By Mark Rasdall
So Leeds United managed to beat Blackpool at last! Perhaps it was playing on a Wednesday evening instead of a Tuesday that did it? Either way imagine how Paul Ince would have reacted if his new side had beaten us at Elland Road for the second year running. We'd have had to extend the posh entrance doors in the West Stand to let his head and his lovely overcoat out into the fresh Yorkshire air.
Thinking about Wednesday's LUFC performance and given that the Mighty Whites now head off to another Black team - Blackburn - today, I was minded of the great All Blacks rugby teams from the past.
Without a hint of irony my football-loving uncle used to describe (all forms of) rugby as 'brute force and ignorance.' I actually love both sports and both codes of rugby. I've had many happy hours watching the Rhinos at Headingley as well as Yorkshire Cricket Club on the other side of that famous stand.
Anyway, we all love to remember the New Zealand rugby teams for their flowing, passing moves and ability to spot and penetrate defensive weakness, seemingly at will. But, it wasn't always due to pace and flair. As with all rugby and football teams, there needs to be a backbone of steel and gritty 'thou shalt not pass' determination. I thought Leeds United demonstrated much more of that on Wednesday and that is certainly what Neil Warnock has brought back into the side this season. Unfortunately the gritty football is often grotty to watch and, as we all know, when this doesn't work there appears to be no Plan B.
Yes, it was great to see Morrison score and hopefully he can begin to get fit, shake off the 'Canaries Reject' label and escape Becchio's long shadow. Yes, it was good to see us create more chances than in a long time but, even though the evenings are getting lighter again, one swallow does not a summer make...
My overwhelming conviction that Warnock and the Kenny/Brown components of our spine are rapidly running out of steam remains. Defensively we do look much better - and Paddy Kenny's saves were fantastic on this occasion - but creatively there is still so much to do. Tactically we have to drop Austin until he is either physically or mentally fit. It's a real shame after such a positive start. My view is that his ankle injury was exacerbated by the long-haul trips to Jamaica and he's too quickly running on empty as a result.
However, I actually feel a sense of release that we can just go out there and play our remaining league games now with no real expectation of the Play Offs and every expectation that a fresher tactical approach and execution is coming sooner rather than later.
They filmed the famous Hovis ads on the cobbles just outside Blackburn's Ewood Park ground. Let's hope we bring the bread home today.
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