Leeds United: The only way has got to be up after hitting rock bottom - Lorimer

Brian McDermott. PIC: Simon Hulme
Brian McDermott. PIC: Simon Hulme
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Deep down I’m hoping that this is rock bottom for Leeds United.

We’ve had a horrible time and everyone’s taking pot-shots but after Massimo Cellino’s takeover and a win over Blackpool, you’d like to think that this is us starting to fight back.

You can’t make too much of the result against Blackpool because they’re in a really bad way, and Leeds should always be winning games like that at Elland Road. That’s my view anyway.

But our form’s been so poor recently that any victory is welcome, and no team in the world – no matter how bad things are off the field – can justify losing every week.

I’ve got sympathy for the manager and the players because of everything that’s gone on these past three or four months but, at the end of the day, performances and results on the ‘green baize’ still need to reach a certain level.

No amount of unrest justifies eight defeats from nine or one win in 12.

The players and staff get paid good money and they’ve shown before that they’re good at what they do.

It’s pretty obvious that the squad’s not strong enough to make the play-offs but this season should have been better.

Very soon, all thoughts will turn towards the summer and planning for the future. Now that we’ve got a new owner – someone who seems to have money – we can actually discuss signings and so on without feeling like it’s all immaterial.

Gulf Finance House said many times that administration was never a threat here but we only had the bank’s word for that. If we’re judging by how things looked from the outside, it’s hard to see how we’d have avoided massive trouble if Cellino’s takeover hadn’t gone through.

I remember the administration summer of 2007 and it was dreadful. It took the club a long, long time to recover and the last thing we needed after 10 seasons outside the Premier League was another crisis which set us back for another two or three years.

For the first time in ages I felt quite relaxed at Elland Road on Saturday and the atmosphere was calm and easy-going. I hope it’s a sign that we’ve reached the bottom of the curve and are now on the road to recovery.

Brian McDermott hasn’t spoken much about what he wants to do with the squad – provided he stays on as manager of course – but, in my opinion, we’re looking at major surgery this summer.

Saying that will frustrate some people because I’m sure we were talking in the same terms a year ago. I remember Neil Warnock using that phrase before he made all his signings in 2012.

Brian’s brought in a few players and, in truth, some of them have struggled. But he also inherited lots of others and I can see what a difficult job the club are going to have in drastically changing things around.

If you’re a player at Leeds and not getting a game, it stands to reason that by moving on you’ll have to drop down to a smaller club and probably earn less money. So when you think about it, anyone in that position with a year left on their deal at Elland Road will be quite tempted to stick around and take what they can get.

I’m not passing judgement on that. It’s easy to say that footballers should look to play football but they have to protect themselves financially too.

But when I look through the squad and see how many players are here – some who’ve hardly been involved this season – I start to see the size of the job Cellino’s taken on.

The pleasing thing for me is that the supporters I speak to don’t seem to think that a quick fix is realistic.

They’re very enthusiastic about Cellino but they know themselves that he’s got a huge challenge on his hands.

He says he’s looking at a two-year timescale for getting the club promoted and that sounds sensible.

I actually think it’ll be a big achievement if he delivers on that.

But at least we’ve got a green light at last and a light at the end of the tunnel.

And if we’re all of the view that it will take Cellino a couple of years to get it right here, a bit of patience will let him do it in his own time.

This has been a quiet, positive week – and how long is it since we last said that?

Paul Heckingbottom.

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