Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you've supported the Mighty Whites?
I'm Dan, I'm 22 and I am a freelance football commentator and massive Leeds fan. I've supported Leeds since around the turn of the millennium when I was 5/6. My first game was in 2004; an FA Cup Third Rond tie against the invincible Arsenal side, after getting the tickets as a Christmas present.
We lost 4-1 but I vividly remember the Leeds goal. We took the lead after eight minutes when a Jens Lehmann mistake let Mark Viduka tap in. The roar was the loudest thing I'd ever heard! After that, I knew I was hooked for life.
Why Leeds United?
My Dad was a Leeds fan which helped of course. Him and my older brother had a season ticket during the O'Leary era and they'd come home and I'd read all the programmes and know all the names of the players and what position they played. I'd then start to watch the odd game on telly before attending my first games. I think bizarrely enough, I became an even bigger fan once we'd dropped down to the Championship, probably because I was a bit older and had more of an understanding of the game.
Some of the other kids at school were diverting their support away from Leeds because they were struggling. But I stuck with them so I knew it was Leeds for life.
Your favourite ever players to play for Leeds?
From the Premier League days I'd say Mark Viduka, because he was such a giant powerhouse figure, but was still technically incredibly gifted and scored goals. However, from the recent era I'd say Max Gradel. He epitomised everything that a Leeds player should have. So much energy, directness and work rate, but also had matchwinning quality that others in the league simply didn't have.
What is the era that you remember the most?
The League One and Simon Grayson era. It was a tough time to be a Leeds fan, but once Simon had got his team and his ideas instilled in the set up, we played some of the most exciting attacking football I've ever seen.
Best Manager/Head Coach in that time?
Simon Grayson of course! Though Garry is a very close second.
Where is your favourite away ground or ground you've been in?
I've never been able to get to many away games due to cost and travel etc, but I'll go with the Stadium of Light. Very impressive ground.
Best game you've witnessed at Elland Road?
The Bristol Rovers game at home. It was one of those classic football fairytales that seemed so improbable, especially when they took the lead while we were down to ten men. But the spirit showed and the ball was almost like a magnet towards the Kop! Jermaine Beckford's winner is still my favourite goal by far.
It's only now you realise how significant that result was. If we 'd have bottled it after being in the top two for virtually the whole season, I'd have really struggled to see us come back up, because three failed promotion campaigns in a row would have hurt the side very badly.
Funniest, or strangest moment you've seen watching football?
I think the game was when Leeds played Watford in 2011? But I remember Luciano Becchio scoring a late equaliser, then this giant fan, must have been around 20+ stone, managed to somehow evade security and run onto the pitch. He then started slowly running away from stewards as they tried and failed to rugby tackle him to the floor! It took about five of them to finally get him off the pitch. I'm guessing he's not been a regular visitor since...
Your thoughts on the season so far?
It's certainly been a lot better that we all expected. At first, I thought Garry had made too many signings and was trying to change things too quickly. Obviously, changes were needed after last season's horror show, but I thought he overdid it, and the side looked confused early on.
Fair play to him though, he's found a way of playing and has managed to integrate all the players he brought in. The defence is without question the strongest it's been since dropping out of the Premier League; I no longer get too nervous when other teams attack us, because Kyle and Pontus are so solid, you know they'll be in the right place to head or block any effort on goal. Also, in Chris Wood we have arguably the best and certainly most in-form striker in the division. The best thing about this season is that we can grind out results without playing well, Birmingham on Friday being a prime example. Any other season, we'd have capitulated.
If Leeds do end up in the playoffs do you expect joy or heartbreak, either in the semi finals or Wembley?
We've not had the best record in our recent forays into them. Seeing as though my time supporting Leeds has coincided with disappointment, then I'll always expect heartbreak! I think it's all down to who we face. As it stands, Huddersfield will be by far the most dangerous opponents. I think we're easily good enough to dispatch Reading and Sheffield Wednesday. I'll stick my neck on the line though and say we'll win the playoffs.
We'd like to thank Dan for answering our questions and hope that he gets a chance at commentating the playoff final when Leeds win promotion.
