Leeds United 0 Queens Park Rangers 0
Ah bugger! This Championship makes a mug out of anyone brave enough to try to forecast results, especially as we get to the business end of the season. I was absolutely certain Leeds would beat QPR today and equally certain that Newcastle would beat Fulham and if it had of happened then I was pretty certain Leeds’ play-off place was assured. As we know, neither certainty occurred and now the doubt has set in that, as well placed as we still are, with games against Brighton, Reading and Brentford coming up, do we actually have enough in our locker to win any of them?
Defensively we are fine; once again today we dealt with an opposition forward line easily, even one with big Matt Smith in it with a number ‘17’ on his back. Neither the superstition brought to the club by Massimo Cellino nor the huge frame of our former striker posed any real worries. In the recent games where we have struggled to get much possession the one confidence was that we just don’t make Bamba and Bellusci type cock-ups any more. With Luke Ayling picking up that 10th booking today he will now miss a couple of games but with Charlie Taylor seemingly fit now I’d expect him to slot in seamlessly with Berardi moving across to his preferred right back spot. In fact, I’d hazard a guess that we might have more potency on that left wing with say, Pedraza and Taylor working in tandem than we have seen on the right with Ayling and any number of folk out there and that was not the fault of Luke Ayling.
No, the problem we have is with the wide players… we just don’t have any attack minded wide players that are good enough. Neither Sacko, Barrow or Doukara are positive enough on the right while Stuart Dallas and Kemar Roofe are not that sort of “run at em and cross” type players. It is a problem. As I say, I’d reserve judgement on Pedraza until he’s played with Chas. Taylor as I just have a feeling that might work. But on the right I don’t know where we go now – I think I’d be tempted to have Roofe in the side but let him roam and not be restricted to the far right.
Nine games to go before we can contemplate another three but we have to find a different formula to ensure that we create some chances for Chris Wood to at least have a go at. Fulham should, unless there is another very strange result at Craven Cottage on Tuesday, be in 6th place by next weekend with the Cottagers likely to see off Blackburn. That puts them 3 points behind us with Wednesday a further point back and Reading leading that trio two behind us. If Huddersfield continue to go like they have been doing then neither the Toon nor the Seagulls are safe and if we are to make it through to Wembley it looks likely we’ll face one of those leading trio. I’m not actually sure which one I’d fancy!
Leeds United QPR
Possession 63% 37%
Shots 6 13
On Target 0 3
Corners 6 5
Fouls 8 12