Leeds United look to continue away day crusade at Fulham

Neil Redfearn

A stunning reversal of form has seen Neil Redfearn's men become a force away from home, so can they continue that with two winnable contests this week?

When Leeds surrendered meekly to Derby County at the iPro Stadium on Tuesday December 30, 2014 in a predictable 2-0 defeat, their away record in the Sky Bet Championship read: played 12, won one, drawn three, lost eight.

It was a record emblematic of the behind-the-scenes turmoil at the club and the bedding in of 15 close season signings. Since the clock ticked into 2015, Leeds have staged an unlikely turnaround, which was prompted by a formation reshuffle initiated in the club's first game following that nadir at Derby, the 1-0 FA Cup defeat to Sunderland in January.

Since then, Leeds' away record in the league reads: played six, won four, drawn one, lost one. Many cite the formation change as being central to that reversal in form, along with the re-invention of players such as Scott Wootton, Luke Murphy and Steve Morison. Leeds look more solid and the shape is set up to be 'harder to beat'. But also, the arrival of central defender Sol Bamba has provided Leeds with a formidable backbone and crucial organisational skills, most prominently away from home, where the youngsters in the team needed leadership the most.

Bamba's debut came in the 2-1 derby win at Huddersfield in January, Leeds' first three-point haul away from home since September, and since then the centre half on a half-season loan from Italian club Palermo has been pivotal in further wins at Reading, Middlesbrough and Wigan.  

Tonight Leeds pitch up at struggling Fulham, with the travelling hordes more confident than ever of collecting further points on their march up the table to a top 10 spot that Redfearn has pinpointed. Saturday also sees Leeds travel to Blackpool with the possibility of a win sentencing the Tangerines to a third-tier existence if other results go against them.

Leeds' 2015 resurgence has been most telling away from home, where the team has rarely performed consistently in recent seasons, and if Redfearn's men are to signal their intentions and take some momentum into next season, they should be looking for a maximum haul of six points from this week's excursions.  

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