By Keith Ingham
Leeds picked up another point against a spirited QPR but it wasn't the display we wanted or needed.
After a decent first twenty minutes we were slow in the build up and a little ponderous in midfield. Neither Bridcutt, Vieira nor Hernandez could find the 'killer ball' that Chris Wood thrives on.
In fact the best player on the field in a white shirt was Luke Ayling who was allowed to push up as much as QPR allowed him to (it was quite a bit). However, with no support or clever movement from the other players, Ayling's effort was poorly spent.
Where's the 'mojo' gone? This team on several occasions has played teams off the park despite some narrow score lines? Making a 1-0 win look like a good old hiding.
I'd hoped for another 'Lord Mayor' (Derby) show but these haven't been forthcoming. I think I know one of the reasons for this but everybody might not agree with me-few actually do!
It's the constant changing of the midfield that is causing problems. Burnley when they were promoted hardly ever changed their line-up apart from injuries or suspensions and in such a vital area it's so important for players to be on the same wavelength and that comes with playing together as a unit, not constantly changing one or two, sometimes three players or more each game.
Garry Monk seems, even at this late stage of the season it looks like it to me that he doesn't know his best combination in a midfield quintet. In the holding midfield positions, Liam Bridcutt, Kalvin Phillips, Ronaldo Vieira and Eunan O'Kane have all tried to make these positions their own and they all have had games that they have played well. However, Garry Monk continues to 'shuffle his pack' to find the perfect two.
The wide positions are also regularly changed with 'Sully' Doukara, Hadi Sacko, Stuart Dallas and the January loanees Alfonso Pedraza and to a lesser extent Mo Barrow tried in various combinations. Again, there have been games that most have done enough (apart from Barrow) to keep the shirt and position for the next game, but only a few times they have actually done so.
With nine games to play it would be a good idea to pick five players and basically (barring injuries or suspensions) stick with them. Familiarity and the knowledge that they are together for a period of time may just be the way of getting the swing in Leeds' step back.
We are still unbeaten but sometimes a little luck more than management has been the reason why we still are. Picking the five might be the difficult part because I can dare bet that if you asked ten supporters they'd probably give you ten different combinations.
The club is in a wonderful position after 37 games played and it would be a travesty if all that bloody hard work by the staff and players was to fail in the final few games.
I feel that at least three or possibly four more wins are needed to guarantee a place in the end of season playoffs and I'm still confident that they can do it.
Continuity in the team, in my opinion might just help the squad achieve that goal.
By Keith Ingham
A match report live from Saturdays clash against QPR at Elland Road.
-Leeds only conceded 2 goals in last 5 games against QPR.
-QPR last four games have finished 2-1 to the home side (3 times in their favour)
-Wood (out against Fulham) has scored 22/50 goals for Leeds - 44%
Last 5 home games vs QPR: WDWLD
Last 5 games vs QPR: LDLDL
Leeds: Green, Ayling, Bartley, Jansson, Berardi, Bridcutt, Vieira, Roofe, Hernandez, Pedraza, Wood Subs: Silvestri, Cooper, Doukara, O’Kane, Dallas, Taylor, Sacko
QPR: Smithies, Furlong, Hall, Onuoha, Lynch, Bidwell, Wszolek, Luongo, Freeman, Washington, Smith Subs: Goss, Mackie, Ingram, Ngakoto, Sylla, Manning, Morrison
A drab draw at Elland Road as Leeds failed to break down a very counter attacking QPR team that came with a plan to snuff Leeds out.
Talismanic striker Chris Wood was largely marked out of the game with QPR opting to stick three defenders next to the New Zealand forward in a very astute 5-3-2 formation.
A game of very few but significant chances, Leeds had opportunities with a few clever break aways but once again could not offer a good enough final ball to make their chances count.
QPR started the game very well and had two glorious opportunities fall to striker Conor Washington. The Norther Irish forward was unable to convert from a ball that dropped to him in the six yard box and then Rob Green making his 600th career appearance stopped an onrushing Washington to prevent an early shocker.
Luke Ayling then made sure that he was returning to a happy wife and newborn as he followed through on a lost ball and picked up his 10th yellow of the season. He will now miss the games against Brighton and Reading.
