Date:Wednesday July 30 2014
I made the trip to Swindon Town on Tuesday night as Leeds United continued their preparations for the new season.
After disappointing performances against Mansfield Town and Chesterfield in the last week, Leeds looked much better against League One Swindon as they played with much more intensity.
Having not been impressed with the new signings at Chesterfield on Saturday, Souleymane Doukara, Tommaso Bianchi and Gaetano Berardi all impressed at Swindon.
Doukara showed pace and power as he played as a loan striker for Leeds. The young striker was a constant threat playing on the shoulder of the Swindon defence, he got in behind Swindon on a number of occasions, and he really should have opened his Leeds account. He saw one effort cannon back off a post after showing his pace down the left and another effort, just before the break deflected wide. He played his part in both goals, setting up Steve Morison for a tap in for the first and after getting in behind the Swindon defence again; he was brought down by Wes Foderingham in the Swindon goal to earn Leeds a penalty.
Bianchi linked up well with Sam Byram down the right in the first half and again with Berardi in the second. Bianchi worked hard throughout the game and he was also involved with both goals. He linked up well with Byram and Doukara for the first and it was his slide-rule pass that put Doukara in for the penalty.
Berardi replaced Byram at half time and after finishing the game at left back on Saturday, he showed his ability on the right. He looked unflustered and he dealt with any problems that came down his side as well as linking up well with Bianchi further forward.
Stuart Taylor replaced Marco Silvestre in goal and he had little to do but he didn`t fill me with much confidence when he was involved. He came off his line on one occasion and he gave Stephen Warnock a clear shout that he wanted the ball. Warnock left it, Taylor got nowhere near it and Leeds were lucky not to concede as Nathan Thompson got in between them and fired just wide.
We never saw a fully fit Byram last season after he missed pre-season and the start of the season through injury. He looked back to his old self last night and he linked up really well with Bianchi.
Jason Pearce looks like he will be the new Leeds captain this season as he once again captained the side. I still feel he needs some experience alongside him, as Scott Wootton doesn`t fill me with any confidence.
Warnock was either very good or very bad. He did the good things, really good and he could quickly follow some good play with something bad. He did make one superb last-ditch challenge to deny Swindon a chance on goal.
There is definitely something still missing defensively and we conceded another sloppy goal.
Rodolph Austin provided the power in midfield again. He has looked good the last two seasons until November when he has then gone totally off the boil. I just hope he can keep it going this season.
Luke Murphy also did well in the middle and he got in behind the defence on a couple of occasions but he could not pick out a pass with a lack of support in attack.
Michael Tonge did ok in the first half but he looked out on his legs in the second half and I was disappointed that young Chris Dawson wasn`t given at least the final thirty minutes.
A much better performance by Leeds but still a few areas need additions before the first game of the season.
Once again, a superb turnout by the Leeds fans with just under one thousand making the trip to Swindon with a good number making the trip to Northern Ireland the following day. About time the players started to deliver for the fans that deserve much better.
Date:Wednesday July 30 2014
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