Leeds United Jury: Whites finally back on winning track ahead of daunting trip to Fulham

Pablo Hernandez celebrates scoring Leeds United's second goal against Bolton Wanderers.
Pablo Hernandez celebrates scoring Leeds United's second goal against Bolton Wanderers.
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Our fans’ panel have their say on Leeds United’s 2-1 victory over Bolton Wanderers and look ahead to Tuesday night’s clash at Fulham.

DAVID WATKINS

Well that was better from Leeds and it was a welcome three points to steady the nerves throughout the club and on the terraces.

But, it still wasn’t entirely convincing and the issues that prevented similarly half decent performances against Reading and Sheffield Wednesday recently from also yielding three points, were still there.

Once again we were terrible in front of goal, missing several gilt-edged chances that ought to have buried Bolton well before a nervy four minutes of added time and once again we were caught at the back from a set piece and a lack of close marking that allowed that old thorn in our side Adam Le Fondre to steal in and score at the front post.

Those two failings apart, Leeds were bright and Pablo Hernandez in particular was the star of the show with some awesome touches and first time passes that really ought to have the club drawing up his next contract and getting his signature on it as soon as possible. The question should be “How much do you want Pablo?”.

Caleb Ekuban celebrates his opening goal against Bolton Wanderers.

Caleb Ekuban celebrates his opening goal against Bolton Wanderers.

Next up we face a daunting trip to Craven Cottage on Tuesday and my gut feeling is that, bright as we were on Friday, we will be nowhere near a match for the Cottagers. Having said that, if we could find our shooting boots and start putting away a few of the chances we are now creating, then who knows!

Man of the match: Pablo Hernandez.

SHAUN SMITH

Three players in particular caught the eye as Leeds recorded only their second win of 2018: man-of-the-match Ronaldo Vieira, an i2i academy product, Victor Orta recruit Caleb Ekuban and Pablo Hernandez, approaching 33-years-old and the end of his contract.

The club will need youngsters to step up next season, recruits to shine and quality to remain. The Spanish maestro is still at the root of most of the good things United do and looked as fresh as anyone at the final whistle. Vieira looked like the player we always thought he was and Ekuban hinted that not all last summer’s more speculative buys are write offs. He showed a pace which unsettled defenders and should have left a packed Elland Road with the match ball. Indeed, some of Leeds’ interplay was reminiscent of glowing early-season form, Gjanni Alioski glimmering amongst the bright spots. Yet Bolton refused to be outshone, underlining the need for the Yorkshire club to get the blend right for next season if the club wish to win the glittering prizes. 
The game finished 2-1 as predicted, but it should have been much more comfortable.

Man of the match: Ronaldo Vieira.

MATTHEW EVANS

In Bolton Wanderers, Leeds United finally found an opponent bad enough for them to beat.

It was a blessing that our game kicked off at 3pm on Good Friday and Fulham away isn’t until Tuesday as we could enjoy most of our Easter weekend uninterrupted by this massive waste of time we are faced with until the season’s end.

The performance wasn’t radically different to those we saw against Reading or Sheffield Wednesday and we could have easily drawn or even lost this game on another day.

Gjanni Alioski, Pablo Hernandez and Caleb Ekuban all had a good day and Ronaldo Vieira looked back to his best.

The test for him, and the rest of the side, is now turning up at Craven Cottage tomorrow and putting in a similar performance.

We’re only nine points off the play-offs which is unbelievable on the back of the run we have had but promotion hasn’t seemed quite this distant for a long time.

I still renewed my season ticket late on Friday, mind.

Man of the match: Ronaldo Vieira.

KEITH INGHAM

Leeds recorded a ‘double’ over their Lancashire rivals Bolton 2-1 at packed Elland Road. A goal in the first five minutes of each half was just enough to beat lowly Wanderers.

Leeds were ahead within five minutes, Pierre-Michel Lasogga’s shot was saved but it fell kindly to Caleb Ekuban and he coolly scored his first Championship goal. Leeds should have at least doubled their lead but the lively Gjanni Alioski wasted a ‘golden’ chance when through on goal and in first half injury time, Pontus Jansson hit the bar.

There was no snow this time after the interval but there was another goal, Alioski moving in from the wing to unleash a powerful shot that the keeper knocked into the air, Pablo Hernandez was quickest to react and tap home. Unfortunately, Leeds didn’t have it all their own way as the visitors scored within minutes, Adam Le Fondre guiding a header past Bailey Peacock-Farrell. Will Buckley then should have levelled matters but headed wide and Leeds held on to register a very important win for their fans and a delighted head coach.

Man of the match: Pablo Hernandez.

MIKE GILL

The biggest and one of the quietest crowds of the season witnessed Paul Heckingbotom’s side register only their second victory for the former Barnsley man.

Any other result against an unimpressive Bolton Wanderers side would have been a travesty. Caleb Ekuban opened the scoring for the Whites and his delight was palpable at scoring his first Championship goal.

Sadly, he was to squander two one-on-one chances later in the game. Pierre-Michel Lasogga and Gjanni Alioski were also responsible for missing sitters during the game.

Pablo Hernandez scored a second for United on 50 minutes from an Alioski rebound and United should have coasted home to a comfortable victory.

They were prevented from doing this by Adam Le Fondre who pulled one back three minutes later to set up a nervous finish.

However, a win is a win but Heckingbottom needs a few more to ensure that he will be involved in next season’s plans.

Man of the match: Pablo Hernandez.

Sky Bet Championship.'Reading FC v Leeds United'United's head coach Paul Heckingbottom.'9th March 2018.'Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

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