Date:Sunday December 2 2012
I made the trip to Huddersfield Town on Saturday on what was an eventful day with the Thames Valley Whites and I give you my assessment of the player`s performances.
A 6am start from Oxfordshire looked like coming to a premature end when the bus broke down just outside Towcester but after a quick change of buses, thanks to the hire company, we still made it in time to have a couple of pre-match beers on the outskirts of Huddersfield.
He could do little with either goal and he really had little in the way of shot stopping to do for the rest of the game. He was always quick off his line when the Huddersfield strikers tried to get in behind the Leeds defence.
He helped out well in attack most of the game and he was up against a winger with pace once again. His quality of ball into the middle was lacking at times but another solid performance from the youngster who seems to be enjoying having Green playing in front of him.
Every time I watch Lees, he seems to be more assured and solid at the back. Playing with better centre backs is also helping him out.
He was lucky to get away with one hashed clearance in the first half but another good performance from the organiser at the back.
I am still not a big fan of Peltier. In this game, he was often guilty of backing off the attackers and he struggles to get back into position when he heads forward.
Another good performance from the midfielder, who at times seemed to be popping up everywhere. He gives Leeds lots of options all over the park. Not sure what he was pointing at for the throw in that led to their first goal. He was marking no one and he allowed an easy ball to feet that led to the goal.
He finished well to give Leeds the crucial second half lead. Another hard working performance in midfield.
Tonge 8 Star Man
He was the best player in midfield in the second half, breaking up play and going at Huddersfield. His best performance in a Leeds shirt.
Having not played all season, it looked like three starts in a week was too much for him. He was finding plenty of space down the left but struggled to get past his man and in the second half he quickly tired and was rightly substituted just past the hour.
He had a hand in five of the six goals. A good knock back for Tonge for the first goal, a superb strike for the second, never say die attitude for the third and a bullet header for the fourth. His only negative was a needless foul for the penalty that brought them level. If not for that, he would probably have got my man of the match.
For somebody who has not started a game since September he got stronger and quicker as the game went on. It was great to have him back and we have missed his quality from corners.
He came on just pat the hour and he made the difference. He was able to take players on and get quality crosses into the middle. We have missed having options like this coming off the bench all season.
Brown & Gray
Both brought on to wind down the clock and replace Tonge and Becchio, who got the plaudits they deserved.
Manager - Neil Warnock 8
He got it spot on. He decided to rest Diouf and give McCormack a start and I don`t think he would have run their defence like McCormack was doing.
In the first half the Huddersfield midfield were breaking quickly and Adam Clayton was given the freedom of the pitch. Warnock stopped this happening in the second half and they hardly had a kick as the Leeds midfield bossed the game.
He brought on Hall for the tired Thomas just past the hour and that substitution was what got us over the line and another three points.
Whilst Warnock changed things, former boss Simon Grayson showed us that even at his new club he has no plan B when things are going badly.
Referee - Mike Dean 8
I don`t normally give referees a mark and like most, I am quick to blast them when they are poor but I thought Mike Dean was excellent.
He allowed the game to flow. I think it was 20 minutes into the game before he gave a free kick.
There were no arguments with the penalty decision he gave Huddersfield.
He was trying his hardest to play the advantage and Leeds came close to scoring when he allowed one advantage after a foul.
In the second half, he was ready to give Leeds a free kick when Becchio was fouled but his advantage played saw Norris score the crucial third goal.
Credit where credit is due to Mike Dean. I just wish they could be like it every week.
So what has happened since the takeover?
Going into last weekend`s game I was wondering where the next win was coming from and I could honestly see us getting nothing from three hard looking games.
Instead, we have won all three and we look to have the fight in our belly again. Many will point to the two new signings but players like Green, Norris and especially Becchio have been transformed again.
McCormack was back and looking eager to get going. This gives Warnock another welcome headache after he decided to rest Diouf for this game. We now have options on the bench and players who can actually change a game for us.
The man of the match was a difficult one to single out one individual and any one of six players could have got it for me.
We are back in the top half, just four points off the play-offs. Derby next and there is no reason why we cannot go there and win.
A couple of signings in January and we could be in the mix come May.
Walking away from Millwall a fortnight ago, I would have said get the straight jacket ready if I was having those thoughts then.
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Date:Sunday December 2 2012
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|13. Leeds Utd||39||14||10||15||-4||52|
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