Leeds then came into gear as a beautiful cross field ball found Kemar Roofe lurking on the left hand side. With a dropped shoulder he marched into the area only for his shot to be deflected wide.
Man-marked Chris Wood’s luck did not change for the better in the second half as he was put through on two occasions only to be judged offside.
Had Sacko was then brought on to make difference and at times looked deadly. Unfortunately for Leeds he still seems to be pissing a good pair of shooting boots.
Head of Content Keith Ingham called Leeds pedestrian at best and you can see why as Leeds showed a lack of urgency to grab a scruffy goal in front of the kop.
The referee then received a rapturous atmosphere as he made howler after howler in the final 10 minutes.
Leeds failed to pick up what could be a vital three points in the promotion race as Sheffield Wednesday, Reading and Newcastle all dropped points. Fulham however were able to claim three more points making it 6 points and a game in hand between the Londoners and Leeds.
Garry Monk: Never did enough to win. Usually high standards at Elland Road. Poor mentality, but it's still a point.
No excuses for the busy weak. Didn't reach their usual performance. Nine huge games left and the club is fighting like hell to pick up points.
Ian Holloway: Happy with the teams performance but thought that they could have stole a win. Pleased with his pre-season prediction for Leeds, Huddersfield fans still hate him.
Pleased with how Garry Monk has got Leeds working, knows he'll be successful because he improves players.
Championship is one of the best leagues going, doesn't know why any club would want to leave. Premier league is boring and I've been there.
By Ryan Ingham
Head of Content Keith Ingham recently got the chance to speak to a former academy star about Leeds' current performance and a little nostalgia.
Ben Parker was another player to come out of the famed Thorp Arch academy that has given us countless stars over the years. First given his chance by Dennis Wise, Parker went on to make the left back position his own in the 07/08 season and has given the supporters some good memories over the years.
Ben, who was your inspiration in starting playing football, your first idol?
My first idol was Harry Kewell. When he first broke into the side I thought he was fantastic. At that time I was playing in the academy in a similar position to him and just wanted to play like him, have the same boots etc.
Apart from family, who was the first person to encourage you to take up the game as a professional?
I was very fortunate to not only have a very supporting family, but also a great set of coaches throughout the academy. Names that stand out when I was younger are Gary Chapman, Dave Harrison, Dennis Oates and when I was a bit older Malcolm Shotton and Warren Joyce. All of them were top blokes and you wanted to do your best for them.
When you made your debut, what was it like to run out in front of the crowd at Elland Road?
Growing up being a Leeds fan, it was all I wanted to do. So to actually get the chance, it's difficult to put into words what it felt like. Everyone who goes to Elland Road dreams of it and I was one of the lucky ones to make that dream a reality.
At your time at Leeds who were the players that you spent the most time with outside football?
We had a close knit group during my time so socialising with everything was pretty easy. But the Yorkshire boys stuck together so spent more time with the likes of Jonny Howson, Leigh Bromby and Frazer Richardson.
We all remember your run down the wing to set up Luciano Becchio in the playoff semi final versus Millwall, is it your biggest disappointment that we didn't make the final?
100%. There was a huge confidence within the squad and around the club. The fans believed in us and everyone just thought it was going to be our year. Personally, it's a strange one for me because everyone stops me and talks about that goal and yes, it was a great moment and the noise the crowd made was unreal. But ultimately we lost the tie and everyone was gutted with that.
It's been a encouraging season, who do you think is the most underrated player in the 2016/17 squad?
There's been quite a few lads that have gone under the radar and in a successful squad and season you need more than 1 or 2 that do the basics well. I think Luke Ayling has been fantastic and probably the buy of the season. But I'd have to go with Berardi. If you said to any Leeds fan at the start of the season that Charlie Taylor would be missing for a large amount of time then I think most would of been worried. But the way he has slotted in and performed has been hugely impressive.
We've had a lot of Head Coaches since Massimo Cellino bought the club, what is it about Garry Monk that makes him stand out from the rest?
