Leeds United: Five things we learned from Nottingham Forest draw

Liam Bridcutt.
Liam Bridcutt.
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Leeds United dominated the game against Nottingham Forest on Sunday but could only come away from the City Ground with a draw.

Here are five things we learned from that game:

Steve Evans’ methods, questioned at first, have improved the team

When Steve Evans was appointed there was an outcry from the majority of fans. One stick that was used to beat him was the perception that his teams played ‘long-ball’ football. Early performances suggested that was the case, not least the staggering home defeat against Blackburn Rovers. Since then, displays have improved considerably. Leeds’ movement against Nottingham Forest was exceptional at times, and the manner in which they dominated possession in the first-half showed that Evans has other tricks up his sleeve. It feels as though there is a big win brewing, judging by recent performances.

Liam Bridcutt must be signed permanently next month

If Evans’ work on the training ground is having an affect, his judgement in the transfer market has also been shown to be relatively sound. The arrival of Liam Bridcutt on loan from Sunderland has had a huge impact on the way Leeds play. Bridcutt shields the defence brilliantly and dictates play from deep well. The manner in which he was spraying the ball around the field on Sunday also showed his vision. He is unwanted at Sunderland, and Leeds would be foolish not to make the 26-year-old a permanent member of the squad when the transfer window opens on January 1.

Moments of madness still define Giuseppe Bellusci

It must be a tough job being a defender. A backline can be comfortable for an entire game barring one moment, and that moment can come to haunt you when the final whistle blows. That is the unfortunate reality of playing in that position, and it is why it demands more concentration than anywhere else on the field. Giuseppe Bellusci has been impressive in recent weeks but his mistake cost Leeds the three points on Sunday. Without the error, United would have walked away with a single goal victory. Bellusci can be fantastic but until he rids his game of errors it will be difficult to fully trust him in the team.

Scott Wootton has made the right-back berth his own

Scott Wootton has often been derided since joining Leeds United, but he is increasingly showing himself to be a solid player in a tricky position. Admittedly Wootton has benefited from the suspension and injury suffered by Gaetano Berardi. However, his run of nine starts means he is an effective part of a Leeds side that have gone five games without defeat. It has to be remembered that the defender had only played 33 games before he joined Leeds - at 24-years-old, he may still be improving.

Back to his best, Sam Byram looks like a Premier League player again

Contract dispute or not, there is no doubt Sam Byram was out of form at the start of the campaign. It was a real shame because his displays at the tail-end of last season suggested he was getting better and better at playing in his role on the wing. Three goals in three games shows Byram is back to his best, his strike a beauty that any goalkeeper would have struggled to stop. There were several references to Gareth Bale on social media after the game, and while many were rightfully dismissive of the comparisons, the fact the conversation is even being had in the first place shows how far Byram has come since August.

Pontus Jansson heads in the winner against Norwich. PIC: Simon Hulme

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