Date:Sunday March 25 2012
I made the trip to the New Den on Saturday to see if Leeds United could make a positive response following the nightmare in midweek.
As usual, those of us who made the trip got to see a totally different Leeds performance to the one witnessed by many four days earlier.
Here is my fans view of the player`s performance.
He had a fairly easy afternoon apart from the penalty save. He came out and made a couple of punch clearances under pressure but most of Millwall`s efforts were from long-range. A great save to keep out Henderson from the spot and a great response after conceding seven in midweek.
He was taken out of the centre of defence and he had a fairly easy afternoon. Came into the centre and helped out in the centre when required.
He had a steady game in the centre of defence and the fact Millwall were limited to very few efforts on goal showed the hard work by the Leeds defence. A stupid booking that will now see him miss the next two games.
A rare start for Bruce and a first in the centre of defence under Warnock. I always felt he was struggling against Henderson if Millwall had of got the ball into the middle. Put his body on the line and took a blow to the head for his troubles that saw him sporting a blood stained shirt and a huge blob of Vaseline on his head.
He was not troubled by a speedy winger in this game, so he did not have to worry about a lack of pace. The fact Millwall were unable to unload balls into the middle, showed that the full backs did a decent job.
He had a fairly quiet game and was going to be substituted before suffering a injury to his ankle just past the hour.
He struggled to get involved in the first half in a very untidy 45 minutes from both sides. Both Brown and Clayton took more control in midfield in the second half, which allowed Leeds take more control of the game.
He was definitely the pick of the Leeds central midfielders and put his stamp on the game in the second half. Good break through the middle by Clayton started the move for the Leeds goal.
I was a bit concerned when Millwall players surrounded him in the opening minutes after a crunching tackle. I think the fact it was so early in the game might have saved his bacon. A mixed game, at times he looked lethargic and guilty of ball watching and at others, he had plenty of room to run at the Millwall defence. He played his part in the Leeds goal by setting up McCormack.
He won very little all game and once again looked off the pace. A week now for him to recharge his batteries, as I doubt Warnock would leave him out for either Forssell or Paynter.
McCormack 8 Star Man
As Warnock said, he was a nuisance to the Millwall defence. Deservedly scored and he could have had more. He really should have put the game out of the reach of Millwall when he shot straight at Maik Taylor from close range late on.
Usually a goal for McCormack leads to a run of goals so hoping this is the start of a good run between now and the end of the season.
He looked lively enough and gave us much more than White had. He came close to scoring but Snodgrass got in the way of his close range shot.
He was brought on late in the game to run down the clock.
After such a poor performance in midweek, you might have expected to see quite a few changes but Warnock made just the one change.
We saw the tough team to break down that Warnock has instilled since arrival (apart from Forest) and to come away from Millwall with a rare three points and a clean sheet says a lot about the response.
He showed his experience and cunningness in stoppage time. After deciding to substitute Bruce for Connolly, McCormack was seen talking to the bench and suddenly finding himself on the opposite side of the pitch. By the time Bruce had reached the touchline, Warnock had a change of heart and no guesses who came off instead.
It certainly wasn`t a pretty game and the first half was shocking. I think had I done this last night the scores might have been lower but when you consider what happened in midweek and where we were on Saturday you must praise the performance of all.
Millwall is never an easy place for Leeds to go, so to go there and keep a clean sheet and claim the three points is a huge pat on the back for all.
Somehow, we are just three points outside the play-offs. All we can do is keep going. Have to take three points off Watford as we then face a trip to Reading the week after. 'If` we beat Watford, there is a good chance that we could put pressure on the sides above us before they play on Saturday with our game at Reading on the Friday.
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Date:Sunday March 25 2012
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