Whilst Neil Redfearn’s first few matches in charge of the first team haven’t reaped the rewards of the four in his caretaker spell earlier on in the season, there are still plenty of encouraging signs.
Leeds came away from Blackburn gutted they hadn’t managed to claim three points and bewildered how they hadn’t got one, with individual mistakes costing United dear, not for the first time this season.
From a personal point of view, I thought the first half display on Saturday was as near to a perfect away performance that we’ve seen from this Leeds side. The transition from attack to defence also looked at it’s best and more fluid than it has all season. But there’s still just something missing in terms of seeing out games.
Like I mentioned, the performances are there at the minute, just not the results and whilst I fully believe Redfearn is completely the right man for the job, I question as to whether use of our substitutes would have seen the game out for us, not only at the weekend, but in previous games like Rotherham and Wolves.
For whatever reason, in the past 18 months or so, the last few managers at the club have seemingly been reluctant to use subs early enough to affect the game – we’re reactive, rather than proactive.
Maybe because they didn’t feel they had the quality of the bench that could change a game. But I think this year is different, we do have options on the bench. Focussing more on the Blackburn game, I thought Bianchi and Adryan turned in their best performances for Leeds in that first half, but neither of them even came near that level of performance in the second half – for me the midfield was screaming out for Rudy Austin. Doukara was another one whose performance really dipped, especially in the last 30 minutes.
But I guess it comes down to this wonderful thing called hindsight again doesn’t it. If Silvestri doesn’t make that mistake then who knows, maybe we would have gone on to win the game without using any subs.
The ‘problem’ is we know how Leeds are going to play, we know that more often that not it’s going to be a diamond in midfield, and because of that lack of diversity to mix things up, it puts more pressure on everyone to play well – the blame does not lie solely with the manager, players like Bianchi, Adryan, Doukara have to step up and find different ways themselves to be more effective and hopefully they, among others, can do that quickly and get us back to winning ways.
Reporter – Alex Mulvey