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Barnsley 3 Leeds United 2

If Leeds had replicated the performance we put together against Derby this evening at Oakwell, I am convinced Barnsley would have been swept away even if the Tykes had played at their best. Everything just clicked last Friday and it was only our season long failure in front of goal that saved Derby from a real hiding. Sadly though, our performance at Oakwell fell way short of what we now know we can produce while the atmosphere of a typical Yorkshire derby and a disciplined Barnsley display swung the balance in favour of the home side. The only question now is whether we can quickly regroup, put this game behind us and come out fighting again on Wednesday with our A game.

We will be helped with the return of the talisman that is Pontus Jansson. Luke Ayling has done a superb job at centre back but with the inexperience of Lewie Coyle and Ayling out of position the defence didn’t look quite as tight as usual and whereas against Derby the rest of the side was playing so positively that the defence had little work to do, today that wasn’t the case and we were nowhere near as fluent. Some credit has to go to Barnsley for getting at us but we looked light in midfield with Bridcutt not his usual combative self and Pablo Hernandez strangely subdued; if anything we looked tired despite having longer to prepare than the Tykes. We also missed the running and unpredictability of Hadi Sacko and I’m sure if he’s fit we’ll see him on Wednesday too.

So, no great harm done and I guess this was a reality check to remind us there is still plenty of work to be done. Garry Monk has said many times that no side will win every game and with our side so young we will inevitably see fluctuations in the form of individual players. As always the most important game is the next one and a positive outcome and another good performance on Wednesday will be enough to confirm we are still on track at least for the play-offs. We do need to find that A game though or Forest could really start the jitters going.

Game Statistics:

                     Barnsley   Leeds United

Possession           49%                    51%

Shots                      15                       11

On Target                5                         4

Corners                    5                       11

Fouls                       10                       14

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