After our JPT meeting earlier in the season that led to a pitch invasion and several Leeds United players complaining of assault from opposition yobs, Leeds United will be looking to even the score on the pitch by recording our third straight win tomorrow night (Tuesday) in Carlisle.

Carlisle fans storm pitch after JPT shoot-out

Leeds United fans were understandably angered by the incidents at the time and the Football League’s failure to act hasn’t softened the mood. The FL do insist the matter is still under investigation but few will expect Carlisle to face any serious repercussions. Since it wasn’t the Leeds United fans at fault and the media didn’t pick up on it, it’ll be safely swept under the carpet and ignored.

Our lovable, media-friendly and totally uncontroversial chairman doesn’t seem to have helped matters much however. At the time, Bates was seemingly raging about the referee’s decision to have the penalties taken in front of their home support (as opposed to the neutral stand at the opposite end of the pitch) and also complained about laser pens being shone in the eyes of our penalty takers. None of these allegations were reported to the Football League however as a spokesman revealed;

“The League would only act on a matter such as this if it received a formal complaint from a club. In this instance we’ve had no such complaint,”

Sadly not the first time Mr. Bates has been all mouth, no action.

On the pitch, Carlisle United have absolutely nothing to play for sitting mid-table with no hopes of the play-offs and free of any relegation concerns. Their form however is pretty good, especially at home where they’ve won the last three consecutive matches. Overall, they’ve lost just once in their last six matches which was an away trip to Charlton.

Leeds United fans can take some optimism from Carlisle’s form against the top six. Of their ten matches against the top six in League One, Carlisle have only managed one victory and picked up just six points from a possible thirty.

Our last league meeting against Carlisle was back in September at Elland Road where Leeds United earnt a point rather fortuetously after being awarded a controversial penalty (which was missed and followed up by Beckford). Carlisle were also the last team to beat us at Elland Road before our unbeaten run which which went on for over a year.

The most recognisable face in opposition colours tomorrow will be that of Ian Harte, who has been in exceptional form for them this season, netting sixteen goals in forty-three appearences. As Leeds fans will remember, Ian Harte is deadly from set-plays and can always be a threat. 

Whilst Harte has always been an asset from dead balls, his defensive ability and pace have always been questionable. Leeds should be looking to exploit his lack of speed and acceleration with a pacey option such as Jermaine Beckford to play off his shoulder or Max Gradel to run at the ageing defender.

Simon Grayson has been calling for unity ahead of this game and for the fans to get behind struggling Jermaine Beckford. I agree with his comments entirely but suspect the ugly scenes at Elland Road won’t be repeated away from home where the atmosphere is generally much more supportive and less critical of the teams efforts.

With our first back-to-back wins of the year behind us, Leeds United will take some confidence into this game and hopefully return with the three points needed to keep the pressure on second place Millwall. The players will have bitter memories of Carlisle, but should channel that emotion into getting revenge in the best way possible – by winning!

  • Colin

    Carlisle’s going to be a much tougher test than Yeovil and Southend I think. Really need the 3 points – not really bothered how we get them.

    Don’t suppose the game is on TV is it?

    • Craig

      No it isn’t – you can watch Swindon being hammered by Exeter tonight though!

  • Craig

    Thanks Ken for ensuring we’ll be met with open arms tomorrow night. I’m sure the hostility will make our task a whole lot easier.

    I assume you mean ‘With our first back-to-back wins of the YEAR behind us’
    TSS.

    • TSS

      In my defence, it felt like it had been longer!

      I think we’re actually better with our backs to the wall, so maybe it’ll bring the best out in the team. Although, I accept I’m growing a tendancy to clutch at straws.

  • Hotshotlorimer

    Agree that not easy. I’d say one of tougher of the remaining matches ‘cos Carlisle, even more than most other teams, have special incentive v Leeds, plus they’re very good at home these days. Or is it all just me in a panic as usual? I’m desperately hoping Charlton will be out of it (and obviously we’re not) by the time we play them.

    • timm

      Definately a tough one. I’m actually more worried about Gillingham away than i am the Charlton game.

  • derbyshirewhite

    Let’s be honest. If we still had Ian Harte at left back and our visitors had Gradel up against him we’d be saying a few prayers. This guy was being outpaced by nippy little wingers, and David Beckham, 10 years ago! Why so many easy outings against us since he moved to Carlisle? Has anyone shown SG the old videos?

    • timm

      I think it’s because they’ve put him at centre half now but he was one of the slowest we’ve ever had! He’s still got a hell of a left boot though! We go there looking for revenge tomorrow & Max & Snoddy will tear them apart!

  • Hotshotlorimer

    @derbyshirewhite
    You’re quite right. He barely gets above walking pace, unless something dramatic has happened to him in last few years. BUT remember we have Hughes, who would be better if he were to slow to reach the ball and not so not be able to touch it, plus we could ‘encourage’ a few falls anywhere within 30 yards of goal.

  • Colin

    Just out of interest, who would you start up front against Carlisle?

    Me, I’d go for Becks and Becchio, but then you can’t really drop Gradel – maybe 4-3-3 with those in attack (Gradel behind the front two) and then Howson, Kilkenney and Snodgrass in midfield?

  • Benjamin Bunny

    i’d say Gradel and Becchio. If Becchio is 100% if not then Gradel and Becks.
    Can I just say that Snodgrass is a fantastic player. I’ve been in Scotland this weekend for a wedding (Leeds lad wearing a kilt, wahey!) and all the scottish guys were singing Snoddy’s praises.
    Then some drunken chav called me a nob for being from Leeds…..I put him in his place. Lol.

    • Colin

      Completely agree. Snodgrass is excellent in my book and will only get better.

    • Craig

      I agree with Benjamin Bunny. Play the two that care which division we are in next year.

      • Craig

        Just caught this great piece of wit from a rival site:

        “Apparently David Blaine the magic guy is very upset that his record for doing nothing in a box for 42 days has been taken by one J Beckford.”

        Not saying I endorse those sentiments but it made me smile.

    • timm

      Totally agree, he’s the new Eddie Gray & i hope to god we can hang on to him? I go up to Ibrox & he’d be their best player by a mile. Only downside is that he’s a Celtic fan!