The first game of the post Simon Grayson era saw Neil Redfearn take charge of Leeds United for an away trip to Bristol City.

Aside from snow-fuelled panic leaving many fans to wonder whether they’d make it home, the primary talking point was Ken Bates’ decision to axe Simon Grayson. The majority seemed to feel his sacking was unjust and that Ken Bates had simply scapegoated the manager to try and distract from his own failings. Grayson was underfunded they argued and the real issue was Leeds’ inability to attract top players and the constant loss of key personnel.

No one was arguing against the lack of funds Simon Grayson had received, but others did feel his time had come. He’d failed to get the best out of the players available to him and failed tactically on numerous occasions they argued. Nevertheless, this wasn’t going to detract from the bigger issue.

Before the game Peter Lorimer had pointed to 11 players Simon Grayson had brought in, that he thought would highlight the boards proof of investment. Those players were Paul Rachubka, Paul Connolly, Leigh Bromby, Andy O’Brien, Alex Bruce, Michael Brown, Ramon Nunez, Lloyd Sam, Billy Paynter, Mikael Forssell and Mika Vayrynen. A full team of under-performing additions Lorimer argued. However, that’s not quite how the Leeds United faithful saw it.

What Lorimer had done instead was highlight the kind of quality a club can expect when investment in the team is so severely lacking. 16 other teams in the Championship alone spent more on one individual player this season than Leeds United did on the entire 11 players Peter Lorimer cites. “Pay peanuts, get monkeys” said the fans.

The game itself will be remembered more for decisions made by the referee and linesman than it will for footballing wizardry. A sweeping move ended with Robert Snodgrass opening the scoring on 40 minutes, shortly before the first of two Bristol City players was sent off.

The second half started with a Ross McCormack goal ruled out for offside before Bristol City were reduced to nine men and Leeds were left with an easy three points in their sights. Another Ross McCormack goal was ruled out before the Scotsman finally managed to double Leeds’ advantage with a little over 10 minutes remaining. Technically a hattrick. Well, sort of…

Luciano Becchio rounded off what was a pretty poor game overall with an excellent strike at the death. An elementary win under the circumstances, but the performance wasn’t particularly impressive and against nine men, 3-0 is the least you’d expect.

That said, this was an important win and Neil Redfearn deserves credit for securing a much needed win under difficult circumstances. It’s hard to highlight anything Leeds United did that they weren’t doing under Simon Grayson, but that’s hardly surprising considering the limited amount of time Redfearn had to prepare for this clash.

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  • TSS

    I agree, but I didn’t expect anything different given how long he had to prepare. Rather have him than the new bookies favourite Dave Jones.

  • TSS

    @Darren Think you’re probably right Colin. He was actually pretty successful too, and he played entertaining football from what I remember.

  • number1inyorkshire

    Aide from smith who is new to E R had Grayson picked that side in that formation he would still be in a job right now ,to be honest Redfearn or any one else can take nothing from beating 9 man Bristol 3-0 ,other than the personell he played and formation he played them in .