Date:Sunday February 26 2012
I was in the hot seat on Saturday for the trip to Portsmouth as Leeds started life under Neil Warnock with a goalless draw.
He had very little to do but made one sharp save to deny Portsmouth in the second half.
His afternoon last just ten minutes as he was forced off through injury.
Whilst we managed to keep a clean sheet, O`Dea and Lees are struggling at the centre of the Leeds defence. Warnock desperately needs to bring in a centre back to replace one of these.
His game is going downhill quicker than slalom skier. He was very fortunate to get away with a clear handball in the first half and he looks shockingly low on confidence. Early on in the season, he would quite happily control a ball in defence and looked for a colleague. Now he treats the ball like a hot potato and it is I must hit it first time philosophy. Problem is the ball goes anywhere and usually into touch.
He is definitely not a left back and he was quite fortunate that he didn`t really have anyone attacking him down the left hand side.
A few decent runs and he came very close to scoring his first Leeds goal in the first half. I cannot quite understand why we play a naturally left footed player on the right wing.
He looked much better. Closing down, snapping into the tackle and getting in some very important blocks.
Brown 7 Star Man
Is this the new Brown under Neil Warnock? His best game in a Leeds shirt by a country mile, since signing in the summer. Along with Clayton, they both worked tirelessly in midfield, tackling, closing down, blocking and harassing the Portsmouth midfield. Their hard work attributed more to the clean sheet than a still shaky defence.
I am all for Snodgrass being given the role that he has under new boss Warnock but it just did not work. He was getting more and more frustrated as the ball sailed over his head for the majority of the game as Leeds hit the ball long for Becchio. He is our most creative and dangerous player on the pitch so give the ball to his feet and let him do some damage. We might as well leave him out wide with these tactics.
Another player like Snodgrass who was wasted on the left side. Whenever he got the ball, he looked dangerous but that was rare. He was very unlucky not to open the scoring when his shot looked like it had crossed the line after hitting the underside of the bar.
He was definitely the target man as the ball was aimed at him throughout the afternoon. He was up against a big and physical Portsmouth defence and he rarely won a header in an attacking position all afternoon. He had a great chance to open the scoring but in all fairness, it was a good save,
He was in the action very early on after Bruce was forced off. He had a steady game and could have opened the scoring late on when he was in space. I actually like Bromby and he was often made the scapegoat in defence under Simon Grayson when we conceded. He may get an extended run in the side now with Bruce struggling with an injury, as it does not look like Smith will be at Elland Road for much longer.
A game we really needed to take three points from if we are to get into the play-off places.
Unbelievably we are still only four points outside the play-off places.
We managed a clean sheet but the defence is still a major worry and unless we get somebody in before next weekend then I think Southampton will make us pay. Michael Brown and Adam Clayton did really well in the centre and they were largely responsible for the clean sheet as Portsmouth rarely got into a position to create an attack.
The one thing we have lacked for a very long time is a bit of passion and courage. Despite dropping points, at least we looked more like a team trying than one just turning up and going through the motions.
The next four games against Southampton, Hull, Middlesbrough and West Ham are now massive if we are to have any chance of reaching the play offs. Six points as to be a minimum but in all honesty, two wins and two draws is needed, which is a very tall ask.
Overall, a few positives to be taken from the day, but for me Warnock must now start building for next season.
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Date:Sunday February 26 2012
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