The Hockaday Shambles of 2014 was consigned to Leeds United folklore as Neil Redfearn, the man for every crisis, once again took on the role of caretaker manager while Leeds, once again, go in search of a new manager.

Redfearn could yet be named as successor to The Hock and did his reputation at Elland Road no damage here by overcoming Bolton Wanderers to record a confidence boosting win for The Whites.

Key to the turnaround in fortunes was a midfield partnership Redfearn’s predecessor lacked the courage to field, but with Rudy Austin out injured and Luke Murphy suspended, Redfearn chose youth over experienced stand-ins like Norris and Tonge to give Whites fans exactly what they wanted to see.

With Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt, all those years playing alongside each other in the academy shone through, their understanding of each other’s game was immediate, the passing between the pair assured and encouraging.

But they weren’t the only stars of the show, Bianchi and Sloth both played their part in a hugely improved Leeds United midfield, Antenucci looked strong at the front, Stephen Warnock continued his impressive start to the season (though was unfortunately taken off injured) and any defence which keeps a clean-sheet following the second-half storm we weathered deserves mention – even if said clean-sheet required several top saves from the highly impressive Silvestri.

The only goal of the game was just-reward for Stephen Warnock’s start to this campaign and while many will argue it was a cross (and it almost certainly was), it was a cross hit towards the back-post in such a way that it was always going to be dangerous if Bolton’s defence didn’t deal with it.

From there, Bolton took the game to us and Leeds were forced to play on the counter, but even at a stage where we were having to withstand heavy pressure and were fortunate to have a goalkeeper of Silvestri’s obvious class between the sticks, there was plenty to be encouraged about, particularly Lewis Cook whose incisive passing allowed us to break quickly and kept Bolton on their toes.

In previous games, Leeds have been predictable and far too easy to pin back and while we’d still benefit from more pace and width surging forwards, we weren’t restricted to the same ‘crabbing’ movements we’ve come to expect from any midfield involving Austin and Murphy. Instead players looked to overlap and provide options, Cook was picking out runs with the casual assurance of someone 10 years his senior and there seemed to be a belief in this Leeds side that we’ve previously lacked which clearly benefited Alex Mowatt who was back at his best following a bit of a slump in the second half of last season.

You’d struggle to pick out a bad performance really, everyone ‘put in a shift’ as The Hock liked to say, but Charlie Taylor deserves special mention for putting in a solid performance after taking over from the injured Stephen Warnock and while Zan Benedicic looks like he’ll take time to adjust to the pace of the English Championship, it was good to see he’s been let out of the cupboard Hockaday had him locked up in.

Man of the match should probably go to Jermaine Beckford for spending more time saluting the Leeds United fans than he did trying to please Bolton’s. Or maybe Redders, for patrolling the touchline like a Mafia boss? Both made me smile and that’s been too rare an occurrence at Elland Road these last few years.

On and on…

The Hockaday Shambles of 2014 was consigned to Leeds United folklore as Neil Redfearn, the man for every crisis, once again took on the role of caretaker manager while Leeds, once again, go in search of a new manager. Redfearn could yet be named as successor to The Hock and did his reputation at Elland Road no damage here by overcoming Bolton Wanderers to record a confidence boosting win for The Whites. Key to the turnaround in fortunes was a midfield partnership Redfearn's predecessor lacked the courage to field, but with Rudy Austin out injured and Luke Murphy suspended, Redfearn chose youth over experienced stand-ins like Norris and Tonge to give Whites fans exactly what they wanted to see. With Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt, all those years playing alongside each other in the academy shone through, their understanding of each other's game was immediate, the passing between the pair assured and encouraging. But they weren't the only stars of the show, Bianchi and Sloth both played their part in a hugely improved Leeds United midfield, Antenucci looked strong at the front, Stephen Warnock continued his impressive start to the season (though was unfortunately taken off injured) and any defence which keeps a clean-sheet following the second-half storm we weathered deserves mention - even if said clean-sheet required several top saves from the highly impressive Silvestri. The only goal of the game was just-reward for Stephen Warnock's start to this campaign and while many will argue it was a cross (and it almost certainly was), it was a cross hit towards the back-post in such a way that it was always going to be dangerous if Bolton's defence didn't deal with it. From there, Bolton took the game to us and Leeds were forced to play on the counter, but even at a stage where we were having to withstand heavy pressure and were fortunate to have a goalkeeper of Silvestri's obvious class between the sticks, there was plenty to be encouraged about, particularly Lewis Cook whose incisive passing allowed us to break quickly and kept Bolton on their toes. In previous games, Leeds have been predictable and far too easy to pin back and while we'd still benefit from more pace and width surging forwards, we weren't restricted to the same 'crabbing' movements we've come to expect from any midfield involving Austin and Murphy. Instead players looked to overlap and provide options, Cook was picking out runs with the casual assurance of someone 10 years his senior and there seemed to be a belief in this Leeds side that we've previously lacked which clearly benefited Alex Mowatt who was back at his best following a bit of a slump in the second half of last season. You'd struggle to pick out a bad performance really, everyone 'put in a shift' as The Hock liked to say, but Charlie Taylor deserves special mention for putting in a solid performance after taking over from the injured Stephen Warnock and while Zan Benedicic looks like he'll take time to adjust to the pace of…

