Elland RoadLeeds ended a four match run of defeats with a 2-1 victory at home last night, but the Whites made hard work of an AFC Bournemouth side reduced to 10 men in the first half.

Dominic Poleon, on as a sub in the 72nd minute, secured all three points for Leeds, but it was a game which should have been put to bed much sooner.

Ross McCormack had already let a good chance go begging before Bournemouth’s keeper was sent off for a foul on Noel Hunt. Determined to end a run without scoring, McCormack stepped forward to take the resulting penalty, only to see his effort saved by Bournemouth’s substitute keeper.

Leeds continued to dominate, creating a series of chances to take the lead. Further chances went begging however, one play in particular most notable for the amount of Leeds players who had a chance to shoot but instead opted to pass to one of their team-mates, as if nobody had the confidence to have a go themselves.

0-0 at half-time and Leeds’ wastefulness made it difficult to see where the goals would come from, but the breakthrough came quickly in the second half when an exceptional cross from Warnock whizzed into the path of Ross McCormack for an easy finish. 1-0, but McCormack will feel he should have had a hattrick by this stage.

As you’d expect with a man advantage, Leeds remained dominant, but with nothing to lose, Bournemouth went in search of an equaliser. West Ham United loanee Collison had a brilliantly struck effort saved by Paddy Kenny, which seemed to give the visitors the confidence to push forward.

With a little over 15 minutes remaining, lazy, statueseque defending from Leeds presented Grabban with an easy close range effort to level the tie and the Bournemouth striker made no mistake. 1-1 and Leeds’ failure to convert chances looked to have cost us.

But Leeds responded through McCormack and Poleon, both seeing chances blocked at the opposite end of the field before Jason Pearce headed into the path of Dominic Poleon who volleyed home with power to give Leeds a hard-fought 3 points.

FT Leeds United 2-1 AFC Bournemouth 

Alex Mowatt’s stock continues to rise following another fine performance and Dominic Poleon has to feel he deserves a place in the starting XI after witnessing another game in which Leeds United’s failure to convert was a running theme.

Save for the hopeless finishing on display, this wasn’t a bad performance from Leeds. The defending which led to Bournemouth’s equaliser was Sunday league stuff, but we were otherwise pretty solid. It wasn’t until the sending off that Leeds really gained an edge and it was worrying to see us let Bournemouth back in after taking the lead, but we’ve seen far worse performances recently.

Ultimately though, goals win games and the Whites continue to waste far too many chances. It’s encouraging to hear the kind of names Brian McDermott has been trying to bring in (Luciano Becchio for example), but we need to start getting some deals done before this season fades into mid-table obscurity.

Dismal run of form behind us and three points on the board. Still a lot of room for improvement though. On and on…

  • N2

    Level headed article. Impressed with Lees lastnight, his partnership with Pearce looked solid apart from the one set piece (as usual). This team needs wide players who can run at defenders and scare them. A striker would help but the likes of Varney, McCormack and Hunt will all notch when they aren’t being forced out wide to put balls in the box. Its happened so many times this season where we passthe ball around for so long and by the time we’re ready to cross it theres noone in the box. Green, Austin and Mowatt need to start against Derby.

    • Chareose

      Byram should be on the wing insatead of Austin……. Or is Byram going to end up rotting away on the bench like Diouf ???

      • TSS

        They’re being cautious with Byram because of hip injury, but he should stay at RB IMO. Attacking full-backs can be just as effective getting forward as wingers, plus Byram’s defensive contribution is often vital.

        • Irving08

          Peltier looked more dangerous near their goal than Austin last night; he defended OK too. I think Chareose may have a point. Austin looks baffled whenever he gets close to the opposition’s penalty area. Yet Green is plainly better than him, playing in front of the back four. BM may have a tough decision to make quite soon. Pity.

          • Chareose

            Yes it has to be about making the best of what we have……no width but Peltier is playing ok so why not put Byram out as a winger until we buy someone…. I love BM but I dont understand Dioufs complete absence. even from substitutions.. and im nervous Byram will be dumped in favour of the Bosses favourites and at the expense of our performances….. Still think White deserves a proper chance but I have to admit Warnock silenced his doubters on Tuesday…. he was excellent

          • Irving08

            Personally BM went down a bit in my estimation when he brought Warnock.straight back. Aidy White did nothing wrong against Burnley; Warnock got sent off, costing us a game, yet walks back into the side, then gets another yellow card. On Tuesday he had an easy ride after their right winger was taken off. I remain a doubter.

          • TSS

            Not totally convinced either, was a very good cross for McCormack’s goal though.

          • Matthew

            Just seen a derby forum, they seem to think they’l beat us 3-4 nill lol. Some also have 4-1, 3-1 predictions.

            They call us a poor championship side and think they’l hammer us basically.

            All I can think is, holy shit, they’re fucking deluded. By 5pm on Saturday, the deluded will have their expectations shattered, I can’t see us losing to be honest, maybe drawing. They have a leaky as fuck defense, but can score a few, really, all we need to do is convert the chances made, and stay tight defensively.

          • Irving08

            I agree, it was a good cross.

    • Irving08

      I wish I could share your optimism on the forwards you name. Of those you single out, only McCormack has many goals in him, but you can’t rely on him always to score them; he misses quite easy chances too often for that. We do not have a reliable goalscorer in the squad.

      • TSS

        Yeah, but Becchio used to miss a lot of easy chances too, especially pre-Warnock. I think every striker at this level does it, but it’s more noticeable when one of your own.

