New addition brilliant and Leeds United must have big eye on what is lurking in December - Tony Dorigo

Leeds United’s performance in Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur left me encouraged but also disappointed.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 4:45 am

I thought we played extremely well in the first half and you could see the confidence emanating from the previous game against Leicester.

United’s display in the 1-1 draw at home to Leicester was the first time we had put together a full 90-minute performance this season and we were coming back to our old ourselves.

I saw that same kind of swagger in the first 45 minutes against Tottenham.

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'WONDERFUL': Nineteen-year-old Leeds United forward Joe Gelhardt controls the ball under pressure from Sergio Reguilon during Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur. Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images.

Was I surprised? I probably was a little bit surprised because we had Raphinha and Rodrigo out on top of all the others being out. It made you think the game was going to be a tough ask.

But I suppose you have to balance the first half with the fact that Tottenham are still trying to get used to new boss Antonio Conte’s methods.

Spurs sat off so much in the first half and I felt you could see their players trying to just think about what they had been told and their instructions rather than just going in and playing the game.

As well as we did, I thought Spurs looked like they were still trying to get to grips with what Conte wanted.

In the second half, they just played further up the pitch. They engaged us higher up, started to dominate that midfield area and that’s when we started to struggle, unfortunately.

I still felt like we created chances which was a positive but, despite everything, we came away with nothing which is what the disappointment is about.

The defeat left us fourth-bottom and only two points above the drop zone but, to me, it’s all about just getting our players back fit and, with a full-strength squad, we will be absolutely fine.

I don’t know where we will end up in the table but, as long as it’s away from the bottom three, I don’t really care at this point in time.

At the start of the season, I said 13th, 14th, something like that and I still don’t think that is going to be too far away but, obviously, we need to get our players back as soon as we can.

The ones that came in on Sunday did extremely well and Joe Gelhardt was wonderful.

You just have to think about how many times he hit the target.

He was in the box, he was causing problems, the keeper had to make a few saves from him and he showed some great touches, good strength and brought others into play.

At times, he was probably doing a bit too much as I saw him at left-back the once and at right-back the other time.

He won’t pass on his duties in marking a player until he knows that someone else has got him.

I thought he was brilliant, he produced an all-round very good display and the only thing that was missing was a goal.

But, if he keeps playing like that, he is going to be an asset to us.

We are back on the road to Brighton on Saturday before Tuesday’s clash against Crystal Palace at Elland Road and these next two games are huge because we know what is coming in December.

Brentford at home is followed by trips to Chelsea and Manchester City before Arsenal at home, Liverpool away and then Aston Villa at home to end the month.

That is a tough run of fixtures although I thought the Tottenham game was going to be an extremely tough one.

We didn’t get anything out of it but we certainly could have done and, a lot of times, these games don’t go to plan however you look at the fixture list.

But the next two games are important for lots of reasons.

Brighton were flying at the start but not now. They have hit the buffers a little bit.

But they are a really good footballing side and we were poor down there last season when we fell to a 2-0 defeat at the start of May.

We weren’t too great and we need to put that right.

I just think the last couple of games will have given the lads a lot more confidence.

We are playing a lot better and we should be going to Brighton looking to take the points.

Palace are another team that we would have been expected to have been in and around at the start of the season.

These are the teams that we need to make sure we don’t lose to and, at home, you are expected to win.

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Thank you Laura Collins