Leeds United 1-0 Bolton Wanderers

Marco Silvestri (=MOTM) - 10
Scott Wootton - 6.5
Jason Pearce - 7.5
Giuseppe Bellusci - 7.5
Stephen Warnock - 7.5
Lewis Cook - 9
Alex Mowatt - 8.5
Casper Sloth - 8
Tomasso Bianchi - 8
Mirco Antenucci - 7.5
Billy Sharp - 7
Charlie Taylor - 7.5
Zan Benedicic - 6
Jermaine Beckford (=MOTM) - 10

7.9

Good

Hugely improved performance from Leeds as the post-Hock era starts with a win.

User Rating: 4.22 ( 9 votes)
8
  • Ron

    Outside of Byram, let’s hope that’s the last we see of the old guard this season. Adryan and Del Fabro on board now also, so it’s time Cellino jumped in the tipper and took out the trash. Time to clear out, although I’m sure the next manager will hope to influence who goes. Looking forward to two weeks of headlines about reducing our wage bill and hearing about our new manager working feverishly with the squad ahead of Birmingham. It’s a long road and I still think Bolton had too many chances on goal, but for the first time in 10 years, I am enjoying the saga that is LUFC. Please Massimo, don’t ruin this by appointing the lady from the pie shop as manager.

  • ed

    fFrst time on here, just like to say Hockadays departure may have come at the perfect time because he would never have played those young players. Redders took a calculated risk and it worked. It was a hard fought win but those 3 points could be so crucial. The win will give those youngsters a huge confidence boost and now with the international break it will give the new players the chance to get to know how to play together. The old adage “if their good enough their old enough” is quiet applicable! Cannot wait for this season to really get underway haven’t felt this excited for along time MOT

    • don mawby

      parliamo italiano?….speakada inglesi? caio
      but the point is redders did what the Don did in the sixties…blooded the kids…but don’t want redders to take the job he’s too valuable to the club in general Would prefer clarke to the job
      Don

  • spellz

    Off the subject, 30 mins ago reports are that Watford manager Guiseppe Sannino has resigned over a dressing room spat, he is now even money favorite with sky bet to take the job, any thoughts?

    • don mawby

      Seems a bit of a loudmouthed troublemaker? don’t think he’s right for us…..or the kids brought thru….prefer clarke?
      Don

      • spellz

        I agree, Beppe seems he has rubbed people up the wrong way, on the other hand I really do not fancy Clarke coming as I do not think it will be a massive improvement that we need at this stage managerial wise.

  • mrbigwheels

    Having taken in the whole match again.. Wootton had a much better game, where he’s played at RB most of his previous MU ownership, but needs to be in L1. Bellusci is potent… I like him. A much improved performance but the star of the show was Silvestri as Bolton could have very easily won at 3-1.
    Warnocks celebration was apparently aimed at MC who it is rumoured mobiled Hock in the Bradford game to sub him when he slipped over… early on.

    Onwards and Upwards