        Comes down to service for me. Play McCormack at CF (which we very rarely do) and give him the kind of crosses Warnock put in last night to feed off and he’ll score plenty. But he’ll miss some too, Alex Mowatt provided him with a very similar chance at the weekend and he put it wide.

        Still comes down to wingers for me. We’d be scoring a lot more with Max and Snoddy on the wings than any striker can add. Thankfully, Nooruddin said we’re looking for both. Fingers crossed.

    • andy LUFC

      not been funny but do you lot watch a different mc Cormack to me?? hes about as average as all the other strikers we have . WE NEED BECHIO back and two wingers

  • Matthew

    Not the best performance, but we have played well and still lost games, just the way football is. Regardless, 2 confidence boosting goals, 3 points gained, and some momentum for the Derby game. Couldn’t ask for more.

  • Matthew

    3 points from 15. This is relegation form.

    Years of the clubs assets being sold and not the manager not getting the players he wants has led to this, no more, no less. Honestly wouldn’t blame people if they stayed away, it’s fucking embarrassing. Not to worry, I’m sure people will be awaiting a :-) from Salem Patel to know everythings going to be okay right?

    I genuinely hope McD doesn’t walk(Though I don’t blame him) and I hope he isn’t sacked.

  • PMH

    Well,.the gap between promotion and relegation is very tiny in the Championship, but this Leeds team is taking on water and looks likely to sink. They have now had a chance to get sorted out, and form is getting worse not better. We need a Premiership level team and we are nowhere near that: the team is just not good enough. I suppose it is best to know that early in the season than late. Not to mention that BMcD has not found a formula to organize and motivate this group. They look sad. And why is he not playing his most skilful player, Diouf? There is no point harping on about the past and making excuses. The manager has enough money to be competitive in the Championship, Take responsibility Brian and get this team moving forwards.

  • Andrew Grainger

    Mid table will be dreamland. The way we are going it’s League 1 here we come. I am saddened that we are letting a good manager down with a lack of investment. Bates has gone but it’s business as usual. How can a city the size of Leeds with a club the size of Leeds Utd be festering in such a way? The players we have are nowhere near good enough for promotion and there is no way the manager can be blamed. We lack wingers and a decent attacking midfielder. We have replaced premiership quality players with mediocre Championship cast offs. We are going down if there are no decent loans or Jan window signings. 10 goals in 11 matches, 5 defeats in 11…this is relegation potential and the standard of play has been mostly poor, the poorest I’ve seen in years. Something has to be done. Wake up Board and act!!

    • Matthew

      The main problem is that the squad has the depth of a puddle after a light rain shower. We have a few shining stars, mostly from the academy but they’re being let down by players around them, it feels like as soon as we take one step forward, we ultimately take 2 back.

      It’s frustrating as fuck to see this shit, the problems are there and clear but we’re not in a position to get the players we need on perm deals clearly. I think in all honesty if this club had money, they would add someone with experience in the CB position to marshal the defense, we clearly need someone with experience to act as the leader at the back to keep things together. It’s clear as day to see.

      Would also like to see us get a half decent younger goalkeeper(Mid to late 20s) at some point too. Kenny isn’t getting any younger. Someone like Adam Federici for example.

  • mrbigwheels

    I’m unfortunately inclined to agree with Mr Green, (previously of CON), with his most recent article …. On Lee Chapman’s Sofa …. Advocating a complete overhaul of the squad in terms of picking a selection of players that are going to be in the team and boldly banishing all no hopers to the development squad. This would involve utilising several more academy players on a regular basis and making a massive statement to the none successful slightly older groupies that are certainly not going to move us on or maintain a mid table position.

    As the man says…. What have we got to lose between now and the next window. At least we would see who can be part of a promotion chasing side next season…. or not.?

  • mrbigwheels

    The only way to understand LUFC and it’s present position, on and off the field, is to stand back and ask,

    Why do GFHC need to own LUFC and what benefits are due to them in the short term financially, taking into account the quite constrained capital available to improve the squad and very mixed messages from Mr Chairman?.

    My own simple view is that the Investment Bank need LUFC to survive in their own financial market place. The acquisition of Leeds hasn’t gone totally to plan for them but what it has done and may well do again is…. enable their banking heads to stay above water purely from the single asset of this Club…. and that is the Academy and it’s graduates. The nett value of the Academy stock is rising progressively and having boosted the bottom line of the Bank last year (on paper), so it will again at the end of their next financial year… IMO.

    I do believe GFHC were quite nieve initially and their short term investment has floundered but I truly believe their exit will be complete by the end of the season.

    The Youth of this Club will eventually save all. Recent form of the squad and the lack of investment that even top six placing demands is letting everyone’s head hang but whatever McD can do, the squad getting its act together, or one or two in…. GFHC should be ok to clock in …. In the black, with their Group Financial Year End results, thanks to the Academy…. And maybe even sell the Club on the back of them, as well.

    My thoughts. Open to any opinion.

    • PMH

      “In the long run we are all dead.” Finance and football performance are many steps removed from each other. 1. You need to get money. 2. You need to find suitable players. 3. You need to make deals. 4. You need to get new players into your system. 5. You need to see if new players work together. 6. You need a system that maximizes all your talent. and 7. You need to fine-tune to make it all work. If you’re lucky that takes 18 months.

      Has anyone considered that finance also depends on team performance. To attract investment we need to look promotable because the Premiership is the pay off. So, step one is to get to the top six, and then we may get some extra money. I doubt we will get investment to help us stave off relegation. So, my view is that team performance comes first. BMcD has to kick this current team into gear. Don’t look to a sugar daddy for salvation.