Derby County (A): Catalyst To The Premier League TSS December 6, 2012 Leeds United 3 Comments Saturday’s victory over Huddersfield Town marked the first time Leeds have recorded three consecutive league wins in two years. Quite remarkably, it was the same two managers involved the last time Leeds United recorded three consecutive league wins in December 2010. Back then, the now Leeds United manager, Neil Warnock was in the away dugout as manager of QPR, while the now Huddersfield Town manager, Simon Grayson, was in the middle of a 12 match unbeaten run with Leeds – a run which had every Leeds United fan considering the possibility of back-to-back promotions. Two years on and Neil Warnock now has his sights set on repeating another one of Simon Grayson’s achievements. You have to go back to November 2009, the season in which Leeds United secured promotion from League One, to find the last time the club recorded four consecutive league wins. Not only will Neil Warnock have the chance to achieve four consecutive league wins on Saturday, but victory over Derby County will also serve as a warning shot the rest of the Championship would be careless to ignore. Three weeks ago, Leeds United were an average team with one eye on the relegation places. Most fans agreed that there were worse teams than us in this division and that we’d probably finish in an underwhelming mid-table position, but for some, the fear of relegation was genuine. In fairness to the more pessimistic element of our fanbase, all the hallmark signs of a relegation struggle were there – a team short on depth and quality, growing unrest amongst fans, management and playing staff alike plus the club’s financial situation was sketchy at best. Then came the long awaited takeover we thought would never happen, a couple of loan signings followed and the next thing you know, the league leaders were leaving Elland Road defeated. On the scale of impressive turnarounds, Leeds United’s ranks alongside the Liberal Democrats policy on tuition fees. And Europe. And taxes… and everything else they once stood for… The day before the takeover was announced, most fans were predicting an absolute mauling at the hands of Crystal Palace. Half our squad was injured, there was no money available for reinforcements and, most importantly, there was no belief. Not only were the fans resigned to a season of failure, but the players didn’t seem particularly optimistic either. Worse still, Neil Warnock had basically written off our chances of achieving promotion before we’d reached the halfway point. These were dark days for Leeds United Football Club, the towel had been thrown in without so much as a fight. But no one can be blamed for that lack of belief, the situation we were in created it. We were all left emotionally exhausted by a six-month long takeover and apathy reigned. We were the equivalent of Awful Harrison squaring up to David Haye, everyone knew we didn’t stand a chance and – though it took a while for us to accept it – we had to accept our fate. In one brief moment GFH changed all that, the underdog got it’s bite back. It wasn’t just the loan signings, the promise of additional funding or the 100% stake they’d snatched away from Ken Bates et al, it was an entirely fresh start, one Leeds United had craved for so long. A clean slate and an opportunity to restore some long lost belief. The fresh start gave us hope, hope led to victory and victory will lead to belief. It’s no coincidence that the last time we recorded four consecutive league victories, Leeds United were promoted. The 12 points accumulated is obviously a factor, but these kind of runs also build momentum and belief, two key factors in any promotion charge. A fourth consecutive victory is hard for anyone to dismiss, it could well prove to be the catalyst for the rest of our season, the defining moment where the doubters start to doubt themselves, the moment when belief returns to every corner of Elland Road, attendances start to rise and Leeds United’s road back to the Premier League begins. No pressure then. On and on… Joe “On the scale of impressive turnarounds, Leeds United’s ranks alongside the Liberal Democrats policy on tuition fees. And Europe. And taxes… and everything else they once stood for…” Brilliant! Michael Lazarou It’s brilliant that leeds have turned a corner and are getting the results for me that is down to a number of factors , but the one factor that I think has in proved leeds is that the team have learnt there weakness and strengths and they know each athers play look at green and Bryan for instance they know when to cover for each one same with Norris and tonge when one goes forward the another covers and it shows they are playing like a good team , I for one said it will take at least 3 months or 15-20 games before this vertually new team can play together and get results, if you think about it even the best top teams would have struggled to play as ateam and get results with vertually a new team, leeds can get better and better as they get to know each anthers play more, leeds can go on a very good run now with players coming back from injury Matthew Our destiny is in our own hands, this could be the prelude to greatness. That said, Jans transfer window is utterly important and will define the direction of the back half of the season. We need to get the players in and the right players tied down to push forward in the league, otherwise we will run out of steam.