Leeds United 0 Wolverhampton W 1
Very few, if any, Leeds fans saw this one coming, yet as Leeds fans, with our experiences throughout history perhaps we should have! Leeds have never ever done anything the straightforward easy way! I expected more twists and turns in these final Championship games as five teams chase four play-off places over what has become a four game sprint to the line… but I didn’t think a home game with Wolves would be one of them.
To some extent though, to write the season off now is an over-reaction. All is still to play for and in fact if Leeds were to win their final three games we WILL finish in the top six courtesy of the fact that Wednesday and Fulham CANNOT both win all three of theirs. The question though is whether we have the resources to shake things up enough to find the winning formula again even against the likes of so-called lesser Championship sides like Burton and Wigan. Norwich are “a basket case” as Katherine Hannah described them on the radio this evening and you just don’t know what sort of a game they will turn up with but at the end of the day if we cannot beat Burton and Wigan at a time like this when the chips are down then we don’t really deserve a play-off spot anyway.
Garry Monk has quickly got himself onto the front foot again describing the change in mentality which his players now have to make – we are now the hunters, hunting for the wins we need rather than, as we have been for months, the hunted, being chased down by the pack behind us. Perhaps if we’d been set up with that mentality today we’d not have been gobbled up by this particular pack of Wolves.
Whether we are equipped to become hunters is another question; we have been set up primarily not to conceded and to then nick a goal or two on the break, but that may not be positive enough when only wins will do which is the likely scenario we now face especially as the other sides (Newcastle apart strangely) are running with momentum and winning most of their games. Now may well be the time to finally move away from the habit of using two defensive midfielders to protect what is arguably the best defence in the division as long as Pontus remains on the pitch at least. We may need to switch back if Pontus picks up that 15th booking which he seemed to narrowly miss today. Fortune usually favours the brave and now is the time to be brave and positive. In the first half today we were far too tentative and we allowed Wolves to dictate the game – the fact we didn’t allow that in the second half suggests our mentality was wrong before that.
So, a terrible result and a depressingly negative first half but let’s not give up the fight just yet. I still believe there are more twists and turns to come and we actually still have our destiny in our own hands. We’ve won three on the trot three times already this season and against better opposition than we face in the next three weeks, we can do it again but we need to all get our A game on the pitch and we may need to reshuffle the pack a bit.
Leeds Utd Wolves
Possession 67% 33%
Shots 12 11
On Target 2 4
Corners 10 5
Fouls 9 12