I think he just gives out a confidence to his players and has an ability to get the best out of a squad, that most would of thought would be hovering around mid table, to perform to a high level on a consistent basis. The next challenge for Garry and his staff is can they maintain it from now until the end of the season when the pressure will be high but from what I've seen so far, I think he will take that in his stride.
Who're your two to be promoted automatically this season?
I'd have to say the top 2 at the moment, Newcastle and Brighton. After we beat Derby, I thought we had a chance of catching them but it's going to be difficult for anyone to reel them in.
Your player of the season so far?
I have already mentioned Ayling earlier and the obvious name that comes to mind is Pontus. He's someone Leeds have been missing for years. But if we do go up then the goals of Chris Wood would have been a major part in us getting there so he would get my vote.
Finally, where do you think Leeds will end up at the end of the season and if it is in the playoffs do you think they will get promoted?
We should comfortably get in the play offs, if we apply ourselves the correct way between now and end of the season. And personally I'm not too bothered where we finish between 3rd and 6th because from what I've seen so far, no team scares me. But this is Leeds United so it won't be as simple as that but come May 29th, I can see a big party in Wembley and Leeds taking place.
Just a reminder of Ben's favourite moment inside Elland Road;
We'd like to thank Ben for taking the time to answer our questions and wish him the best of look with his continued career in football.
By Keith Ingham
Heidi Haigh's Monday blog and how delighted she was with the excellent win and 'gritty' performance.
Superb as usual. Thank you.
Defensive stalwart Kyle Bartley paid tribute to both Rob Green and Chris Wood.
On Green; "Greeny's really come into his own in the last month or six weeks. He's been a great voice and his experience has shone through. I think he's proving how good he is, from where I was it looked a really good penalty save. It looked liked (Rhodes) had put it right in the corner."
On Wood; "He's scored a lot of goals and he's massively important for us, not just with his goals but with his all-round play and how he leads from the front. He gives everyone a great lift."
Two Leeds defenders in the Championship team of the week.
Step forward two of the best full backs outside the top six of the Premiership.
Well done Luke Ayling and Gaetano Berardi.
Luke Ayling was also included in the Football League Weekly newspaper team of the Championship along with Rob Green.
Garry Monk given one-game touchline ban and £3k fine by the Football League after admitting charge of improper conduct over derby at Huddersfield on Feb 5.
Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner is given a two-match touchline ban plus £6K fine for the incident at the end of the game on the 5th of February between the two clubs at the John Smith's Stadium.
Leeds United FC were also fined £10k for failing to ensure that their players conducted themselves in a orderly fashion and/or refrained from provocative behaviour, Town were also fined £10k.
On This Day - 1981
Brian Flynn scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over the Pennines in Salford.
I was there too. Enjoy!
Points attained to qualify for the playoffs since 2006/07.
Highest - 78points: Ipswich Town 2014/15
Lowest - 68 points: Leicester City 2012/13
Brighton are stunned by a late comeback by Newcastle United, Perez with the late winner in a 2-1 win. Newcastle now eight points clear of third placed Huddersfield who they play on Saturday.
Garry Monk's look ahead to the game at St Andrews on Friday; Charlie Taylor fit to be considered for the game, Coyle and Denton (4 to 6 weeks) out injured, compared Newcastle's equaliser at Brighton to one of his rare goals, considers the matter with the FA done with and it will not alter preparations for the game on Friday, said Birmingham has a squad that could challenge for the playoffs, great result for them at Wolverhampton.
On Southampton's interest in Jansson "I don't need to comment on rumours" on his contract situation: "I haven't spoken to the club yet. I am very much focussed on the football."
He added; "My contract is until the summer but there is a lot of time between now and the end of the season."
Lastly on the constant changing of combinations of the away colours, he was asked what are to be used on Friday "It will be a surprise - if it's that much of an issue."
A confident, happy Monk.
Forty nine years today: Leeds United win their first domestic cup final when Billy Bremner lifts the League Cup at Wembley Stadium following their 1-0 win over Arsenal. Terry Cooper scoring the winning goal.
