Within the first 15 minutes the game looked as if it would develop into an action-filled match up.
With both sides having chances early doors, Barnsley were creating more from corners but The Whites were looking lively and with many chances from counter attacks, we showed glimpses of quality.
On the 17th minute, the academy prodigy Tom Pearce gave the crowd something to savour with a left-footed strike from the outside of the box.
The youngster raising the roof and falling to the floor with a poorly executed knee slide.
Up until half time the game turned into a very physical battle which Barnsley were dominating: out-strengthening players, putting in strong challenges and winning 50/50s.
All of this added to make a very scrappy game which then ended with a dodgy own goal by Paudie O’Connor. Very unfortunate for the young star who has shone through in some of his recent fixtures.
Straight from the beginning of the second half The Whites looked the most likely to score and they did just that with a brilliant piece of magic from Kemar Roofe.
The striker wrestled a defender for the ball and sprinted down the byline only to square the ball for a tap in for an on rushing Alioski.
Barnsley then set the pace for a Derby game as their game devolved into more of a scrap as relegation began to sick up.
On the 62nd minute, Kieffer Moore came on to replace Connor Mahoney, both of whom didn’t have too many highlights in the game with them only completing 22 passes between them.
Leeds had opportunities to see the game out with shots from the likes of Alioski and Ronaldo Vieira but the latter was replaced by Caleb Ekuban late in the second half. The off form forward failed to have a single shot in the time he was on the pitch compared to the five of Alioski.
On the 84th minute, Saiz was substituted to make way for Forshaw but then decided to have a fit while departing the pitch. He showed his annoyance at being subbed off by throwing anything he could get his hands on. Sparking a huge debate on his attitude whilst he has been at the club.
Up until the end of the game there wasn’t too much to shout about with The Whites holding on to the one goal lead and more importantly, the three points.
+ More chances created
+ 3 Points secured
+ Standout performances from: Pennington, Pearce, BPF and Alioski
- Saiz’s poor attitude to being subbed off
- Still need a lot of improvements
- Not clinical in-front of goal
By Jamie Chambers (@simply_lufc)
If Saturdays game showed us anything, it’s that Leeds do need to improve, but spending big money on every position doesn’t have to be an option.
The Whites had five academy products in the starting lineup against Barnsley and each one of them starred in a home win against rivals who are fighting to stay in the League.
The club have shown in recent years that they have strength already in the youth ranks to fill most gaps and the emergence of Paudie O’Conner, Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Tom Pearce have come at the right time.
BPF came in due to a horrid season for Felix Wiedwald and has now had the shirt for nine consecutive fixtures, meaning that Leeds could be set to entrust the starting shirt come next season.
O’Conner and Pearce have come in due to injury concerns to half of Leeds’ defence and have both received plaudits for the way they’ve taken their opportunity in the first team.
Should Leeds go out and look for ways to improve their overall squad this summer, it should be noted that they have ready made players for most positions chomping at the bit in the development squad.
Oriol Rey, Hugo Diaz, Bryce Hosannah, Calum Nicel and Sam Dalby could be called upon in the summer to practice with the senior squad and should not be overlooked for another bout of foreign imports who need to settle in the League for up to a year.
If Leeds can blend a mix of English youth with talent around them, this squad could make a massive difference come August. It’s whether Leeds coaching committee have the stones to make a judgment call.
By Ryan Ingham
This Diary is dedicated to the 96 fans who were unlawfully killed at Hillsborough in 1989. Their families still wait for JUSTICE for their loved ones.
Paul Heckingbottom on the rumours of him being sacked: “I think that surprised everyone, nothing has changed. I came in here in February with slim hopes of the play-offs and we were chasing that down. That was the first goal - let’s not let this season die out quickly - but it did die out quickly so we were straight onto the second phase of what we wanted to do, which was to start looking at players and getting our plans laid down for next season.”
