As Leeds United held firm against Middlesbrough on Saturday, they showed just how far they have come under Neil Redfearn.
Leeds United’s 1-0 victory against Middlesbrough on Saturday was special for a number of reasons.
Not only did the side keep their third clean-sheet in a row but they also won three consecutive away matches in the league for the first time since November 2011.
And yet the most impressive thing of all has still not been mentioned, because just a few short months ago, Leeds would not have won Saturday’s match; not when you consider the pressure Middlesbrough put them under, most notably in the second half.
The then-Championship leaders had 27 efforts on goal, 10 of which were on target. But time and again Leeds held firm, with Sol Bamba and Marco Silvestri most deserving of praise but the likes of Charlie Taylor and Giuseppe Bellusci also playing vital roles.
In truth the entire Leeds side left the field knowing they had all played a role in a win that shows just how far they have come under manager Neil Redfearn.
Not only did Leeds defend resolutely for 90 minutes, they did the same during an 11-minute period of injury-time in which many clubs would have finally cracked.
How many times have we seen hosts knock and knock until they finally break through with practically the last kick of the game? But not this time, with Leeds channelling what was sure to be nervous anxiety into a defensive performance that must be rated among the best of the season.
Whatever happens for the rest of the campaign, Leeds have now shown just what they are made of; a side moulded of prodigious talent and vital experience, and one that fights for each other until the final whistle, no matter how late it may come.