With Ireland long gone and Leeds deciding to play two games in 24 hours, our squad was surely going to be stretched to their limits in order for Garry Monk to field two competitive sides against Guiseley and Peterborough this weekend.
So far preseason has been good for Leeds United, Monk was going into Saturday's game with Posh unbeaten in 3. No matter what the club's statures were, you can only beat what's infront of you and Leeds can say they've done that.
That was until two second half goals rendered Leeds speechless as Peterborough finished the friendly winners against an opposition side that looked incredibly comfortable in the first half.
Having ran over the past two matches for all there floors and upsides, it does seem that there's a tale between two halves and 180 minutes of football. The halves being the second half at Guiseley and the second half at Posh.
There's no doubt there will be some tired legs within the Leeds squad, we've now played 5 matches in the space of just over 11 days, this including the development squad game that took place away at Tadcaster Albion with four trialists and a few of the players who featured on Friday taking part.
As you can imagine this meant by the 60th minute against Posh, the players must have been running on empty. Thank god they have a rest before the last planned friendly match at home against Atlanta on July 30th.
I'd first like to mention the second half performance against Guiseley on Friday. After receiving a message from a friend who was at the game stating that we were 'woeful' as the third goal flew past a floundering Marco Silvestri, I was questioning whether the mood between fans would change drastically.
Being 3-0 down against a 5th division club is simply appalling, even with a centre-back partnership of an 18-year old and a central midfielder. The defensive training that I'd hoped Monk would implement in his early days at Leeds (with him being a defender himself in his playing days) looked completely unheard of.
A special mention to one Mr Silvestri, who's sorry a*** got dragged off at half time after some woeful attempts at goalkeeping in the first half. If you want your place back in the starting XI you're going to have to try harder than that! Marco has been a fantastic servant to the club over the past two years and has had some fantastic performances to go with it, but I think it may be time we said arrivederci to the Italian stopper.
After the second half whistle was blown, a new beast came out to play in a yellow shirt. Calm, calculating and clever on the ball, Leeds wanted to take this game for their own.
Rightly so they did, with a stellar performance and goal from Jordan Botaka, a wonder strike from Kalvin Phillips, along with goals from the promising striker Eoghan Stokes and Doukara, Leeds finished the game 4-3 winners.
The attention then turned to Saturdays fixture against Posh. We started well with some decisive play ahead of a fantastic volley from Alex Mowatt gave Leeds the lead on 14 minutes.
After some fantastic play and a slurry of chances to double our lead, the side went in at half time being deserved 1-0 leaders.
The energy then seemed to sap out as Leeds came out for the second half and the players looked tired and out of options as Peterborough played the ball around us and took their chances, not a great half but if anything it proves that our squad needs help.
Looking at both squads and the performances it's clear that we need some more additions. Monk and co have done well lately bringing in some exciting players in key areas, but it's not enough.
We are dire need of defensive reinforcements, including centre backs and full backs. The introduction of Coyle and Denton to the squad but I still think another left back or even right back with Berardi acting as left back cover is needed.
Our midfield has lost a star in Cook and even though we are moving in the right direction in the acquisition of Bridcutt and the emergence of Ronaldo Vieira, we need a string head to guide our young midfielders and monitor that midfield area.
Finally, we need to add another striker to our squad. Eoghan Stokes and Malik Wilks both look to be stars in the making and should be included in the first team consideration, but if we are to push for promotion we need different options. A pacey forward with skill and the ability to play on the last man would allow us to utilise Wood as the big lad he really is.
Looking ahead to our final preseason game at Atlanta and our biggest test yet I'd say we've had a very successful preseason. There's been some good football played and some great additions, add a few more and we really could push for a top six finish next season.
By Ryan Ingham
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