86% pass accuracy: Leeds man showed great composure v Birmingham

Elland Road pitchside

Leeds United's Michael Brown may be labelled as 'past it' by some, but against Birmingham City he left few in doubt he was key to their impressive 3-1 win.

Leeds United put a very poor BIrmingham City side to the sword yesterday, thanks largely to heroics by former Oldham Athletic striker Matt Smith. 

The giant forward claimed the headlines with a goal and an assist which left the supporters dreaming of what may be next season, if they can keep hold of both him and Ross McCormack. 

It was Smith's 11th league goal of the season, which if combined with McCormack's 28 goals, is a very healthy tally for a Championship strikeforce - certainly one that's good enough for a promotion push. 

However, it wasn't just the strikers on this occasion that deserved the credit. 

Defensive duo Tom Lees and Jason Pearce put in a good afternoon shift with a combined 21 effective clearances, and Rodolph Austin made seven successful tackles, conceding just one foul. 

Nevertheless, a very important factor behind the Yorkshire side's win against Birmingham was their ability to keep the ball better than their opponents, and one of the main reasons behind that was the inclusion of 37-year-old midfield anchor Michael Brown.

The midfielder played 30 successful passes in the match, nearly 30% more than the closest Leeds player to him on the day. 

Although the tally still isn't mind-blowing, keeping the ball for Leeds has been an issue in a lot of games the Whites have played in this season. In fact, over the course of the season Leeds have actually recorded a possession statistic less than 50% and have a below-par 72% pass completion rate. 

It is something that McDermott, or Carbone if reports are to be believed, need to look at for next season and although Brown is unlikely to be a Leeds player next year, the answer could come from within the current Leeds United team. 

Alex Mowatt, Leeds' impressive young midfielder, came on to show what he could offer next season - making 16 passes in 33 minutes with an 88% accuracy. It was indeed a very cultured performance from such a young player.

Certainly food for thought as Leeds supporters start to look at the 2014/15 season with optimism. 

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