Bore Draw At The KC Stadium TSS March 7, 2012 Match reviews 42 Comments A scrappy 0-0 away to Hull City should be taken as a positive result considering they have the best defensive record in the division and are serious promotion candidates under Nick Barmby. Despite a positive response to Neil Warnock’s first couple of games, and despite an understanding that Neil Redfearn’s spell meant promotion was pretty much impossible this season, the moaning returned from a section of our support. It seems the “honeymoon period” for Leeds United managers is precisely three games long. It’s strange when you consider Warnock has had no time to make any serious changes – what else were people expecting? Since Ken Bates decided to leave the hunt for a new manager three weeks, we missed the January transfer window and are, by and large, playing the exact same team – a team that fans should understand by now, isn’t good enough. It’s not far off in all honesty, but ‘not far off’ doesn’t get you promoted. It leaves you mid-table. Had we kept Max Gradel, Jonny Howson and Bradley Johnson we’d probably be in a much stronger position, but we didn’t, and Neil Warnock has been left to pick up the pieces. The biggest issue for the last two seasons has been the defence. Two clean sheets away from home, and beaten by a solitary goal at home to the league leaders Southampton – who we absolutely battered – should be taken as a huge positive. No football team scores the way we were and keeps such a strong defensive record, it just doesn’t happen. In tightening up at the back, there’s been a trade-off in our attacking force. This was inevitable. You can either moan about conceding two goals when we’ve won 3-2, or you can settle down and get used to low-scoring matches. You can’t have it both ways. We’re not Barcelona, we won’t be winning 3-0 regularly. And it’ll never be as exciting as it was under Simon Grayson, but isn’t that what all the moaning was for? Didn’t fans want him displaced to get the defence tightened up? Seemed to me that no matter how many times I pointed out the fact we were still serious play-off contenders, and that he still got results, fans would point to the defensive record and that would be the end of the debate. It’s the relentless moaning of fans that does more damage than anything else. The ridiculous knee-jerk reactions to what most teams would consider an incredibly strong result. Leaving the KC last night, I posted an update on Twitter via my phone and some of the responses I received were ridiculous. Not particularly surprising, but ridiculous nonetheless. Expectations are above and beyond what they realistically should be, we have a fanbase that has no patience whatsoever, who think we should win every game and who will be calling for the managers head otherwise. One manager is replaced because of incessant moaning and the new man comes in. Fans claim they have no real expectations and will offer him the time he needs to build his own team, yet as soon as a game kicks off, all that goes out of the window. It’s madness. It’s not so much those at the game either, because there will have been very few people at the KC Stadium last night disappointed with the team. It was scrappy, uneventful, horrible football of the worst possible kind, but you couldn’t really fault the effort. The style of the two teams and the rugby pitch they were playing on was the problem, it was conducive to the kind of lower league scrap-fest that comes from two sides determined to keep a clean sheet. But isn’t that what fans were demanding? Clean sheets come from teams, like Hull City, that defend from the front. Teams that put their bodies on the line to win every ball and restrict the movement of their opposition. Last night, we needed a couple of solid saves from Lonergan to keep it at 0-0, but for the most part, we worked hard as a unit and put on a strong defensive display. It’s all about next season, it always has been. The play-offs were never realistic when Warnock arrived, so we should be taking comfort from what we’re currently witnessing. We’re seeing a team reinvented and built on a solid defensive foundation. Warnock will continue to tweak his Leeds United side, add some new faces in the summer, and by next season I think we’ll be amongst the strongest sides in the division. If our new manager doesn’t get bored of the moaning and head for the hills that is.