Birmingham City vs Leeds Preview
Last Five Games
Birmingham 1 Leeds 2 April 2016
Birmingham 1 Leeds 1 September 14
Birmingham 1 Leeds 3 April 14
Birmingham 1 Leeds 0 April 13
Birmingham 1 Leeds 0 January 13
Leeds face back-to-back away games at Birmingham on Friday and a trip to Fulham on Tuesday, both games without doubt will be testing fixtures, but if your hoping for the Playoffs no games will be easy on the run in to claim one of the four places.
Birmingham, since Zola replaced Gary Rowett have won only two games out of the fourteen played, last weekend's win at Wolverhampton was their latest and a surprising one too.
Garry Monk must decide if to keep the same eleven on duty that played so well against Wednesday or give one or two players opportunities to show their worth.
I'd like to see Mo Barrow given a opportunity and maybe Pedraza too for this game. The Fulham game might be tighter and I'm sure he will utilise his squad.
Out of the two games this looks the easiest, but as Brentford showed Sheffield Wednesday no team should be taken lightly or a slip up may happen.
Leeds to win 2-1.
Birmingham City v Leeds
Team News: One change, Stuart Dallas replaces Hadi Sacko.
Team: Green, Ayling, Bartley, Jansson, Berardi, Bridcutt(c), O'Kane, Dallas, Hernandez, Doukara, Wood.
Another game when although we did not perform to a good standard but the three points still found their way to Yorkshire. The 3-1 win over Birmingham City is testament to the hard work that Garry Monk and his assistants have put into this squad.
The first half from a Leeds perspective was largely forgettable, passes going astray and Birmingham forcing Leeds on the back foot. Then Bridcutt found Ayling who in turn found Chris Wood, the rest is what has become expected, the ball nestling in an opponents net. The New Zealander is in incredible form and Leeds went into the break a goal up.
The second half followed the same pattern as the first, Birmingham with most of the possession and Green thwarted them with a smart save from Adams. It didn't come as a surprise when City levelled, Gardner seizing on a ball to beat Green from distance.
The introduction of Kalvin Phillips, a replacement for O'Kane gave Leeds the boost they desperately needed and he supplied Wood with the ball to give Leeds their second. The game was finished when Hernandez found substitute Pedraza to beat the City keeper from inside the area.
Leeds are now eleven points ahead of Fulham who have played two games less, it wasn't pretty but in the last 30 minutes Leeds showed their class to win the game.
Man of the Match: Chris Wood, the talisman.
Garry Monk: "We needed to trust ourselves a little bit more and it looked like we were a bit restricted, maybe feeling pressure to win the game, but we were playing against a very good side. I know Birmingham are where they are in the Championship and they've had a poor run (previous to Wolves), I thought they were excellent for sixty minutes. Our mentality is strong, to fight and defend under pressure but I thought in the last thirty minutes we were excellent."
"That was the real us and that's what we've been doing (in training) and how we try to play. We looked dangerous and in the end we won the game comfortably, Birmingham will feel aggrieved they got nothing."
Gianfranco Zola: "They are genuinely doing their best. Of course we need to improve because we cannot afford to loose, but it is not going to happen all the time like this."
Andrew Butterwick's impressive 'away day' blog on the game at St Andrews.
Winning 'ugly' seems to be happening more times than not, still it gets Leeds three points.
Most plaudits went to twenty plus goalscorer Chris Wood but Kalvin Phillips' performance from the bench brought some good reviews, on the other hand some players' performances were questioned.
You know who you are!
Two games, six points is a superb return from a tough home game against one of your rivals and a tough looking away trip at Birmingham.
Fulham up next!
By Keith Ingham
Editor-in-Chief Ryan Ingham got the chance to speak to Rob Wildey of football fan site Vital Birmingham ahead of tomorrow's fixture. Here's what was said;
How many years have you followed Birmingham City FC?
I've followed Birmingham for as long as I've followed football. My Dad is an avid Bluenose so I didn't really have much of a choice, not that I'd have it any other way.
Your favourite Birmingham players of all time?
I was always a big fan of Geoff Horsfield. His endeavour and attitude summarised everything this club is about. He was a leader of men and won many battles in his personal life too!
I've always been a stickler for a good defender too and we've had some good'uns in recent years. Kenny Cunningham and Matthew Upson formed an unbreakable partnership that was the heart and soul of our Premier League days.
