Some of the criticism of Saturday’s attendance at Elland Road was a bit unfair.
I saw Neil Kilkenny’s comments about how he used to play in front of 30,000 when he was a Leeds United player and I thought they were slightly naughty. On that sort of weekend for that sort of fixture, it’s wrong to pick fault with a crowd of 18,000 against Bristol City.
Our fans travel from all over the country – all over the world, in fact – to get to Leeds and when you think of the number of postponements on Saturday, it’s surprising that so many turned out at Elland Road.
Bristol City only brought a couple of hundred and in the end our crowd was the third highest in the division. We’ve seen very recently that we’re capable of pulling in far higher attendances than that and you can’t judge the situation on one game.
of course there’s been a drop in our attendances in general, I’m not going to deny that. These are tough times and I don’t doubt at all that some people are struggling to afford the cost of following football.
The economy’s in a bad state and when money’s tight, what do you do? More often than not, you cut out life’s little pleasures – of which football has always been one of mine. If times are tough, something has to give.
I’m sure that certain supporters are also feeling the frustration of so many years spent outside the Premier League and I’ve been really pleased to see the club do their bit with some very decent ticket offers – half-season tickets and reduced prices for Sunday’s FA Cup game against Tottenham Hotspur and next month’s league matches against Blackpool and Peterborough United.
The clash with Spurs doesn’t really need selling. They’ll bring some quality players to Elland Road and it’s the type of tie we all love.
But the meetings with Blackpool and Peterborough United are just as important, falling right in the middle of what I think will be a season-defining month for the club.
Around those games we play Cardiff City, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Middlesbrough and Blackburn Rovers. February’s looking very tough.
Our away form does need to improve but Elland Road has been good to the players so far this season and the lads need to ensure that the points continue to keep ticking over there too.
I’m really hopeful that the fans will respond to the offer of cheap tickets and turn out in numbers for Blackpool and Peterborough.
From speaking to some of them in the Pavilion on Saturday, the reduced prices seemed to have gone down really well.
What people are looking for now is the signings we need to finish off the squad before the January transfer window closes.
I still don’t think that Neil Warnock needs a glut of new players and when I talked to him last about it, it didn’t sound like he was aiming for a massive influx; just two or three faces to give him what he wants in all areas.
I can understand the call for another striker and I’d have said the same about a left-back were it not for Aidy White’s last two performances.
He’s looked good and maybe he’s worth a run there.
We might benefit too from another wide player up front but more and more I feel like out-and-out wingers are a dying breed.
They were everywhere in my day but systems and tactics seem to have reduced the stock in the modern game.
If the extra resources arrive then I honestly think we’ll be in the mix at the top of the table.
The league position could be better but it doesn’t look too bad either and the same goes for the squad.
It’s a big ask to get promoted from the Championship but it’s a big ask for a lot of clubs at the moment.
You won’t see any of them throwing in the towel and neither should we.