The 4-1 demolition job last week against Tranmere lifted the spirits amongst the fans and gave everyone a renewed, more optimistic outlook. Unfortunately, another blip at Southampton cancelled it all out and what followed was pessimism and total doom once more.

The performance at Southampton was unavoidably disappointing. We failed to show the class we have and the Saints put on an effecient display to secure the three points and nudge them a little closer to the play-offs.

Post-January it’s clear we haven’t been at our best. We failed to strengthen as well as those around us and it’s showed in the form of each team ever since, but we still maintain a five point lead over the play-off places and we’re still on course for automatic promotion. We’re making it harder than it should have been, there’s no avoiding that, but we’re where we need to be and the games are running our for everyone else.

Tonight, we’re visited by one of those teams that strengthened well in January and have been in irresistable form lately which was capped by a 4-0 demolition of Charlton at the weekend. However concerned some may be about that result, it worked in our favour and kept Charlton at arms length. It was also another one of those occasions where the teams below us take points off one another.

Leeds are still picking points up. It’s not as fluent and impressive as it was early season, but we’ve still only lost five games (less than anyone else in the league) and whilever the teams below us continue to take points from one another and we continue to scrape a few extra, the games are running out. I think we’ll make the finishing post. Whether it’s with a cough and a splutter or another brilliant run like early season is largely irrelevant. We just need to make it.

One thing that does hinder Leeds United at times is the fans. As much as the fans can be our biggest and most positive influence, they can also be massively negative too and that doesn’t help those on the park. Those that criticise Beckford’s every move regardless of how at fault he is have undoubtedly led to his impending departure, but it’s more than that. The sighs, the grunts, the boos and everything else lowers morale, takes confidence from the players and the heads drop. Tonight, we need to unite as one and be the 12th man once more.

So, whatever happens tonight and whatever happens in the coming weeks, Leeds United need us all. They need the encouragement to escape this rut we’re in. They need the confidence to try something different and not just pump the ball away whenever they receive it. Slowly, but surely the fixtures are running out, and that’s what we should draw confidence from. Let’s show them why we’re the greatest fans in football and help them across the finish line. Whether it’s with a cough and a splutter or a magistic run of supremacy, it really doesn’t matter so long as we’re partying in May!

Keep fighting Leeds! On and on…

  • James Morris

    We need 3 points tonight desperately. . I hope it is same atmosphere as the play off game last season.

    Be nice to beat Norwich and Swindon as well

    :@)

    • James Morris

      I totally agree with your comments though. I admit, I have booed them off a couple of times and looking back now I felt it was harsh.
      When you start a season so well and then you have to endure some of the awful stuff we have seen in recent weeks, then you do wonder what is happening ? We have gone from playing nice football and nice movement to long balls and it isn’t as effective at all.

  • Choppers

    Never have boo’d my team always clap them off the pitch, even if they dont deserve one.

    I only come on here to rant after the game and its great to get things off my chest, like football counselling if you will!

    Get behind the lads always and they will lead us forward!!

  • Craig

    Really looking forward to tonight. I now live in the Norwich area and will be watching it with a Norwich fan! MOT.

  • Benjamin Bunny

    Is it on TV?

    • Matt

      Yeah, its on sky sports
      Enjoy……..

  • Grumpy Older Man

    Without undermining the correct need for unity around tonights game this “poor Beckford” stuff is tiresome to the extreme. Millwall will have in their ranks a proper striker, goalscorer supreme, worker with a deft touch and the vision to play others in. This striker has more loyalty in his little finger than Jermaine will ever have and has done more for the Bermondsey boys in his time that Beckford could do in a million careers. For as long as the Neil Harris’s of this world exist the Beckford’s will always remain L1 standard flat-track bullies with a selfish gene. Roll on next season.

    • TSS

      *Rolls-eyes* I can’t wait for Beckford to go elsewhere and bang a load of goals in just so I can laugh at you for the next year or so.

  • Hunslet38er

    Yes, lets get everyone behind us (literally too!!). No time for doubters tonight and I will be screaming my head off in the bastion of the NE corner.
    It’s just a shame the club don’t play ball and encourage the waverers with another ridiculous PR gaff.
    Cat A prices for a live Monday night game means a small crowd and no intimidation. The greedy pricing men are not doing their bit for the cause, they see no bigger picture…

  • Choppers

    I may regret my words, but I have said this before. I prefer going to watch the game with a smaller crowd. That negativity doesnt filter on to the pitch as it does with a big crowd!

    That being said the stewards sitting everyone down doesnt help. Our atmosphere is flat when were all sitting down and they only try and sit you down at the games with smaller crowds

  • Keep This Shed White

    Excellent pep talk Scratcher and I agree with all you said to Mr Grumpy. How many goals does Beckford have to score to impress some people, the ones who measure a player by how much running he does. I don’t remember Alan Carke killing himself every game.

