Date:Friday April 6 2012
Tim Steere writes his weekly article for Vital Leeds United and this week he looks back at the performance against Watford last weekend and what lies ahead.
After being present at the debacle that was the Watford game, it`s enough to turn any optimistic Leeds fan away from the idea that promotion is a possibility.
I have never been bored at a football match until Saturday.
Sitting with my dad in the South Stand, we got off our seats in a moment of excitement just once. That was when Nunez shot wide from outside the box.
I`m desperately trying to find a positive from the weekend, but so far I am struggling. Devoid of any creativity and purpose, the team seemingly mirrored the feelings in the stands that Leeds were not going to get relegated and were not going to make the play offs. The whole spectacle had a mid-table mediocrity feel.
Considering Leeds were just three points off the play offs it was surprising to say the least. It is more surprising after such an encouraging result against Millwall the week before, but as well as the sombre mood, there was nervousness around.
No home win under Neil Warnock combined with the Forest disaster; the players clearly felt the tension and nerves, especially in defence. Players giving weak tackles, backing off players, not showing the strength needed to hold men off. It was pitiful to watch.
Combine this with a season ending injury for Aidy White, plus a 10th yellow for Adam Clayton and Paul Connolly`s red card, it was a bad day all round.
Credit where it is due to Watford, on a run of six games unbeaten they were efficient and well organised. They could make a late push for the top six, but overall they didn`t offer much going forward to suggest a serious challenge.
No one was really at their best, and with three players suspended and White injured for the now extremely daunting trip to Reading on Good Friday, let`s hope the brilliant away form carries on. We won`t get much at home at this rate.
Warnock said afterwards he wouldn`t put up with drivel and that he will give the youngsters a chance. Zac Thompson a prime candidate for right back or midfield after impressing during his time in the first team in January under Simon Grayson. As for anyone else, we may get a glimpse of some youngsters we haven`t yet seen.
Although giving the youngsters a chance may be because of having no White, Clayton, O`Dea and Connolly.
With so many players missing, Warnock has even said if Leeds fans fancy missing a game, it could well be this. I`m working on Good Friday but if I wasn`t I may take his advice. He may have said in partial jest, but I`m not sure I can take the risk. As long as it isn`t embarrassing tomorrow, I`ll take a gracious defeat.
What is striking is that looking at Warnock`s transfer dealings this week, he seems resigned to the fact that we won`t make the play offs. In fairness, the former Blades boss has said we`ve not been good enough all along so you can`t blame him for looking towards next season. Although I do wonder seeing your manager say you`re not good enough for the play offs, does that inspire or depress the players?
Warnock has revealed that a contract offer is being made to Aidy White, which is very encouraging and that a first signing is nearly complete to be announced on May 1.
For the first time in a while, we are acting fast. Too many times in the transfer window we get left behind by leaving things too late. Warnock has obviously stamped his mark. Leeds would always get left behind with whatever is left because we didn`t show ambition in the transfer window by getting stuck in and trying to sign the best players. Granted, I don`t know who the signing is, but it is positive that Warnock has identified who he wants and has been allowed to go out straight away and get them. I have no doubt this could continue and he won`t be sparing on who he let`s go!
A meeting between Warnock and Bates is scheduled for next week to look at the squad and transfer targets, again an action suggesting progress is being made but that also they don`t feel like the playoffs is a realistic aim. Warnock saying we need a number of players and that drastic action is needed.
The season could well be over, and I think pretty much everyone at the club is now resigned to it. If the Watford performance didn`t convince the fans, then the recent words and actions of Warnock off the pitch will confirm that fact.
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Date:Friday April 6 2012
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