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…

4 Responses

  1. paull

    I agree with the sentiment of what you’re saying it’s way too early to start the party and lets face it we’ve waited long enough for one. But I would like to congratulate the team on the start they’ve made 36 points from 15 games is excellent and if they can do the same in the next 15 I think I’ll start making plans to get the shandy in. MOT

  2. Paul South Wales

    Way to early to get carried away, we haven’t had a bad run yet, and most teams do, but we are light years ahead as a team than we were last year, so now a bad run may mean a few draws on the bounce. There are few if any teams who’ll beat us at ER, and we can hold our own on the road this season, but undoubtidly we won’t have everything our own way ALL season. MOT

  3. Brendan Staunton

    I don’t think we should get carried away but the lads have done well. We’re close to half the total of points we need with a third of the season done. Maybe a few games earlier than the 46th then. Fingers crossed.

  4. Adam Whieldon

    I completely agree. I am only 17 and have been a leeds fan since i could talk and already i know not to take anything for granted when it comes down to my much loved club. I was to young to fully appreciate champions league semi finals but i can still remeber watching it with my dad. But now, just 9 years later im stilling going to watch leeds on a teusday night, but not in the champions league semi against valencia but against grimsby in the JPT. That is why i will never take anything for granted, but im sure simon grayson will make sure we arent complacent, we have a great squad both quality and quantity for this division, a great manager, great fans, ok the chairman is a bit of a twat but that shouldnt really affect to much. Everything finnally seems to be getting better, and im 99.99999999% positive this is the season where the mighty leeds united will finally start climbing the spectrum of the football league once again. M.O.T


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