Huish ParkFootball. Remember that?

It’s played with a leather ball on a flat rectangular patch of grass, between two teams who attempt to kick the ball into each other’s goal.

Sounds odd, I know, but in between the never-ending takeover dramas, Leeds United have been known to partake in the occasional game. Sometimes we’re even pretty good at it.

Not often though.

Nevertheless, we plan to give this football craze another go on Saturday when we make a long trip south to struggling Yeovil Town.

Brian McDermott, if he isn’t sacked hours beforehand, will be hoping to record back-to-back wins for the first time since November when a run of three straight victories started with a 2-0 win over Saturday’s opponents.

Assuming no new injury concerns leading up to the fixture, McDermott will likely stick with the same team and formation which comprehensively beat Huddersfield Town 5-1 last Saturday, a much-needed result following an eight match winless streak in all competitions and a welcome high on what was an otherwise farcical weekend for the club.

If McDermott does decide to change things around a little, he’ll have new options up front with Noel Hunt fully recovered from injury and Matt Smith available following his suspension.

Yeovil Town meanwhile could give a full début to Manchester United youngster Tom Lawrence who joined the Championship’s bottom side on loan on transfer deadline day.

With just one victory in their last nine Championship fixtures, which included a 5-1 defeat to Huddersfield Town coincidentally enough, the bookmakers have Leeds United as clear favourites for this one, but with ongoing turmoil surrounding The Whites, Yeovil will fancy their chances of an upset.

Whether they have chance to turn a few heads with victory over Leeds may depend on the condition of their pitch however. Huish Park lacks the kind of drainage system most Championship grounds rely on so a huge sheet has covered the pitch all week to prevent waterlogging. Throughout the week, Yeovil have asked for volunteers to help with the efforts, which in itself tells a story of how far above their weight Town have been punching.

But Yeovil reached the Championship on merit and while their adventure may be short-lived, their manager is refusing to rule out a dramatic survival bid, offering these words of encouragement to fans following their last league outing at Nottingham Forest –

“We’ve definitely not given up and heads will not drop just yet. All we’ve got to do is keep learning and the boys have got to believe in themselves.”

Yeovil Town v Leeds United sounds like a David v Goliath battle, and just like Goliath, The Whites fall into the trap of underestimating “lesser” opposition far too often and end up getting stung. It’s imperative we don’t make that mistake this weekend, Yeovil – like Leeds – are one of 24 teams battling it out in the second tier of English football and must be given the respect they’ve earned.

Previous Meetings

Despite my nervous warnings, Leeds have never actually lost to Yeovil, winning six and drawing one of our seven fixtures to date. The last time we met was in November when Ross McCormack scored twice to give The Whites a 2-0 victory.

The record attendance of 9.527 was recorded at Huish Park for Leeds’ visit in 2008, back when the two sides were in League One together. A first minute Becchio goal was cancelled out by a second half goal from Lloyd Owusu to give Yeovil their only ever point against The Whites on a record-breaking day for the club.

Predictions

I’d love to predict a resounding victory for Leeds, but with all the chaos surrounding us at the minute it’s hard to know whether we’ll rally together or fall apart. In all honesty, neither would surprise me. Nor would Brian McDermott being sacked at half-time and Massimo Cellino taking charge of the second.

On paper, this should be a Leeds win. In practice, who the hell knows any more?

  • yorxman

    The whole squad are playing for their own and Brians’ future now, end of! Nothing else matters. If Cellino buys ER back next week then he IS serious…Forza LUFC!!

  • Tare

    Rhetoric headline for sure but what ever we face here we will survive. Since DRs days we has had some greedy hairy hands except Leslie Silver and Bill Fotherby. But I am always optimistic and looking forward to the future.

    Tare

  • Irving08

    They looked quite handy at Elland Road – especially their massive centre half – and appear to have improved since, so a draw for me would normally have been an acceptable result. Now paradoxically I want all three.

  • spellz

    I have not either been pro or against Cellini really as I have to see hard evidence of a failure to run a club (Bates era) so I have been sitting cosily on the fence, having been on the metaphorical fence for some time now, I have found some optimism in my bones now that the man has taken over because we as a club are always dreaming of the promised land and with the recent failures, and not so recent failures to run our club from the board, to the staff, to the actual players, we will obviously need change for us to gain positive stability and move the club forward.

    You know what…. I welcome the change and will embrace it and see what it brings us as we are always on a downward curve anyway and why not start the run going over the same rivals that started our run in the first part of the season, get your war heads on lads and go out there and and bloody win for Leeds United will you.

    M.O.T AA.

    • PMH

      The money is the good part, the man’s compulsive personality is the bad part. Unfortunately we don’t get one without the other.

  • Helen LUFC

    If Cellino buys Elland Road back does that mean we are better off? Won’t this just mean he’s bought more of the club and therefore improved his chances of making money from Leeds when he comes to sell as in all likelihood property prices could increase in the next few years. Does this benefit the playing side of things? Ken Bates spent money doing up parts of the stadium, but it was surely only to improve the value and future saleability of the stadium? I am all for a fresh start, and like everyone else can only hope this is the start of a new dawn, but to be honest I think people’s initial enthusiasm are really a reaction against what has happened before over the past ten years, no guarantee of what hope there may be to come. We now have a new generation of fans growing up who have known nothing but mediocre football, as I witnessed in the 80s, and I am hoping this will be a watershed as it was at the end of the 80s. But with Cellino the only real interested party in buying the club it seems a bit desperate, to me. Let’s hope it all turns out well, Cellino invests in the team and it is put on a better financial footing. The summer will reveal the future, team needs strengthening, McDermott needs backing and the fans need to be treated more like stakeholders than nodding dogs. Good luck today, Leeds!

    • Tare

      Helen fact is that Yorkshire men or women had no dosh for the business action…

      Tare

  • Tare

    Now that the ownership has pending acceptance from the FL so maybe we can deal with lighter matters: What about San Fransisco 49ers and LUFC co-operation matters. has the synergy found between clubs? There was suppose to be delegation group visiting Leeds recently.

    I had a good laugh with my boy about it; a common factor of American Football v Global European Football: Absolutely nothing. 49ers may look for Global visibility via LUFC fan base but I doubt it. I visited SF few years ago and visited only Golden Gate bridge ’cause of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film Vertigo.

    But preparing for the v Yeovil a nice ground and nice local fans a reminiscent from the classic British golden age.

    Tare

  • Matthew

    Crazy wind aside, I felt that Yeovil lacked the quality to put a lot of their chances away, they were awful at times. All that really matters is a win against Brighton on Tuesday, win and we get 45 points with 30 games played. Just imagine, if we can get next to 10 more wins by the end of the season we’re in the playoffs. After everything that has happened it would be crazy, really crazy if we reach the playoffs. I’m expecting absolutely nothing but the thought is crazy.

    • Tare

      Matt everything in football is possible so keep on dreaming like most of are doing.

      Tare

      • Matthew

        Footballs a strange game, things can change so quickly. Anyway I guess an upset Yeovil fan downvoted, quite a few posts were hit it seems, shame disqus doesn’t show who downvotes.

  • dessss

    I remember being taught as a child to play the ball along the ground when the wind blew.
    When Ross picked the ball up for his goal their goalkeeper kicked it a total of zero yards.
    Pretty pathetic for the modern day footballer.
    I thought Yeovil were shockingly bad and the real test for the dreamers is on Tuesday night.