Rotherham United is the sort of game that Leeds United could easily take for granted. We’ve had two wins on the bounce and they’re well out of form so the odds are clearly in our favour.
Rotherham will be hoping to encounter that sort of complacency. It’s one of the factors which could swing Saturday’s match in their favour but I can’t see Leeds falling into that trap. This is a hard game, albeit one that we should be looking to win. And there’s plenty at stake.
We’ve got Neil Redfearn coming back as Rotherham manager to face his old club. We’ve got Steve Evans as Leeds boss against the side he left two months ago. Opposition players know each of them inside out and for that reason it’s an intriguing contest.
I’d hope that our confidence is on the up after wins over Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town because it deserves to be. But to be complacent would be to read too much into those results.
We were the better side against Cardiff and Alex Mowatt picked them off with a quality goal. All the same, it was a tough scrap and quite tense in parts.
Huddersfield was a strange match. It looks on paper like a 3-0 victory was a case of Leeds winning easily but that wasn’t really the case.
There was nothing in the game, apart from three superb finishes.
That for me has been a recent highlight – the standard of the goals we’re producing. It’s no secret that in the early part of the season we were struggling at that end of the field.
We weren’t creating much and we were finishing even less.
We know all about Mowatt’s left foot and he’ll serve up a few blistering strikes this season but the first two goals at Huddersfield were what really caught the eye.
They were team goals, precision moves and almost impossible to defend against. Those moments will be a massive boost for the team because they know now that they’ve got that threat in their locker.
Essentially, Huddersfield didn’t have our quality up front, or not on the day at any rate.
The fact is that teams who score goals win games and that’s been the major difference for us.
Yes, the clean sheets are very important and defensively we had to improve but you get nowhere in the Championship if you can’t find the net.
Regardless of whether the team played well at Huddersfield, the players looked like a genuinely dangerous side.
Evans will make all of these points to them I’m sure. He’ll highlight the good things but he’ll speak about the flaws as well.
There’s no way he’ll want to be caught short this weekend. No manager ever likes losing but nothing annoys them more than losing to a former club.
It’ll be interesting to see how things go over the next month. It feels like we’ve turned a bit of a corner and I reckon the squad will be feeling as good as they have in a long time.
You really have to go back to the end of August to find a stage where we were in any sort of form and the win away at Derby County seems many moons ago now.
It’s obvious that Evans wants to bring some new players in and we’ll see what happens before the loan deadline next week. I definitely agree that we need to add a couple to what we’ve got already but recruitment doesn’t feel quite so urgent as it did a month ago.
A few lads have stepped up to the plate and put themselves forward again.
Maybe the threat of new signings helped them to raise their game.
If players arrive now, it won’t do any harm at all. But if they don’t, the good thing is that the January window opens in four or five weeks’ time and your options are always much better in that market than they are in the emergency loan window.
The good thing about the last couple of games is that they’ve eased the tension around the club and removed the temptation to panic.