'Not good enough' - Leeds United supporters on January demand, warning to rivals and Boro's fans

Leeds United have now won their last six games at Elland Road – but some of the club’s fans are sounding notes of caution ahead of the bid for seven on the spin.
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Here is what our YEP Jury have had to say on Wednesday night’s 3-1 victory against Swansea City and Saturday’s visit of Middlesbrough including a Championship warning, observation about Boro’s fans and a January sale demand of a ‘not good enough’ Whites player.

ANDY RHODES

It feels a bit like Leeds United are now really hitting their stride under Daniel Farke. United are the most in-form side in the Championship over the last five games and, had it not been for the draw at Rotherham last week, would find themselves within two wins of the top two.

RESPECT: For Middlesbrough and boss Michael Carrick, above, from Leeds United's fans. Photo by Ryan Hiscott/Getty Images.RESPECT: For Middlesbrough and boss Michael Carrick, above, from Leeds United's fans. Photo by Ryan Hiscott/Getty Images.
RESPECT: For Middlesbrough and boss Michael Carrick, above, from Leeds United's fans. Photo by Ryan Hiscott/Getty Images.
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The Whites’ home form has been key to their success, with only Ipswich Town boasting a better record. Leeds will need their quality to shine at Elland Road again as they welcome an in-form Middlesbrough side tomorrow. Boro are fresh from brushing aside fellow play-off chasers Preston North End 4-0 on Tuesday and will pose a considerable threat again. Sam Greenwood has been a key part of the visitors’ success this season, but he will be ineligible against his parent club.

For Farke, it will be important to manage the game time of his key men. Pascal Struijk, Georginio Rutter, Dan James and Crysencio Summerville were all crucial to Tuesday’s win against Swansea City and were all withdrawn in the second half. The Swansea win eventually looked comfortable but, as we all know, games against Boro are rarely straightforward.

Prediction: Leeds United 3 Middlesbrough 1.

KEITH INGHAM

When I first started supporting Leeds, games with Saturday’s opponents Middlesbrough always had an ‘edge’ to them. Their fans don’t seem to be keen on us and their players are always up for a battle. Middlesbrough will want to end our unbeaten home run for sure.

When it’s a three-game week you hope by the third game you’ve still got the majority of your preferred starting XI. Daniel Farke brought back Sam Byram and Pascal Struijk into the defence and without doubt it looks a better unit with these two players in it, defensively and offensively. I’m afraid the Leeds journey for Junior Firpo needs to end in January – he just isn’t good enough.

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Middlesbrough thrashed Preston North End 4-0 and now are only three points behind Hull City, the team in sixth place. Michael Carrick is starting to turn their fortunes around and they might be one of the teams that claim a play-off spot if their form continues. As always I’m very hopeful of a win but with Boro in decent form it might be a very tight game with only a goal between the teams. I think Leeds will edge it.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Middlesbrough 1.

DAVID WATKINS

In general this season, Leeds United have followed their script pretty well and, once again, on Wednesday night we despatched another very ordinary-looking team without too much drama once that manic first minute was over.

The visit of Middlesbrough looks, on the face of it, a more daunting challenge but it’s one that we really must win if we are to continue to try to catch the runaway top two. Leicester City stumbled this week giving up a one-goal lead at Sheffield Wednesday and they face a tough-looking trip to West Brom while we are hosting the Boro. It’s potentially another great chance to gain on the Foxes.

Middlesbrough have found some form lately and in no small part due to the efforts of our own Sam Greenwood who has scored four times in recent weeks while on loan at the Riverside. Last time out Boro thrashed one-time pacesetters Preston 4-0 but before that, they lost 3-2 at Bristol City. They also helped Leeds’ chase of Leicester enormously by defeating the Foxes 1-0 with one of Greenwood’s special free-kicks. Boro sit 10th in the table but a win at Elland Road could propel them into the top six. I’m being cautious with this one!

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Middlesbrough 2.

NEIL GREWER

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Having watched Middlesbrough’s last game against Preston North End I believe this match will be a stern test. Boro looked good and patiently waited to carve open the Preston defence. Leeds will need to stay alert and not display the overconfidence which resulted in the concession of an avoidable goal at Rotherham United.

At least we will not have to deal with a certain Sam Greenwood who has been impressing recently, although he only featured late on against Preston. Remarkably, we have a full squad available for selection, with the exception of Stuart Dallas (we never expected him to be fit anyway) although I expect a few will not be 100 per cent fit.

Pascal Struijk fitted seamlessly back into the defence at Rotherham when required and then against Swansea City, and he will be key in this fixture. Sam Byram being available is another boost. Following the comfortable Swansea victory confidence is high but we will need to improve on the Swansea performance where again, like Rotherham, finishing was not a strong point.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Middlesbrough 1.

MIKE GILL

It was a heartwarming win against Swansea City at a sub zero Elland Road – all four goals were quality and three of them were enjoyable! Daniel Farke’s men showed grit and resilience after their early setback and for once looked as if they were out of danger as soon as their second went in.

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When Georginio Rutter, Dan James, Crysencio Summerville and Joel Piroe are in that kind of form they take some stopping. Tomorrow’s visitors Middlesbrough are a different prospect though. Their board has backed their manager Michael Carrick and they are once again expected to be challenging for a play-off place.

Consistency has been a problem for them and they have had a patchy November, drawing with Plymouth, losing to Bristol City but beating Leicester before hammering four goals without reply against fellow play-off hopefuls Preston. Boro will therefore come to LS11 in confident mood and with some noisy fans to back them. Thankfully, Sam Greenwood is not allowed to play against his parent club and the way he has been performing this season, it’s rather as well. Nevertheless Boro have enough talent to make a serious challenge.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Middlesbrough 1.