Leeds United’s fate will be decided in just six games as the 2009-10 League One season that promised so much, stutters to a finish. After leading the League table by a sizable margin, things went totally off the rails for Leeds United after Christmas with a run of eighteen games producing just eigtheen points.

The silver-lining may finally have arrived for the Whites though. Some improvement in play, didn’t bring an improvement in form against Swindon Town and Norwich City, but on Easter Monday things finally started going our way and Leeds earnt a valuable three points courtesy of a Richard Naylor brace at Yeovil Town.

If you thought we had things bad though, spare a moment for this weekends visitors Southend United who are clearly a club in turmoil. Steve Tilson’s side have had a torrid time of it this year and have not managed to pick up a single point on their travels. Both Steve Tilson and captain, Adam Barrett point to the clubs faultering financial situation as the underlying cause of the problems with wages being paid late and the players minds elsewhere.

Adam Barrett told the BBC that;

“I’ve got two kids and a wife, so it’s extremely difficult. I’ve never been in a situation like this. “You can’t solely concentrate on your football because of it. There’re too many off-field things happening.”

A lot has been said about the confidence of Leeds United’s players. Jermaine Beckford undoubtedly needs a goal to reignite his own personal form, whilst the rest of the team need to string a couple of wins together to restore the belief. This weekend should provide an opportunity for both.

Of their eight games away from home in 2010, Southend United have lost them all, conceding 21 goals and managing just 6 in reply. If ever there was a silver-platter moment for a whitewash, this is most certainly it.

With the likely return of Luciano Becchio and a possibility of involvement for Ben Parker – who got a rare goal in the reserves this week – things might just be starting to work out for Leeds United again. The players can be under no illusions that it’s now or never and many of them will know they’re playing for not only their own job, but Simon Grayson’s future too.

It’s going to be a tense few weeks and you can bet your mortgage it’ll go right down to the wire, but things with Leeds United are seldom easy and it shouldn’t really have surprised any of us that we find ourselves in this situation. All we can do is ‘keep fighting!’ On and on…

  • Old Billy White

    Just my thoughts on the comments by Adam Barrett, (and he isn’t the only person to say this type of thing, we suffered from the same problems when being relegated from the Premiership.) I agree that it is worrying time when you have a wife and kids, but how is this in your mind when you cross the white line. Football grounds up and down the country are filled with people every week who have financial, health and personal problems and for 90 mins they forget them and become engrossed in the game. Are footballers really running around thinking about paying bills and not watching the ball?

    • TSS

      The comments seemed daft to me too. Surely that just unsettles the team more? He’s basically saying ‘my heads elsewhere’.

      • nick

        I agree with you about crossing the white line but it’s not what he’s talking about. Think about the other 6 days of the week when you are meant to be training, meant to be preparing for the next game…this is when the concentration lapses.

        You’re right during the game i’m sure they’re not thinking about it and i’m sure they are giving it their all, but preparation is vital at this level at this is what is being affected at Southend, and what was also going on at ER back then…pains me to think about it!

        • Old Billy White

          Fair point Nick, I just think sometimes there are ready made excuses that are too easy to use.

          • Nicholas

            like…. ‘ well he’s off to Goodison in the summer so he has to be careful, and fair enough’ BS, if you’re wearing a team’s shirt, you play for them and until that changes…

            Totally agree Billy, but there are times when they are genuine.

  • Chris from Wakey

    Usually when visiting teams have had a bad run they come to Elland Road full of thunder and play the game of their lives. Why should Southend be any different tomorrow? I hate to be so negative but I just don’t think we are going up – we virtually had it in the bag and blew it. The “passion” from the start of the season has gone and we are just anxious, gutless and depending on other teams results to move up the league. I’ve renewed my season ticket but I won’t renew next year if another season in League One looks likely.

    • TSS

      I keep threatening the same, but what else we going to do on a Saturday? Spend time with the missus…?

      • paull

        Noooooooooooo

  • Must admit it is a bit of a pisser having renewed my season tickets and the way things are at the moment…we’ll just have to keep believing that we can do it….can we win the next 6? Could we have overturned the 15 point deficit? Anything is possible, but hey, we are talking Leeds United here and we never make it easy do we?

    Grayson and the players now need to show their collective mettle!!!

    Come on FFS!!!!!