    • TSS

      Or Mark Viduka who turned out a similar amount of goals and endured as much stick. Leeds fans have a problem of liking the players that “try” rather than the ones that do, who are often perceived as arrogant. This has being going on for years now.

      • TheReaper08

        I think next year we sould really try and sign Emile Heskey, sounds like the perfect answer to the Beckford haters. Tries hard, holds the ball up and is loyal, sounds perfect. After all this debate ceased to be about goals a long long time ago.

        P.S. Great article TSS, kind of fits in a lot more with my points last night.

        • Colin

          Come on Reaper, SG would never sign Emile. He’s too young :)

  • Raph

    This is it, so close yet so far! 3 points would bring every1s confidence flooding back. Even if it means trying that bit harder to get at that twat at their spot

  • Mikelufc

    Grumpy gets grumpier.

    I think it is no nbad thing to let the players know you are not happy with their performance. Fans are also customers and they are entitled to max effort from the well paid players.

    Mark! The plate that gets stepped up to is a baseball expression,this is footbal and there is no plate except the plated mug we will collect at the end of the season!

    For reasons that escape me I feel very confident, I think socks will be pulled up tonight and Beckford will once again show all the grumpy’s that he is value for money and if he leaves he should go with our best wishes.

    3 points for us is all I predict.

  • Mikelufc

    Oh! and a message for Mr Jackett.

    ” Dont forget your coat at 10 o clock as it is all your taking back to the smog tonight.”

  • Matt bb

    We all need to think positive, it will transfer on to the pitch. Bill shankly used to take his players to one side and tell them “i wouldnt want to be playing against you..” we need to really build our players up. Never mind critiising the transfer window dealings, we signed some good players, and they will all add to the squad. Go on leeds.

  • Colin

    Get ready for goalsville – got a feeling we’ll win this. We owe Millwall a proper spanking.

    And I don’t reckon Beckford is injured. I think SG is protecting him as I’m sure Millwall would go for him, and go in hard.

  • Matt bb

    Gutless and disorganised, we are a better team than the journeymen of millwall, why oh why is this cr@p happening to us again?? I wont criticise our players as i believe we need to stay positive but seriously?? Did you all play to the best of your ability?

    • Colin

      Matt – spot on. What happened with that second goal? Batt, the Millwall player, made Hughes look like a fool, then jogs straight past another defender while Naylor just stands there watching. Fair enough, Casper should have saved it. But if I was Casper, I’d be thinking “no worries, it’s one Millwall mediocre striker versus 3 Leeds defenders”.

      Just jogged straight past. Unbelievable.

      • TheReaper08

        Goalkeeper rule book point 1.1 Though shall not get beaten with ease at the near post regardless ofthe reckless defending ahead of you. Very poor Casper.

  • Kernow

    Two – nil spanking at home by Millwall. One shot on target? I would really like to know WTF has gone wrong!

  • Colin

    I’ve been pretty positive about Leeds but that display was a disgrace.

    I’ve no problem losing if Leeds work hard – but they didn’t. Only 3 players tried – Snodgrass, Howson and Hughes. I don’t think Leeds even had a shot on target.

    Bradley Johnson deserves special mention for looking like a McDonalds food tester who’d won a raffle to get a place in the starting 11 at Elland Road. Dickov was easily dealt with. At points it was if there was a sniper in the stands. As soon as they were near a Millwall player, they fell over, especially Becchio.

    Just no passion – it was as if they didn’t care – it looked like a friendly. And Naylor is really starting to wind me up – what is he doing that makes him a captain. Not shouting, not sorting his defence out.

    What summed it up for me was in the 93rd minute we got a throw-in, we’re 2-0 down against Millwall at Elland Road. I want to see all the players apart from Casper in the Millwall half. All the Millwall players were in their own half. We had 4 players plus Casper in our half. Enough said.

    • TheReaper08

      Kind of agree apart from the fact I can’t give trying marks, Howson, Snodgrass and Hughes were also awful.

      As for White, well I don’t care if he was born in my back garden as that kid is no left back. Out of position all game and raped by the Millwall right midfielder over and over again, painful.

      I thought the whole team were dire.

      • Colin

        Agreed but I’ll for now give White the benefit of the doubt as he’s still young – he should be told what to do during the game by Naylor.

        Naylor left him to hang out to dry. Was Michalik on the bench? He would have been a better option.

        • TheReaper08

          We shouldn’t make excuses based on age, I knew how to play my position when I was being coached at age 8, I din’t need anyone to point it out to me. I agree with you about Naylor’s overall performance but I don’t expect him to run round the pitch reminding the other proffessional footballers of the position they should be playing.

  • Colin

    Just confirmed – Kisnorbo has a serious achilles injury. Out for the rest of the season :(

    • TheReaper08

      That is totally shocking news as it becomes more apparent game by game that we are totally dependant on two players, Messrs Beckford & Kisnorbo.

