On paper, the coming months look like the easiest part of the season but as any weathered Leeds United fan will tell you, the festive period doesn’t always bring joy to Elland Road,

Last season shows how quickly the congested fixture list can change the league table. At the beginning of November, Leeds United were sat second in the automatic promotion spots. A position the majority of us were fully expecting to end the season in after our incredible near miss of the now infamous -15 campaign.

November started well enough too with a 1-0 victory at home against Cheltenham Town. However, the Leeds United Championship train quickly ran out of steam and from there until the New Year we managed just 7 points from the 24 available.

Consequently, Leeds slipped way down League One and by the start of 2009 things weren’t looking quite as cosy as Leeds expected. We now occupied the 10th place spot. Never in our most pessimistic of moments did any of us see us finishing anywhere other than the top six, but that reality was becoming all too real for the Whites.

As it happened, 10th turned out to be our lowest point that season. Gary McAllister was replaced by Simon Grayson and Leeds did very little wrong thereafter, finishing 4th overall for another play-off nightmare that would ultimately keep us in League One for another year.

It’s not always the case that Leeds United have a terrible Christmas and New Year, but Robert Snodgrass stressing the need to guard against complacency was good to hear. When you’re sat so far clear at the top of the division, so early on and beating teams with second gear performances, it’s easy to relax and take your foot off the gas. Leeds need to avoid doing that and really make the coming months count.

Aside from Oldham, who we’ve had an extremely poor record against over the last two years – especially at home – the stand-out games over the coming months are most definitely Huddersfield and Southampton.

Last season Huddersfield were the only team to beat us both home and away and certainly seem to raise their game for the local derby. Meanwhile, Southampton should still be seen as a big threat. Much like Leeds did in 2007-08, Southampton are slowly working their way up the table despite the Football League imposed handicap. On the plus side, both these games are at home where we’ll be tough for anyone to beat, but the lads will definitely need to be at their best. 

A lot of the points we dropped last season were against the Oldham’s, the Huddersfield’s and the Bristol’s of this league and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that these probable mid-table teams are where we need to do the business.

It’s the same old clichéd drivel that you’re going to read on every forum and blog in the coming months, but that’s because it’s true. We need to keep focused, guard against complacency and continue to extend our dominance of League One. Charlton may be struggling at the minute, but everyone will inevitably hit a rough patch. Let’s hope we have sufficient breathing space when we hit ours.

If we do get through the festive season unscathed, you all have my permission to start partying. Well, that’s assuming the January transfer window closes without anything going wrong and that we keep going thereafter.

Infact, on second thoughts, lets wait until the 46th game passes by. We’ve been burnt enough times already.

I’ll reserve the open top bus now though. Just in case…