A week away from the misery and we’re back on the road with a tough trip to Neil Warnock’s new squeeze. Seven days to recharge the batteries is certainly welcome ahead of the journey to Elland Road to face Leeds United, the Reds will also be heartened by the weekend’s results which broadly went pretty well with our fellow relegation scrappers not picking up a huge amount in their games leaving us still four points clear of the drop zone.
Whilst the run Leeds have had under new boss Neil Warnock doesn’t look auspicious – just one win in five games – they have had a degree of misfortune over those results, not least against West Ham at the weekend – a late Becchio goal looked to have given the Yorkshire side a win only for Danny Collins to have picked up a last minute equaliser for the Londoners, leaving Leeds frustrated.
They’re tenth and still with a very tenuous sniff of the play-offs, though, if they can put together one hell of an impressive run from now on – and certainly they’ll see this game as an opportunity to start one. If they remember back to their visit to the City Ground they’ll remember an embarrassingly easy victory as they won comfortably without breaking out of strolling pace against one of the worst City Ground performances I’ve witnessed.
Still, that was then. Cotterill will be forced to change his line-up for this game – the two bookings earned by Marcus Tudgay means he’ll miss the game, which lures the gaffer into either going 4-5-1 (hopefully not) or perhaps introducing Ishmael Miller for a start. Fingers very much crossed that Danny Higginbotham and George Elokobi are fit to return from their hamstring injuries – we’ve missed Danny’s leadership.
Leeds hope to have Alex Bruce and Leigh Bromby in contention for the game – both have returned to light training in the last week after being out injured, aside from that ol’ Colin doesn’t have too many injury concerns which is what makes this seem like a pretty difficult trip for the Reds to undertake. Whilst we’ve tended to fair better on the road, this is a trip I’m not holding out much hope for.
The weekend’s results going the way they did could turn out to be a real blessing for us if – as I’m afraid I expect – we leave Leeds with nothing. I’m afraid it’s come to looking at how the rest of the strugglers might fair on a pretty much full roster of Championship games – Bristol City host Watford, Donny host Millwall, Portsmouth host Birmingham, Peterborough host Reading. It could be tight at the bottom by the end of the night. Well, it will be – all that remains to be seen is where we end up in the conundrum.
Ho hum. None of us were expecting fun, were we? We haven’t won at Elland Road since 1992, a 4-1 win in Brian Clough’s last season – it’s not a record I’m expecting to tumble tomorrow either.
Edit: good news, we beat Leeds in 1996 by 3 goals to 1 – which unforgivably evaded my research even though I was at the bloody match!!
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