Exeter City bring Leeds crashing back down to earth TSS January 17, 2010 Match reviews 27 Comments For the second week in a row the league leaders put on a poor show and allowed the chasing pack to close the gap further. Make no mistakes, even with a slight revival and a decent spell of pressure in the second half, this was another dismal display from Leeds. Although it’d be wrong to start calling this a slump in form, Wycombe and Exeter are teams the title favourites should be destroying. For the team to go to Old Trafford and knock the Premier League Champions out of the FA Cup, then drop five points against lowly Wycombe and Exeter is quite frankly obsurd. It indicates that something’s wrong in the Leeds camp at the minute and given Simon Grayson’s subsequent reaction, he knows it. Whether it’s simply complacency, or an unsettled team struggling to cope with the speculation of Beckford’s departure, it needs to be resolved quickly. Even if that does mean shipping Beckford out now at whatever price we can get. From what I’ve heard of Simon Grayson’s reaction, he didn’t sound impressed. I believe he said something along the lines of ‘the team were still in the dressing room for the first 15 minutes’ and he isn’t kidding. The team may as well have been in the dressing room for the entire fixture as I honestly believe the U18’s could have given Exeter more of a game. Exeter came at us from the off and Leeds struggled to get a foothold. It didn’t take long for the pressure to pay off when the Leeds defence went missing and Harley met a cross to fire the home side into the lead. A sleeping defence more or less watched the ball beat Casper Ankergren then looked around for someone to blame. Nothing improved either. Infact, our best chance of the first half was thanks to Exeter when one of their players made a mistake and had to rush back to clear his own line. Never mind though, Simon Grayson will work his magic at half time and the second half will put things right. Well, so we thought anyway. Leeds did reappear stronger than in the first and looked to attack, but Exeter wanted it more and kept us at bay. Jermaine Beckford’s mind seemed elsewhere as he missed a series of chances. Some of which were due to good goalkeeping, but on the whole, it was simply poor finishing. It’s too easy to blame the player heading for the door though and it wasn’t just him. The defence was weak, the midfield did little to help them and the chances we did have were squandered. Even Kis had a bad game for the first time since joining Leeds. Exeter put the final nail in our coffin with just minutes remaining when Harley finished us off with a fine strike from range leaving Casper little chance. Another case of poor defending as no one picked him up and Leeds pretty much invited him to shoot, before looking at each other puzzled as to how he’d managed to put a second by the league leaders. Make no mistake, Exeter were good but Leeds were shockingly bad. We were out-fought, out-muscled, out-tackled and out-played. The stats show that Exeter had 61% of the possession, which comes as no surprise to me whatsoever. If anything, I’d have expected it to have been higher. Quite simply, they just wanted it more. This result is what should have happened against Wycombe last week. Last time we lost we bounced back well, but I aren’t so sure we will this time. The players just didn’t seem interested at times. A trip to Old Trafford may well have given them all ideas above there stations and the complacency that it’s been followed by has made the victory there somewhat bittersweet for me. As great as that win was, the most important thing has always been the league and the players need to be reminded of that. Hardly the time for a JPT distraction then!