entitled to their opinions to say what they want and the game is a release for people.

But for the sake of the team, if we could just focus our energies on getting behind the team a bit more, especially early on in the game, I’m sure it will give the players a bit of a lift to spur them on.

When I played at Leeds and even when things weren’t going well for us, what you could say is that the fans were always great.

Players sometimes need a little bit of help. At the moment, it doesn’t look like many Leeds players want to get on the ball and make things happen. A bit of positive noise and cheering might give some of the young lads that little bit of confidence to get on the ball a bit more.

I do think we’ve gone a little long at times recently from back to front, rather than building up through the midfield. Whether that’s because people don’t get on the ball and there are a few nerves.

Let’s galvanise the players. Some do look a bit nervous from what I’ve seen. Not everyone, Snoddy has seen plenty of the ball and is always trying to do his bit.

But most of the others haven’t really had that confidence to get on the ball and dictate things as much as they can. Other midfield’s are getting on top of us at the minute rather than the other way around. And let’s face it, a lot of games are won in midfield. If we dictate to teams, we’ll win more than we lose.

At the end, even though we’ve not been playing great, we’re still in with a good shout in the Championship, having taken seven points from our last nine.

The league is very open and while getting the top two might be tough, I definitely think if we can keep the home form together and nick a few points away, the play-offs are a definite possibility.

We’re not in the worst position, to say we aren’t playing great, are we..?

We’ve obviously brought in Fabian Delph and I think Fab’s a great signing. He’s not had that much game-time at Villa recently, but I think he’s a fit lad anyway. He had a quiet game against Ipswich, but like anything, it can take a bit of time to settle again.

But he knows the place inside out and hopefully he can get us ticking. I think we needed someone like him who can go and get the ball off the back four and win a tackle and start attacks.

I’m sure there will be more business to be done still in this window. I don’t know that, but I am sure there will be.

The fans still want us to bring in a couple more players to get excited about, that’s for sure.

It’s alright bringing loan players in, but I do think the fans want us to bring in a few players for the longer term who will excite them a little bit.

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Sheffield Wednesday won the reverse fixture 3-0 earlier this season.

Leeds United v Sheffield Wednesday: Seven things you need to know