Leeds United: Changes at Bolton the right move for Leeds – Gray

Sam Byram. PIC: Tony Johnson
Sam Byram. PIC: Tony Johnson
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The first thing I’ve got to say about Saturday’s draw at Bolton is that I thought Leeds thoroughly deserved it.

I think we were the better team in the second half, I thought they played reasonably well throughout the game and it’s one of the best performances I’ve seem from them in a while.

Neil Redfearn changed the side, switching Sam Byram further up the pitch down the right-hand side of midfield and that worked very well. And we made a few chances towards the end of the game.

Bolton had their chances as well and the way Bolton have been playing at home it was always going to be a difficult game.

But we got the early goal which gave us a big boost through the penalty kick and for long periods of the game, particularly in the first half, it looked as if we would see the game through.

Unfortunately for us, they got the penalty kick at the start of the second half which levelled it up and after that is was sort of evens stevens. But I thought we played the better football and we were dominating territory in a way.

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I thought young Lewis Cook was terrific again in midfield, I thought Luke Murphy played well and the team played well in general. But the outstanding player was Sam Byram who I felt played very well down that right side. He caused them a lot of problems running with the ball and it seemed to suit him.

Sam did well the last time we were up at Bolton when he also played further forward for that game. He’s definitely got the talent to play there and I thought he played extremely well on Saturday.

It was a good performance from the team as a whole and I think Neil will be pleased with his players. It’s encouraging but we did the same thing against Nottingham Forest and then we went and lost our home games. It’s important now that we build on that and go out and get results in our next two home games which are certainly not going to be easy.

We are playing against a Birmingham side that have picked up and are playing very well and they had a good win against Wigan on Saturday. Then we have got Bournemouth in midweek now that the game has been brought forward. We have got two games at home where we have got to go out and do our utmost to pick six points up because not many results went for us on Saturday.

Brighton won away but we have just got to keep plugging away and once you get a good result like that at Bolton you’ve got to make sure that the next time you go out at home you pick the three points up.

That’s got to be vital for us because you look at the league and we are still in a precarious position though I’m sure Neil will have taken a lot of positives out of the game at Bolton.

The team looked balanced but will it be the same at home if he only plays one up front and two wide players?

Because teams sit a little bit deeper in those games and make it a little bit more difficult though we were good at hitting Bolton on the break on Saturday. Lewis Cook has got pace, Sam Byram has got pace and they were getting ahead quite quickly which didn’t suit Bolton. The home games are always a little bit more difficult from our point of view and it will be interesting to see if Neil sticks to the same formation and same team. I think he will though I think if Stephen Warnock is fit he would come back into the side. Charlie Taylor has done well and that’s no reflection on Charlie Taylor. But Stephen Warnock just gives you that little bit more experience in there.

Other than that, I would imagine Neil will play the same team against Birmingham.

There’s also been a lot of talk about Luciano Becchio coming back and it’s been a while since Luciano has been at the football club. Things never really worked out for him when he left the club but he was an iconic figure when he was here and he was a top player for Leeds United. Hopefully, if things did materialise and he did come back the move would galvanise him and galvanise us.

I’ve not seen him play for a while and he’s not played a lot of football in the last couple of seasons but it would definitely appeal from a romantic point of view.