GIVEN the history, it was always going to be a difficult game at Cardiff on Saturday. But it was still disappointing.
I thought for periods in the game we did okay but getting that consistency for 90 minutes – we just seem to struggle putting it all together.
It was Neil Redfearn’s first game in permanent charge and that will have been a different ball game to being caretaker.
It is more challenging being manager or head coach on a full-time basis because the onus is on you to keep everybody in the squad happy.
But Neil is experienced enough to do that, I think.
The good thing from United’s point of view is he knows the players, but it will be interesting now after that first game against Cardiff just to see what line-up he plays tomorrow night against Charlton – one of his former clubs.
That takes on the mantle as a really important game now but Charlton are going well and it won’t be an easy game.
Then we have got Blackpool at Elland Road on Saturday and these next two home games are going to be important as it would be nice to pick up six points before the international break.
It would be a great confidence boost for the squad, but in order to do that, we’ve definitely got to improve at both ends of the pitch.
The third goal at Cardiff on Saturday was a bit of a shambles.
But even aside from that, I felt Cardiff had too much space in the box and they had a couple of chances and headers.
In general terms, we still look like conceding goals and we’re not creating enough at the other end to cancel those out.
I thought young Alex Mowatt took his goal really well but the funny thing about it is, when you actually analyse the goal, it was the one really positive bit of play from anybody in our team.
Mowatt picked the ball up on the halfway line, he went by a couple of people, played in Souleymane Doukara, continued his run into the box and took his goal well.
But other than that, we did not see enough of that I don’t think – people actually attacking defenders and putting them under pressure.
When you take players out of the game and go by people like Alex did then, it just goes to show what you can achieve.
Going back to Neil, I think giving the head coach’s job to him is the right decision by Massimo Cellino.
He knows the football club inside out, he knows a lot of the players and he’s just got to find the right balance in the team he picks and that’s what he’ll be striving to do.
Because I don’t think anybody at the club – including Neil himself at the moment – knows what the best starting XI is.
We’re still trying to formulate who’s best playing with who and while we played with three strikers on Saturday, it never really worked.
I also still think there’s a lack of width to put defenders under pressure. You look at Cardiff’s team and it was full of width.
That width has got to come from somewhere for us and you’ll never keep creating chances going through the middle of the park all the time.
It’s too congested in there and that bit of width pulls people around, draws defenders out and drags midfield players into wide areas.
We’re down to 19th in the table now but I think we’re a bit early in the season to start talking about relegation battles, but it is vital we start picking up some points.
Six from the next two games would be nice and if we do that then we are in a healthier position.
But we have to do much better than we did in Wales.
I don’t think we performed well enough on Saturday to merit getting anything out of the game.
I know Neil is still yet to name his assistant but one thing is for certain – it will not be me!
I’m okay just now doing what I’m doing. I’m fine.
I think Neil knows who he wants so we’ll wait to see who it is who comes in.
I just hope that everything works out for Neil and that he’s successful.
I wish him all the best.