In recent weeks, the performances for Leeds United haven’t been at the standard that we have come to expect this season. The swagger we saw earlier in the season has somewhat disappeared.
However, the one thing that has remained and flourished in the last 6 games is a sense of determination throughout the team. The heart that the team have shown in the last few weeks to remain unbeaten in the last 6 games is commendable and just shows the commitment this side has.
However, I do feel the team have started to plateau somewhat in terms of performance and Leeds need to find a catalyst from somewhere to finish the season on a high.
Momentum towards the end of the season ultimately decides the fate of teams within the division. With Fulham and Preston finding form at the right time, we need to be mindful that, if we allow the standards to slip any further, these teams are vultures circling us and waiting for us to become too weak to strike back.
Everything we have gained this year could quickly become undone.
However, while obviously important, making the playoffs is just step one.
Performances of real quality will galvanise everybody - giving us the push which will make the difference come the end of May.
The impact a couple of decent results can have on a fan base is astonishing, but the current level isn’t good enough and, regardless of the determination at some stage, a hard-fought point doesn’t suffice.
Currently, the variation of the midfield partnerships is causing problems. The vast amount of talent we possess in the wide areas of the midfield should be a position we feel most pleased with, but the plethora of talent seems to have become a hindrance for Garry Monk, unable to land on a consistent selection.
I believe an XI which is set for the remainder of the season (excluding injuries) is necessary if we going to attain promotion.
It’s a tricky sentiment in regards to our improvement this season compared to the past few seasons. I fully understand the difference in league position and the difference in the quality of football we have seen within this Leeds side. However, in my opinion, at this phase of the season to keep using previous Leeds teams as an excuse for the current sides poor performance is senseless. If we don’t get in the playoffs then the achievements of this team will be soon forgotten and we will still be a Championship side.
Earlier in the season the comparison between Leeds 15/16 and Leeds 16/17 did play a key part in the surge of support and positive feeling around the club. However, the Leeds teams we were comparing to the current side were never in this position.
I feel slightly torn between appreciating the true grit shown by each and every player and being disappointed at the lack of quality they have started to show in recent weeks. You know every time you watch this Leeds side that the vast majority are fully committed to the white shirt and, as a football fan, that is a wonderful feeling. You want the players to love the club as much as you do - and now I can see that in the management team, the players and completely around the club.
But regardless, improvements need to made in the football on the pitch. You have to go back 9 games to the match against Forest where you can say we were clearly the better side.
Every game since then - win, lose or draw - you could argue that we were 2nd best.
I hope to look back on the 7th of May and say the fortitude, grit, and determination shown made the difference to us getting in the top 6. That will only happen if we couple it with results. Let’s not let poor play starting in February cost us from what is rightfully ours. MOT.