This has been one of the best Christmas seasons in recent memory for Leeds fans.
Boxing Day brought us a much-needed win against a respectable Preston side and three points in a tight Championship table. But we did not need “a win on the road in December”; we could have survived without these three points.
Instead, the Boxing Day victory was more than three points.
It was the kind of match you need to win to reinforce promotion credentials, to develop swagger, to build real confidence for moving forward.
And those promotion credentials were reinforced in style.
Welcome back Noel Whelan... #MOT— #WALMOT (@WALMOT333) December 26, 2016
Kemar Roofe, Hadi Sacko, Souleymane Doukara and Pablo Hernández GOALS v Preston #GETIN #LUFC pic.twitter.com/9ju44BdfJ9
You could see it at the end of the game too, as the result gave Pontus Jansson and all the traveling supporters plenty of reason to celebrate.
Great Leeds United win away at Preston! Check out Pontus Janssen great celebrations! #LUFC#MOT pic.twitter.com/kvdle9z07D— Famous somebody✨ (@SamadHussain_7) December 26, 2016
Winning 4-1 against Preston was a result and a team performance that gave manager Garry Monk plenty to smile about too. Always the perfectionist, Monk did have some words to say about how his side could have done better.
"We managed to get ourselves some good goals, the only disappointment being their goal. That was the only time where I thought we lost concentration."
Monk had good reason to chase another clean sheet after the Leeds defense had managed to keep the opposition out of the goal for the last two games. A major reason for that defense has been the fan-favorite, Jansson.
Some of Pontus Jansson's best bits as a Leeds player pic.twitter.com/Bd6lXVMfqE— Leeds United Fans (@LUFCfanaccount) November 27, 2016
But this match should be one that Monk has been craving for some time for another reason.
In a season where Leeds have managed to perform beyond expectations, there has been one major question Leeds fans ask before every match.
Who will score the goals?
That question was never asked more than after the goal scoring Kiwi, Chris Wood, got a hamstring injury. Wood had been the only consistent goal threat for a Whites side full of creators, but no finishers.
On that count, this game was a revelation.
A barrage of attacking brilliance finally rolled in for the Whites. Kemar Roofe, Hadi Sacko, Souleymane Doukara, and Pablo Hernandez were all on target as a team that struggled to finish all season finally found attacking quality that has eluded it all season.
The beauty of this performance is the fact that these goals were for the most part team goals, with one exception:
Souleymane Doukara GOAL v Preston #LUFC pic.twitter.com/SyvTCTu2fQ— #WALMOT (@WALMOT333) December 26, 2016
But just look at this work of beauty from Leeds.
Preston 0-1 Leeds 17' #lufc Roofe scores pic.twitter.com/yaJRkTcn5N— Matt Murnaghan (@lucasfunkt) December 26, 2016
Perfect delivery. Great instinct header. Fantastic commitment to follow through on goal. This is what Leeds need the rest of the season to continue to challenge for promotion.
Leeds fans: be overjoyed.
Championship teams: be on alert.
The Whites might have just woken from their attacking slumber. Chris Wood will be welcomed back to the starting XI with open arms. But thankfully, finally, a once one-dimensional attack might have just entered into a new reality.
Combine that with our already stellar defence... and we’re as dangerous as a Leeds United team has been in many, many years.
The #Promotion2017 campaign is as strong as it has ever been. Enjoy it. MOT.