LUFC - Leeds on the up since Hereford wake up call
It seems a long time ago now that on a cold Tuesday night in Hereford in mid February Leeds looked far from a side that had any chance of being in the promotion mix at the end of the season.
The Whites fans who had all been discussing the fact that Leeds required some major activity in the January transfer window were left disappointed when only Richard Naylor and Mike Grella were added to the squad.
After the Hereford defeat just over a fortnight later it left Leeds four points outside the Play Offs and having played two games more than the team occupying sixth.
The Whites fans were beginning to settle for another season in League One and were already questioning the judgement of the new manager Simon Grayson with chants of "You don`t know what your doing" and others that cannot possibly be printed!
After the game a disgusted Grayson locked the players in the dressing room for almost an hour and it now seems he told them a few home truths and gave them the dressing down they had needed for most of the season.
Since that night, which seems such a long time ago now Leeds have played nine games they have won seven and drawn two.
This run of results sees them sit safely in the Play Off positions, with games running out any chance of automatic promotion are looking very slim.
A lot of credit must also be given to Grayson`s coaching staff, Ian Miller joined at the same time as Grayson, Neil Thompson was already at the club and former Whites defender Glynn Snodin finally joined the club at the start of February, Snodin came to Leeds with a fantastic reputation after spells at Doncaster Rovers, Charlton Athletic and West Ham and is the current number two to Nigel Worthington at Northern Ireland.
Since then Leeds defence has started to look a lot more solid, Rui Marques is getting close to being back to the form he showed before Christmas last season, Jonathan Douglas has provided excellent cover at right back whilst Frazer Richardson and Andy Hughes have been injured and youngster Ben Parker has been enjoying a good spell in the side at left back.
Further up the field players who had struggled to make an impression all season are suddenly looking good, Robert Snodgrass is probably the most consistent player in the side.
Neil Kilkenny who came to Leeds in January 2008 and had yet to live up to the reputation he joined the club with, he was close to leaving in January and joining Brighton, he`s been in the side for the last month and is looking a much better player than we had seen before.
Youngster Jon Howson broke into the side last season and was earning a fantastic reputation at the club, he had looked a shadow of the player we had seen last season until Grayson once again gave him a chance when Douglas switched to defence. Since then we are once again seeing the player who was a huge fans favourite last season.
The final pieces of the jigsaw came when Leeds signed defender Sam Sodje and goalkeeper Darryl Flahavan on the final day of the loan transfer window.
We have yet to see Flahavan play due to injury but once fit he will certainly be keeping current number one Casper Ankergren on his toes.
Sodje has played in both games since his arrival, he`s a big commanding defender who wins almost everything in the air and with Richard Naylor alongside him we are looking far more solid at the back.
On top of all this the reserve side are on an eight match winning run which has seen them move firmly in contention for the Totesport.com central league title.
It may still not happen this season, although we are all hoping it does but at last the future at Elland Road looks much brighter under the stewardship of Simon Grayson and his staff.
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