With new manager Neil Warnock watching on, Leeds United came from two goals behind to stun Doncaster Rovers and send Neil Redfearn back to the youth team with a win.

Leeds trailed 0-1 at the interval after some absent defending forced Andy Lonergan to come out and try to pluck the ball from a Doncaster Rovers players feet. Unfortunately, the ball ran free to Bogayoko and with Lonergan still down and the defence doing their best traffic cones impression, it was all too easy for Bagayoko to fire home.

It was poor viewing for Neil Warnock. There was very little fight from Leeds and a couple of half chances was the best they could muster. Donny meanwhile were unlucky not to be further ahead after an audacious back-heel attempt rebound off the post earlier in the game.

Whilst not technically in charge until tomorrow, the first half viewing left Neil Warnock so incensed he decided to head for the dressing room and share his half time thoughts.

The reaction wasn’t instantaneous however, and further dismal defending left Andy Lonergan trying to cut out a cross that ultimately beat him leaving Bagayoko an open net into which he fired his second. There was some debate about whether he was onside or not, but in all honesty, it was nothing less than Leeds’ amateurish defending deserved.

But the reaction was swift. Leeds went straight up the other end and Andros Townsend fired in an excellently taken equaliser within two minutes of Donny’s second. 2-1.

Andros Townsend continued to look threatening, striking a long-range effort wide a couple of minutes later before sending a solid cross in for Becchio to force a save. This made it all the more confusing when he was replaced by début-making Robbie Rogers with around 15 minutes remaining, but curiosity reigned and there were few complaints from the Leeds United faithful.

Leeds United’s equaliser soon followed, but it was Robert Snodgrass – the man Robbie Rogers will hope to emulate – that provided the cross for Adam Clayton to fire home superbly with his first touch. 2-2 and Clayton surged towards the crowd signalling for them to raise the atmosphere.

The crowd duly responded, but the game slowed as the referee lost control and a series of stoppages and bookings followed.

During this passage of non-play, Robbie Rogers was given an unenviable welcome to English football, first clotheslined by a Doncaster Rovers player before clashing heads with Tommy Spurr.

Worrying scenes followed as the two players laid barely moving for the best part of five minutes, before the stretchers came on and our new signing was taken to hospital. Reports since say that he has sustained a concussion and has absolutely no recollection of the incident. We wish Rogers a speedy recovery.

By the time play resumed, the match was now into it’s 95-96th minute, with the fourth official having already indicated for an additional five minutes added time – all of which was still to be played.

Doncaster went for broke forcing a late corner but Leeds United have made a habit of extra-time winners so it was no surprise to see Luciano Becchio fire home at the other end in the 99th minute. 3-2 and a great strike it was too.

The Argentinian made clear who he was dedicating the goal to by holding off his teammates and charging towards caretaker boss Neil Redfearn to celebrate – class act.

Ups and downs

So the Neil Redfearn era comes to an end with 6 points from 12, but these were easy fixtures that most fans will have expected a minimum of 9-10 points from. That said, Ken Bates left him in an impossible situation with a hostile crowd on his back, a team totally devoid of fight and a media circus speculating about who our next manager will be. The football was barely an afterthought.

For that reason alone, Neil Redfearn deserves praise. Fans agreed that the search for a new manager should have been more urgent, but Ken Bates tested the cheap option under impossible circumstances and the results were somewhat predictable. Nevertheless, Redfearn carried himself with dignity throughout, providing a composed and professional front to an otherwise circus-like Leeds United Football Club. He returns to the youth team with nothing but my best wishes.

As for the individual players, well, Alex Bruce is no more a right-back than I am a superhero and the rest of the defence, particularly Tom Lees, come out with little credit either. I’m sure some will blame Andy Lonergan for the two goals, but all he did was try to regain control, it was the defence’s failure to protect him that was the real issue here. The midfield must also take some criticism for their failure to support the back-line.

There has been very little to praise about Michael Brown’s performances so far, but he was instrumental in the turnaround today and I’m predicting much more from him under Neil Warnock. It wasn’t so much his contribution in a footballing sense as it was his mere presence on the field. This was a derby fixture with absolutely no fight, and within minutes of Brown coming on he was yelling at his team mates to get stuck in and there seemed to be an immediate reaction.

Scottish duo Snodgrass and McCormack likewise were visibly unhappy and demanding more from their team mates. I suspect the change of management will coincide with a change of captain and if it isn’t one of the three mentioned, I’d be incredibly surprised.

We need to regain that ‘everyone-hates-us-and-we-don’t-care’, ‘us-against-the-world mentality’ that the success of this club was once built upon and players like Michael Brown, Robert Snodgrass and Ross McCormack are key to that. None of them are afraid to stick in a crunching, crowd-lifting tackle and they’re all leaders on the pitch. I mean no disrespect to Andy Lonergan in saying this, but he was never the right choice to replace Jonny Howson.

Finally, in an attacking sense Leeds went from one extreme to the next. You can’t really criticise the effort because our failures were often a result of over-enthusiasm. Robert Snodgrass and Andros Townsend – who both had excellent patches – were both guilty of taking one touch too many as they desperately tried to create something.

Luciano Becchio was absolutely dreadful in the first half, only to return looking like a different player in the second. His lack of consistency lately is a real concern, but like Snodgrass and Townsend you can never really fault his effort.

Alongside Becchio, McCormack was once again tireless. Visibly and understandably frustrated, he spent half the game tracking back to try and create something for himself. Throughout this dodgy patch of fixtures lately, Ross has been a constant shining light. He just looks hungrier than everyone else and has that fighting quality Leeds United fans will always admire. 10/10 for me.

Ultimately, a win is a win. It doesn’t really matter how you win so long as the final score leaves you with three additional points on the board. This squad needs an authoritarian figure who will inject a fighting personality throughout the team and in our new manager, I think we have that.

Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the Neil Warnock era.

Post-match comments from Warnock:

Rate the players v Doncaster Rovers

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