With five matches remaining in the campaign, Leeds is course to promotion is a clear cut route via the playoffs. Sitting fifth in the table and well of-course for winning an automatic ticket to the Championship the Whites should be reasonably comfortable voyaging forward as Tranmere is a full six points behind.
However before considering this match I do wish to bring to your attention something of extraordinary importance. Twenty years ago ninety-six individuals lost their lives in the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough. For some, twenty years seems like an eternity and yet for those of us with a few flecks of gray, it seems like only like yesterday when so many lives were sadly lost. I ask each of you to stop for a moment and remember those whose lives were lost that day. No words can express the sorrow or ease the pain who lost their loves ones that day but as always, my thoughts and prayers go out to them.
These facts, as dry as they may be, need to be considered as Simon Grayson needs to carefully structure his side and ensure everyone is in good working order as the Whites enter the race to Wembley. Far from an endorsement of easing back on the throttle but as Leeds looks towards Saturday afternoons visit of Stockport County, they must wisely consider the health of a number of players lest lose them in the playoff round and a enter a vicious playoff mentality. This weeks demonstration against Leyton was the "perfect" example that they are nowhere near the mindset needed for a successful run as need to understand the fine art of grinding down a match.
Sam Sodje and Jermaine Beckford both missed this weeks dreadful draw to Leyton and while itching to get back into the starting eleven, this is itch best ignored. Neil Kilkenny, Richard Naylor and Robert Snodgrass overcame injuries to feature and the aforementioned mistake-prone draw and most concerning is the young Scot's foot injury. Like both Sam Sodje and Jermaine Beckford, young Mr. Snodgrass needs to be fully-fit for the hearty playoff run and Simon Grayson should juggle his lineup with Bradley Johnson in particular taking a bigger role.
As always, I will report on the match as it concludes but until then we're Marching on Together