What are your thoughts on the owners, the removal of Rowett and how Zola has done since taking over from him?
The owners were criticised for dismissing Rowett who was doing a decent job. But it's been a long time since an owner of Birmingham City invested money in the transfer market so, for that, they deserve credit.
Hiring Gianfranco Zola was, and still is, a controversial decision. He hasn't had the best of starts, picking up just two wins in 14 games. He's a likeable chap and I hope and pray he is a success given time.
Who are the most promising youngsters that have come into the team and are there any other youngsters that you expect to break into it?
We've been known to flog our youngsters in recent years when the financial waters were rocky. Nathan Redmond, Jack Butland, Jordon Mutch and Demarai Gray all came through the academy at Wast Hills and have since moved on.
Nowadays, we have a promising defender, Josh Dacres-Cogley, who is establishing himself as a first team player. Corey O'Keefe is a regular on the bench, hopefully he'll get more of a chance soon.
Memorable games vs Leeds at St Andrews?
It has to be the game in 2002, our first win in the Premier League. After going a goal down, goals from Damien Johnson and Paul Devlin won us the game. The atmosphere that day was electric.
Your two to be promoted automatically?
It has to be Brighton and Newcastle.
Leeds or Huddersfield
Three for the drop?
Rotherham, Wigan and Bristol City (or Wolves, hopefully)
Score and Scorers for Friday?
1-1... Adams for Birmingham, Wood for Leeds.
We'd like to thank Rob for taking the time to answer our questions and wish him and the Blues the best of luck for the season.
Make sure to check out Vital Birmingham for a similar interview with myself for Rob!
By Ryan Ingham
As an 11 year old, my team was Leeds United, simply for the reason that my sister- 4 years older - supported Bradford City and LUFC were a couple of divisions above!
My dad wasn’t into football, so I never went to a game – I just avidly cut out all the news on LUFC and made up my scrapbooks, wore my LUFC scarf with pride and watched Billy run around on our little black and white TV
The first match I attended at Elland Road was circa 1979/80 with an ex-boyfriend. I couldn’t believe I was there. The atmosphere for me, was electric, like nothing I’d experienced before – not the same as watching black and white TV – it was all larger than life, full of colour and noise. I was just sorry most of my heroes were no longer on the pitch – but I will never forget that fluttery feeling inside of me, that I was actually there, everything I thought it would be and more.
As the years went by, raising a family, working hard I didn’t come back to Elland Road until 2010 – we were in a position at long last to buy season tickets – and a great time to take our grandson age 10. Goals
I felt as though I’d come home. A few less crowd but nevertheless, loud, robust, loyal, passionate – and I was part of it, this LUFC family at long last – and I’ve never looked back since.
Off pitch drama with Ken Bates, GFH and MC have all added to the stresses and tribulations of being an LUFC supporter – being part of social media has involved debates, falling outs, alliances formed and disbanded, laughter and tears and yet here we are, 2016/17 and it looks as though we may have come through it all to finally take our place in the top tier.
I don’t get into technicalities of football, I listen to hubby, grandson, pundits, friends and other supporters, to their opinions of who should have been where, whose fault it was for losing etc. etc. I don’t profess to know or even hazard a guess. What I do know is if I’ve gone to a game and been mesmerised, excited, if I’ve come away buzzing because I’ve seen and felt that the team on the pitch, MY team have played their socks off, that I feel fantastic, on top of the world (think Derby game). Equally, if they’ve not played their best, if we’ve taken a beating – I sulk with the best of them.
Looking at the remainder of the season, I see nothing to fear. We appear to play better against better opposition - it‘s bound to be tough, e.g. Preston will come to LUFC hoping to salvage pride after their 4-1 defeat, but I believe in GM, and I believe, for the first time in a LONG time, that this team is a TEAM and all that entails – all for 1 and 1 for all, MOT.
We'd like to thank Helen for taking the time to get back to us. We are so proud and honoured to have such wonderful stories like this sent to us.
If if you have a story to tell, get in touch @weallloveleedsu or post your email address in the comments section below.
By Helen Moore