      • Colin

        So it’s down to Beckford now. Thing is, if he has a tight hamstring and you think you’re going to get beat by Norwich, do you even risk playing him??

        Maybe Dickov starts the next game as well?

        • TheReaper08

          It’s only my opinion but I thought Dickov showed more than Becchio tonight, not saying he played well because I don’t believe anyone deserves that accolade.

  • Will

    Sad to say, but all this evangelical based belief, chest beating, or whatever you call it, whilst good intentioned, ignores the reality of the rapidly declining situation that has been apparent since even prior to the Cup games.

    There is only one action (the opposite of meaningless faith) that can save our season and it is to say “goodbye Simon”. It is said with a very heavy heart, but we cannot go on like this with a clueless manager.

    Assertive action from Bates is the only remedy that will give us a *chance* to be promoted.

    • Colin

      Doubt that’s going to happen. Can’t really lose another manager in such a short space of time.

      Though SG should take responsibility for that one. It looked as if Leeds were unprepared.

      But it’s just insane – this happens every time – do well for a while and then lose it spectacularly – Blackwell, Wise, MacAllister, Peter Reid, even Sgt. Wilko.

  • Kernow

    I think there’s been a lot of heads stuck in sand and a belief it’ll all be alright in the end. This is a real wake-up call. We should have had one after blowing such a big lead over Norwich, we should have had it when Norwich went eight points clear of us as we squandered games in hand. But now Millwall have their tails up and we go to Norwich on Saturday with Millwall looking to level on points with us!

  • Matt BB

    there is s slim chance we can still do it in my opinion, hopefully the manager will realise what he needs to do against norwich. The loss of kisnorbo is worrying. Hughes – Bromby – Naylor – Lowry (if we get him) and if we have to Johnson at the back, Snodgrass – Doyle – Howson – Gradel midfield – McSheffrey – Becchio up front if Beckford isnt fit, and for crying out loud michalik on the bench – no central defenders in the subs.. Come on Simon proce the doubters wrong.

    There have been too many displays like that one and its down to no one other than the players to turn it round, the manager can say all he likes if they dont believe theyre good enough they wont improve. Why oh why can a player like gradel, full of self belief having scored a hat trick in the reserves not start?

    • Colin

      And you know who would have been good to help balance the midfield, soak up pressure and help out the defence – David Prutton. Shame we let him go.

      • TheReaper08

        Agree again, we lack a midfield general type and Prutts would have been ideal.

    • timm

      What’s the point in Gradel starting when no one will give him the ball? We’ve got absolutely nothing in midfield, we’re too small & we have no one who’ll run the game from the middle. Our defenders & Casper have no confidence & constantly hoof it up to the oppositions centre halves & we have a striker in Becchio who gives away stupid free kicks & struggles to stay on his feet. These players aren’t performing as any kind of effective unit & are being totally outplayed on a regular basis. Apart from Harris how many players in that Millwall side could any of you name? Yet we were totally outplayed in every department. We have huge problems & i fear Grayson doesn’t know how to deal with this. I just hope i’m wrong.

  • From the comfort of my living room in West Sussex, that was possibly the worst performance that I’ve seen from Leeds on T.V in a long time.

    What on earth has happened to the wing play? Snoddy and Johnson used to link up well with the fullbacks for the overlaps, it’s all disappeared. I guess it doesn’t help with Grayson switching the back four combination on a regular basis, but these are professional footballers, it’s simple stuff. They must know by now how to play with each other.

    The most telling sign that things are desperate was the fact that Snodgrass kept shooting from distance time and time again, with most of the shots cannoning into the Millwall players that were standing just a few yards away from him. That summed up Snoddy’s confidence in the strikers if he was trying to do it on his own.

    Why can’t a Leeds manager do well from August – May anymore? It’s no good getting results from January – January.
    Grayson has done a McAllister.

    I won’t even address Paul Dickov, I just feel sorry for Mike Grella, he may run around like a headless chicken at times, but he has a lot of heart and has made things happen on a number of occasions.

    Leeds will limp to a playoff place. I predict a 5th place finish.

  • No matter what is said, if the Leeds players can’t get up for this one tonight then we might as well give up now.

    It’s another cup final; this time Millwalls, so can our lads now step up to the plate please.

    Come on you Whites!!

  • paull

    I’ve always loved the atmosphere at night matches especially when the crowd get behind the lads. Over the years I’ve seen some of the biggest clubs in Europe crumble when Elland road gets going. The players need us tonight every one of them and if the fans play their part it should be a night to remember. Oh and by the way if you need a reason to get behind the lads tonight just remember the smug expression on the slap head wearing the Galatasaray shirt earlier in the season. Come on you whites MOT.