  • derbyshirewhite

    The biggest lesson from the Yeovil game was watching one young player in a Leeds shirt with desire and commitment. How would our results have looked if more of the team had shown the same commitment. This is the easiest of the six on paper but too often we’ve proved our ability to gift games to teams like Southend for anyone to feel relaxed on Saturday

  • timm

    I read that Southend have only 14 fit players & their best players are injured. If we don’t beat them we don’t deserve to go up!

  • Mikelufc

    Its a banana skin.
    It will prove no more than the Yeovil game did if we win and show just how bad we are if we are turned over and going against the mighty whites might just lift Southend.
    Cant imagine what would lift our lot, clearly Larry cant.

    I find myself no longer looking forward to matches.
    First time in 45 years of following Leeds.
    I keep telling myself to buck up (smile)

  • Mark R

    As TSS writes it is now or never .

    What’s done is done and we are still in with a shout for promotion.

    A clean sheet , no injuries and a confidence boosting scoreline will set things up nicely.

    We need to come out fighting and have no regrets over these last 6 matches. Keep our nerve.

    Keep the Faith

    MOT

  • Craig

    Maybe I’m clutching at straws but I am feeling quietly confident that by the end of tomorrow afternoon we’ll have seen either Swindon or Millwall drop points (more likely Swindon) and things will be looking a little healthier.

    • TheReaper08

      There probably is a little bit of straw clutching there considering our form vs that of Swindon & Millwall. But what the heck I admire your optimism and I only wish there was a little bit more of it about.

      I view the game this way, we will win and it will give us a two match winning streak. This will be the tonic that is required, everyone will forget the recent run and we will have a very strong run until the end of the season. Whether Swindon or Millwall slip up I can’t say but we will be fighting.

      • TSS

        I think you two just saved me from cutting my wrists. Couldn’t handle anymore of the pessimism. Good stuff.

        • TheReaper08

          Good man TSS, join the revolution !

          You can’t go worrying about what hasn’t happened yet, as a result I choose to be positive and upbeat.

          I wish I could have gone to this game as I had it chalked down on the available dates list at the start of the season. The other half is 8 months and 3 weeks pregnant and I don’t think she will appreciate me travelling 200 miles+ to attend this one. For those of you going I hope you have a festival of football from our boys with an outstanding Leeds victory as the end result.

        • Craig

          I’ve found that if I repeat “It’s only football”, mantra-style enough times it enables me to achieve a much-needed degree of detachment. In such a state it becomes possible to detect slight twinges of optimism lurking underneath the gloom.

          • Craig

            Having said all that, I’m trying to add a gravatar to my reply and all I’m getting is a black square which hardly adds authenticity to my attempts to sound positive!

          • Craig

            Curse that black square – it is supposed to be a pig!

          • Craig

            Can anyone else see a pig to the right of my name?

    • Craig

      All bow before the Prophet!

  • Mikelufc

    I will have to try that..
    ” It’s only Football”
    ” It’s only Football”
    ” It’s only Football”
    ” It’s only Football”
    ” It’s only Football”
    ” It’s only Football”
    ” It’s only Football””
    ” It’s only Football”…….

    • Mikelufc

      I sse a Pig Craig, bit little though

  • TSS

    I see it too Craig. Anyone else wanting one can get one from Gravatar.com

    • Craig

      Any idea why I can only see a black square?

      • TheReaper08

        Count yourself lucky, my work access only shows me a red cross instead of a picture, hardly anyone’s name appears at the top of there posts and I can only reply to posts and not actually post anything new.

        • Dje

          Working in North Korea again, Reaper?

          • TheReaper08

            Something like that Dje, working for those pesky Germans.

      • lufcboy

        I see the pig……………

      • Craig

        The pig has landed… I can see him too!!! Hallelujah!!!

        • TSS

          Might have been that you had the page cached yesterday then. I’ll try and increase the size of the avatars for non-Facebook linked users later next week too.

          • Craig

            Great idea – that way you can all see my pig in all his magnificence and glory!

  • Matt bb

    Leeds simply have to win this, for a change we’re facing a team under more pressure than us, i really hope that gradel keeps his place alongside beckford, and that becchio starts as substitute, i think he was the difference at yeovil.

