For the past few months my headlines might as well have written themselves. In fact I might as well set an auto-headline if that is even possible. If you're confused as to what I'm on about well I'll sum it up for you...Leeds are making the same petty little mistakes every week. Even when we keep clean sheets we've probably got lucky as the other team failed to capitalise, with the away game at Donny the only example of where we looked totally dominant in every department.
In his first home game in charge, Redfearn named an unchanged side to the one who despatched of Bristol City 3-0 last week. Both sides started cautiously, with both midfield's working hard to keep the ball. The first dubious decision of the match came when Ross McCormack was brought down in the box by Adam El-Abd in what looked like a certain penalty. Both sides continued to cancel each other out, playing narrowly and giving little space.
Andy Lonergan had previously had to claim a few crosses, but his first real test came from the shot of Liam Bridcutt. The Brighton man's long range effort looked certain to find the back of the net but Lonergan somehow manage to tip it wide of the post. United didn't really create any further chances in the opening 45 minutes and half-time was needed for Redfearn to give his thoughts.
The Whites started the second-half far better and actually started to cause the Brighton defence some problems. Snodgrass now and again found some space on the wing but his crosses were slightly off. Adam Clayton was finding space to ping the ball about, and Ross McCormack was looking lively on and off the ball.
Like many a game this season Leeds struggled to find the net at Elland Road. Adam Smith wasted a glorious chance to find the target, and Ross McCormack will still be kicking himself now after panicking when the ball was played over the top. Just when Leeds were desperate for some fresh legs, Brighton scored. Craig Mackail-Smith came on with around fifteen minutes to play and his goal was gifted to him on a plate. The Leeds defence stood still (as usual) and Mackail-Smith tapped it in from 5 yards.
The horrible feeling swept round the Kop and adjoining stands...what had changed since Grayson left and why were we being put through the same pain every week. Despite the goal the players kept going and were level moments later. Snoddy's corner was met by Luciano Becchio and he managed to direct his header into the far corner. Before people could question Redfearn's ability to motivate the home side were level...but not for long.
As the 4th official signalled that four minutes were to be added on, Alan Navarro hit a hopeful low shot from the edge of the box which somehow managed to slide under Lonergan. The crowds dispersed and stood in disbelief as how Leeds had managed to throw the game away yet again, and yet again at home.
My initial thought at 0-0 before Brighton scored was that Leeds had looked ok at times. Playing narrower than normal and more defensively with Delph sitting and protecting the back four. The main issue is that the defensive problems haven't disappeared. First we blamed experience, then Grayson, then his defensive coaches, then defenders age. How about the last option of they're pretty shit? Three of the back four are young and learning, and errors can be made. But leaving a poacher unmarked in the box is suicide at this level. Darren O'Dea has to leave the club as soon as possible, his long ball tactics irritate me no end and it is not needed. At around five years old people get told how to play the simple ball so why can't he?
Fabian Delph was brilliant with his defensive duties winning nearly every tackle with perfect timing. Adam Clayton once again kept himself busy, got stuck in and played some good balls. He might have been sent-off in the first half although it looked like a one footed lunge rather than two. Ross McCormack on the other hand looked to have gone in at shin level and could well have been dismissed in the second-half.
Some after the game blamed Redfearn and his poor use of subs. I agree they were odd and against Bristol he didn't make any. Maybe he looks at his bench and thinks o shit I'd rather not. We should and I repeat SHOULD beat Coventry and Donny and then it is crunch time for manager talks. Personally I don't think Redfearn has the experience we need as a boss; instead we should keep him as a reserve coach and he can nurture the kids ready for the first team. We need to get someone in who will sort the defensive frailties and quickly.
One problem is that quality managers usually cost more than £200,000. So it looks like Redfearn full-time then.
Moaning on Together!