“We’re going to have to work hard because we’ve seen the calibre of players who are in this league, the calibre of clubs, but it doesn’t mean we can’t do it if we’re all on the same page, over-achieving and building a hungry, competitive squad. That’s the stage where we’re at now, make no mistake about it, it’s all going to be on results next season, without a doubt. That’s what we should be judged on.”
Who’s not available for the game with Aston Villa: Pontus Jansson is out, along with Eunan O'Kane (groin), Matthew Pennington (calf), Adam Forshaw (calf), Liam Cooper (torn thigh muscle), Laurens De Bock (hamstring) and long term absentees Luke Ayling (ankle), Conor Shaughnessy (ankle) and Tyler Roberts (shin).
Hugo Diaz, a second half substitute for Jansson is primed to make his full Leeds debut alongside Paudie O’Connor in the centre of defence, Heckingbottom considered recalling on loan Liam Kitching from Harrogate Town but the 18 year old is injured.
What do Leeds fans do on a Sunday? Couple of beers, nice lunch out and a peruse around your old items to remember the good old days when we had a team to be proud of?
Well you can do all of that and more when Mick Hewitt returns with a Programme fair on Sunday 22nd April to make sure you catch up on any your missing from the glory days.
Elland Road, Leeds
10:30am to 1:30pm - Free Entry
Sunday, 22nd April
Billy’s Bar will be full of novice and old collectors, who’ll be there to chat and share stories about how they became fans of the Whites and other sides.
Whilst most stands will have large amounts of Leeds related items, collectors from other clubs, League, Non-League & International will be well catered for.
Fun for all the family and a good day out!
With the current lack of any defenders Leeds could be set to bolster their ranks when the club enter the transfer market fray.
One player who has been heavily linked with a move to Elland Road is defensive live wire Andy Yiadom.
The full back turned winger is set to wind out his contract at relegation threatened Barnsley and looks set for a reunion with former boss Paul Heckingbottom (if he’s still in the role).
It was only 18 months ago Barnsley refused to allow Yiadom to discuss a potential move to both Celtic and an unnamed Premiership side.
However, with a short spell out and a season playing in a poor side, Yiadom’s stock looks to have dropped, give Leeds a dream chance to nab the Ghanaian on the quiet.
Capable at playing on either side and on the wing, Yiadom is the same archetype as current sensation Trent Alexander-Arnold, blessed with superior pace and able to command an entire side of the pitch.
The 26-year old could add strength in depth to a side that although is heavy in defence, lacks any clear full time options.
The shocking discipline of fan favourite and season ending injury to both Luke Ayling and Laurens De Bock have left Leeds with Vurnon Anita and youth prospect Tom Pearce to finish the season.
The former is unlikely to see out the remainder of his contract, partly due to being played out of position. However, the later should be considered as an option for a loan in the football league come next season.
Loan spells in the league below have become extremely fruitful for the Whites with the emergence of former full back Charlie Taylor and this season Lewie Coyle bearing much needed fruit.
Should Yiadom be signed, Leeds will then have four full backs in which they can rotate and with the severe injury of Ayling, it could be very well needed.
Would you like to see Yiadom at the club? Or would you prefer to keep Pearce/Anita? Have your say in the comments below.
By Ryan Ingham
A lot can be said for a striker who can grab goals in a relegation threatened side.
One player to out perform his entire squad is young Barnsley forward Oliver McBurnie.
The on loan striker has now bagged seven goals in twelve Championship games and has been the lynchpin in Barnsley’s relegation dogfight.
McBurnie could be set for a second stint in the Championship next season and a potential suitor for the forward is none other than Leeds United.
The Whites could be set to make a move for the striker, who has started to gain plaudits for his pace and ability to hit the back of the net, something the Leeds strikers could do with learning.
The 21-year old is set to be out of contract in the summer and if his parent club Swansea have not yet offered a deal, it’s unlikely they will.
The pull of joining Leeds is still large in English football and the potential of a starting spot could lure McBurnie to join a head coach that trusted him enough to sign him on loan in January, Paul Heckingbottom.