  • derbyshirewhite

    I’m optimistic but it’s unlikely we’ll make up points on Millwall or Swindon tomorrow. Colchester haven’t won in eight. The real opportunity is to get ahead of MIllwall’s goal difference by scoring a sackfull. Hopefully SG will pick his team to do this and we’ll be entertained to an 8-0 thrashing. See, I said I was optimistic…

  • Colin

    Regarding the not seeing images and not being able to post messages at the bottom – i think this is to do with having old web browsers – i have problems at work with the woeful IE6, but you can work around it.

    If you select and drag with your left mouse just after the image then you can see the name.

    To put a message at the bottom, just click tab and that should put the cursor in the name field. Press tab again and you go onto the next field etc.

    • Sunny Saturday morning in Cheshire just like the begining of
      the season back in August. Today is the begining of a season
      of 6 games: win them all and we’re up. Reasons to be cheerful;
      1) this team has proved it knows how to win
      2) this team is experienced at the pressures of playoffs ( yes I
      know that we’re consistently bad so far at winning them!!!)
      3) the Leeds 12th man; time for the so called complaining
      supporters to shut up and back the team for 95 mins
      4) we’re just 2 points from automatic promotion

      Time for all of us to inspire and wow the players by standing up
      and showing them that we’re all in it together. Time to support
      on the sunny start to our mini season .

      • Craig

        I am not trying to dampen your spirit in any way but winning the next 6 is not guaranteed to get us promoted.

        • TSS

          No, but since Millwall and Swindon have to play one another it’s pretty much a guarantee.

          • Craig

            Not if one of them wins.

          • TSS

            Very true, but the chances of all three teams recording a 100% record ’til the end of the season are about as good as me winning on the National today. If Leeds win all six, there’s no doubt in my mind we’ll go up.

          • Craig

            Given the above fixture, it is impossible for all three teams to record a 100% record (sorry – being picky) but, if you were a ‘neutral’ which team would you bet on achieving that feat?

            Which horse are you riding?

    • Craig

      Thanks for your ideas Colin. No idea what caused the resurrection of the pig but yesterday it was absent and today I see!

      I reckon that any workplace which requires you to use any version of IE should be taken to some sort of tribunal and sued for damages to mental health. In my view, Opera or, my new favourite, Google Chrome, beats IE hands down.

      • TSS

        In fairness to IE, they didn’t have a product to build upon and improve. All Google and Opera really do is take everything that’s good with IE and get rid of the dross. Curse of being first I guess? Everyone else has heinsight to build upon.

        • Craig

          True. Until Windows 7, Microsoft only seemed able to make products more buggy with each new version. Added to that I needed to buy a more powerful computer to experience the frustration!

  • Mikelufc

    you cannot be fair to IE, it started out as crap and has barely improved.
    It got where it is because it was bundled free with windows.
    Opera is not an improved IE nor is Firefox which was based on the very good Netscape which was the first browser not IE.
    Enignma is also very good.
    I will not use Chrome as Googl;e are trying to rule the world like Microsoft and I wont help them.

    Anyway, spirits lifted today and am confident of winning ways returning, if Swindon nor Millwall fail we will just have to prepare for finally winning a playoff.
    Didnt Forest end up in 6th place and go up? Look at them now.
    The Blip is over and we are off to the CCC YES!

    • Colin

      Google Chrome isn’t perfect but I use it at home as it’s so so much faster than any of the other browsers mentioned.

      Reaper and I have the same problems because we work for car companies and all the IT systems are so interlinked that using any new app can screw up everything. That said IE6 is so past it and soooo annoying.

      I thought Firefox had a security problem recently – not sure if they fixed that yet?

  • timm

    Jesus! I’ve no clue what the hell you lot are going on about but it doesn’t sound like Leeds Utd! Anybody heard the rumour about Aussie billionaire Frank Lowy wanting to buy us with a bit of loose change? Check him out on Wikipedia, sounds like another dodgy old geezer, with an equally dodgy son!

    • Vanita

      Lowy is an Aussie legend, not dodgy at all!

      He was one of the main contributors to saving football in Australia. Since he came on board we made the World Cup for the first time in over 30 years, had our national league re-established (and is now more sucessful than ever), got us to join the asian confederation (and therefore playing more international football at a national level, and club football) we’ve made another world cup, and our aussie club teams are making great inroads in the Asian Club champions league..

      Lowy would be great for Leeds.. and Leeds would be great for Aussie football!