I’M STAYING positive about this Saturday’s upcoming home clash with Brighton.
We’ve had two losses at home in a row now and the Birmingham game has been lingering in their minds for the past week and a bit. They’ve had plenty to work on, a lot to think about and they’ve got to come up with a plan and a strategy of how to change this form at home.
That’s massively important if we are going to have any kind of push for the play-offs or the top half.
If we don’t beat Brighton it’s a new club record of 11 home games without a victory and that’s something that neither the players or the management or the club and chairman want. You don’t want to be responsible for a bad record that will stand for probably quite a long time. So that’s one incentive to change things but they’ve had two weeks now to try and put a formation together and Will Buckley has had an extra week of training with his new team-mates and to help his fitness. I think the team realise how serious this problem is.
It’s got to change quickly and it’s got to change against Brighton. We’ve got to find a way to win and we’ve got to find a solution and a formation that works at home. Because at the moment the record speaks for itself and something is not right. Something is not working. Everyone has got an opinion on the two up front, on what we should play. Is it 3-5-2? Is it 4-4-2? Is the formation right? Are we just not getting the best out of the players?
But at the same time, while we are not scoring goals, we can’t also be conceding goals and that’s happening too much.
I said last week of course we have got to stick behind Uwe Rosler and I’m not worried about a relegation battle. It’s only early doors in the season and two wins and we talking about a totally different conversation. Granted, it’s not going for us at the moment and it doesn’t look pretty so things have got to change and pretty sharpish. And I’m not talking about managerial changes, I’m talking about the players and the whole club together, sticking by this and making the changes that are needed to get us back in to winning ways and climbing up that table again.
We’ve got to pick ourselves up again and we’ve got to show a little bit more fight and a little bit more belief. We’ve got to get a little bit nastier as a team. I think we’re too nice and I’m not sure what it’s like in the changing room but we’ve got to start demanding more and getting a bit nastier with each other when it comes to match days and on the training ground. We need more winners in that side.
Everybody is hoping and praying that Leeds can turn this around and be as successful as Leeds Rhinos. And what an achievement by them in winning the Grand Final on Saturday and the domestic treble. They are an outstanding bunch of individuals and an outstanding team and to accomplish something like that is a massive plus for them.
They are just proper sportsmen carrying out their job the right way and they have been so consistent this season that I don’t think anybody could take this away from them. If Leeds United need any inspiration for Brighton then it’s there.
Leeds Rhinos are fighters and that’s what we need to do – start fighting back and turn this bad form around into a positive.
Lewis Cook has been busy with England Under-19s this week but I think he will be fine to come straight back to action. He’s just enthusiastic, he loves playing the game and I think being away on international duty is a proud moment for him. He will come back buzzing from being in an international set-up and hopefully that will add a bit more confidence to his game as well. I think he’s been fantastic so far this season and I think he is an inspiration to some of the players around him – his work-rate, his energy, his enthusiasm and his battling qualities, as well as his flair qualities that he’s got. He’ll be fine. He’ll be looked at when he gets back but I’m sure he’ll be wanting to play, for definite.
Stuart Dallas, meanwhile, is heading to Euro 2016 with Northern Ireland and on a personal note, for himself, what an achievement. It’s fantastic for him to be there so he should be coming back to Leeds in great spirits as well on the back of a high there, knowing that he’s going to be in the Euro Championships. For the club it’s great – an international player, someone that is recognised and doing his job for the country. It’s fantastic for the club but it’s more important that he does it for Leeds United.
Lee Erwin has gone out on a one-month loan to Bury and I think that’s the right move for him. Instead of playing under-21s he’s got a month now where he’s playing first team football at a proper tempo and something to play for.
Hopefully that will stand him in good stead. He’ll get some proper match fitness and confidence to his game as well so hopefully he will come back from that in a better way and be pushing for a place in the Leeds United side and if not starting then at least on the bench.
And it’s great that Neil Redfearn is back in management again. I don’t think anybody will begrudge him going to Rotherham and starting his career off again there. It’s just nice to see a very good coach, a very good man back in the game plying his trade. He’ll be coming back to Leeds next month and he’ll get a fantastic reception from everybody and I’m sure everybody at Leeds United including the fans will wish him all the best.