If Heckingbottom was the man to bring him in, it’s likely he knows how to get the best out of the Scottish forward and this could be a recipe for success at Elland Road.
Would you like to see McBurnie at Leeds? Have your say in the comments below.
By Ryan Ingham
Ahead of tonight’s clash with Aston Villa Keith Ingham spoke with the gangliest bowler you’ve ever seen and Villa Fan Chris Herbert.
Chris, a quick reminder how long you’ve followed ‘The Villa’ and why you picked them as your team?
Followed them all my life and the first game I saw was away at Bradford City which Villa won 4-2. I chose them due to my grandad & dad.
Favourite recent era or one from the history books?
I would say the football they played under Martin O'neill was the best I've ever seen at Villa Park. Good cup runs and 4 consecutive 6th placed finishes on the bounce.
Favourite ever player or players?
Past Players: Dwight Yorke, Olof Mellberg, Ashley Young,
Current Players: Kodjia, Terry, Grealish
Steve Bruce hasn’t always been a fans favourite because of his City links, do you think he’s done a good job thus far?
Poor season last year, but a lot of injuries didn’t help the cause. This season has been a lot better, just inconsistent. Beat top of the league Wolves comfortable 4-1, the don’t win any of them next 3 against QPR, Bolton and Hull (no disrespect to any of them, but should have been 9 points there).
Robert Snodgrass has been tearing defences up this season. Signing of the season or could you mention another?
Keeping Sam Johnstone on loan again for the season, plus the signing of John Terry rank amongst the signings of the season, but the Snodgrass signing is most definitely up there as well. Hopefully Villa can keep hold of them all.
Player who typifies your team?
Player you’ve seen come through this season you rate highly?
Jack Grealish. Had a lot of potential in recent years but never lived upto it. Although he has had a few niggling injuries this season, he has clearly shown what he can do.
Top two to go up from the Championship, one to go up via the Playoffs?
Wolves, Fulham up automatically, and I've got to say Villa for playoffs haven’t i?!
Three for the drop this season?
Burton, Sunderland, Bolton
Prediction and Scorers for Fridays televised match?
Heart says 3-1 Villa. Grealish, Hourihane and Grabban. Head says 1-1. Grealish
We’d like to wish Chris the best of luck as the Villains continue their promotion push. At least one team in this conversation can have a good go!
By Keith Ingham
This week’s blog is dedicated to two of our own. You are always with us.
We remember you today and every day. God Bless Chris and Kevin.
Twitter post by Amy Kelly:
“18 years ago today, two of our own went to watch #lufc play away from home in the UEFA Cup, only they never made it home to their families.
“No one ever deserves to not return home safely from a football match.
Forever with us.
RIP Chris & Kev 💛💙”
Paul Heckingbottom on Sunderland: “We know they have good players in the side. They find themselves near the bottom of the league but on their day they are a really dangerous team. We're expecting to take the same approach as the Bolton and Fulham games and we want the three points.”
“They're down there because they've not produced as often as they can. But the approach we had the other night(at Fulham)is what we want going forward. A no fear approach and to express yourselves. The players have to believe."
On injuries: O’Kane(groin), Pennington(calf strain),Adam Forshaw (calf),Liam Cooper (torn thigh muscle),Andy Lonergan (stiff neck),Laurens De Bock (hamstring), Luke Ayling (ankle),Conor Shaughnessy (ankle) and Tyler Roberts (shin) are definitely out, but striker Roofe has now returned to training having missed the last six weeks with a calf injury picked in the 2-2 draw at Derby County on February 21. Heckingbottom said “We had him back last week but it was a bit too soon to involve him so Sunday he started and it was too soon to involve him Tuesday and we wanted to make sure we got as much work into him as possible.”
“What we hoped was initially a three-week injury, ended up rumbling on into five or six so it’s important to build him up to make sure he can have an impact when he gets on the pitch.”
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