Leeds - all pull together to get out of godforsaken division

Elland Road pitchside

What more can be said about Saturday's Leeds result that hasn't already been said ?

For the second game in a row the tactics were wrong and the players were for the most part totally abject in their performance. And, as Leeds fans, we’ve now got used to the response of our bemused manager.

We’ve all seen it - too many times - in the last 8 years; the absolute royal thumpings 7-3, 6-3 and now 6-0. Leeds United seem to be a side that, just when supporters think a response is coming or a corner has been finally turned, flatters to deceive. Those denouements come in skipfulls of the footballing equivalent of horse manure.

Of course, there are good things happening at Leeds in the background - good long term planning and a better structure for the business. And, perhaps more importantly for the fans, the club is beginning to talk to us again.

But the hardest bit to turn around is, of course, is the football itself - and that seems to have improved little in actual terms. But what can we truly expect ? There hasn't been a real overhaul of the Leeds squad under McDermott - he's simply got the machine running a bit more efficiently (or at least had).

Leeds basically still had the same players Warnock signed, who did such a poor job in his woeful season and a bit with us. McDermott has only now really been able to go out and acquire players he genuinely wants - with something like a budget behind him. In short, we shouldn't be too surprised by some of what we've seen. We do, though, fully retain the right to be horrified by it - I dare say a Conference side would have put in a better shift at Hillsborough than we did.

McDermott did, however, make one point I've never heard a manager at Leeds use before - that he was going to 'ask the players what they felt needed to be done'. That's possibly the one positive aspect we can take from this whole debacle.

The side that was so comprehensively outplayed at Rochdale didn't get a chance to atone against Wednesday. With new signings Stewart and Kebe playing, and Peltier replacing Byram, the side had an 'unbalanced' look about it. But tactics aside, it's time that the players had a proper look at themselves and explained to the manager what went wrong.

McDermott and his players have a hard job to do, but it's time Leeds players and fans stopped equating our plight to one of almost Promethean torment. It isn't - and the sooner people get their heads round that, the quicker we’ll all pull together and get out of this godforsaken division.

So let's looks at the football positives at Leeds - we have a good youth system, a decent(ish) squad, a respected manager and a Chairman and investors who will seemingly back the club.

The crowd wants 4-4-2 back, but with no Matt Smith for 3 games, we may well have to collectively cool our jets on the preferred system. My guess is that Leeds will have a hard fought match against the Foxes next week, but that will come via a 5-man midfield and possibly only one striker - McCormack.

Let's hope that in his 'air-clearing' and 'back-to basics' session, McDermott really does hammer home to the Leeds players the need for concentration and professionalism. This could be an opportunity for Warnock, Diouf, Varney - and most notably Sam Byram - to reclaim their places in the sun. Here’s hoping that the fight returns and that our season is far from over.

image: © Auz

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