Continuing our latest feature in which we have a chat with our next opponent, Keith Ingham spoke to Reading fan Jake Reilly about tomorrow's fixture.
First the obvious one, how long have you followed Reading?
Supported Reading for about 13 years. Dad took me to a 0-0 draw with Rotherham in August 2003 has me hooked.
Tell us about your first Reqding match and First time seeing Leeds?
My first Reading game was the 0-0 above, this Saturday will be my first trip to Elland Road but I've some good memories from previous games against you. The 2-0 in our promotion season and Le Fondre's late winner at home a couple of seasons later are both highlights.
You've had a pretty tough season, have you been disappointed with it?
I think everyone's been quite disappointed with how the seasons turned out in all honesty. After starting brightly, we were 2nd in October, our season just collapsed after Steve Clarke talked to Fulham about a move away.
Return of the Mac!
Not really a Brian fan and while the work he's done hasn't been awful, we haven't had the upturn in form expected of a new man. He's starting to put some passion back into the team by dropping a few of our large contingent of loanees or so it appeared until Saturday's dismal showing but results need to improve.
Who are the key players for your future?
Aaron Tshibola looked a fantastic player for us earlier in the season and his injury coincided with our collapse in form. Another is Dom Samuel who's got a few goals out on loan in League 1 at Gillingham. Tariqe Fosu and Jake Cooper are also impressive graduates from the academy who should get more game time next year. Existing 1st team players who are key include Paul McShane and Oliver Norwood, arguably our top two for player of the season.
Player you'd take off our hands? Sorry not Lewis Cook!
Given we need goalscorers, usually I'd pick your first choice striker but seeing as none of them are particularly banging them in, I'd say Charlie Taylor or Alex Mowatt who both will go on to play in the Premier League with or without Leeds.
Where do you hope to be next season?
Much like this season, the aim will be to finish in the play-offs but I can't see it so the top 10 would be a good season if we can use it to bed in some of the promising youngsters then that'd be a bonus too.
Who is your player of the season?
No players had an 'outstanding' season but the best of a bad bunch would be the captain Paul McShane, a solid centre-half at Championship level and a real leader in a squad that lacks them. Was a brilliant bit of business getting him in for free.
Who is your Danger Man?
Ola John for sure, the winger on loan from Benfica has really come to life since christmas and torn apart most Right backs hes faced this season
Owner: Good or Bad?
A bit of both really, while they should be applauded for coming into the club when we were on the brink of administration in Summer 2014 and providing support for Clarke last summer, the investment has been fairly limited with a lot of expensive loanees and no real net spending.
Recent developments with the land surrounding the stadium set to be developed could be the true reason they bought the club but lets hope not.
Prediction for tomorrow? Score and scorers.
Mowatt, Antenucci, Williams, Vydra
A big thank you to Jake Reilly to take time to answer our questions.
By Keith Ingham
Wednesday's verdict from the employment tribunal could not have been more damming.
The judge said Leeds, as a club didn't follow rules that have been in place well before the city of Leeds was blighted with having a team owned by Massimo Cellino.
The verdict even brought the local paper, the Yorkshire Evening Post to do an editorial asking 'How much more can we take'.
Good question that, because without a doubt the Italian has still many followers who blindly point at the clubs improved accounts without seeing the bile that was produced to get them there.
Lucy Ward is a good person, not perfect, none of us are. But she, alongside Neil Redfearn helped bring in a lot of players to the first team of Leeds United who formed the backbone of the current eleven on duty in our latest game vs Birmingham City.
She deserves credit and respect for this, as do others who worked with her.What she doesn't need telling is that she's better served staying in the kitchen or filling some buggers nails.
That's disrespectful and has no place in any workplace never mind a football club.
What to do? Surely there comes a time that the authorities and the Football League get off their collective arses and finally do something to help this 'listing' ship before it sinks without trace. Maybe that is their remit, to rid football of one of the most famous teams in English football. If it is, they should hang their heads in shame.
Time to act Football League, you've made your verdict that he's not 'fit and proper' and Cellino has shown recently that along with another family member he's not and shouldn't be owning a pub team never mind a Championship team. You're letting the city as well as it's fans down.
The supporters have their choice this weekend as fans will march from the city centre to Elland Road before the fixture with Reading. Those who disagree with it or simply ignore the march I ask one question; What the hell do we do then?
I for one need the answer because I'm fast coming to the point where I'm thinking the only way to change is to vote with my feet and that is wrong because I love my club but hate what it is becoming, a joke, an embarrassment.
I cannot see this relationship ending well; like two lovers who know they aren't meant to be together. Leeds and Cellino will one day part and there will be tears, not from us for his departure, but the stains he's left on our club.
I say 'ours' because it bloody is, I've paid part of Brolin's wage, a piece of the East Stand, George Graham's wage and I've done it and smiled because this is my club and I'm sick to the back teeth of it's name being dragged through the shit!
Go Cellino, Go now!!
By Keith Ingham
Fantastic writer and all round joy to meet Heidi Haigh talks about her first game watching Lufc.
For my first game in 1967 I’ve had to do a bit of research to try and work out which it was. I’m not 100% sure but once my friend Sue finds the diaries she kept at the time, I will at least know which it was.
Looking at the fixture list for that season we played Sunderland at home on 19th August in a 1-1 draw, with Greenhoff the scorer in front of a 36,252 crowd. It is possible that this game was my first one as Sue’s birthday is on 26th August and I know that is was a daytime game. The only other home game at that time was Fulham on 2nd September which we won 2-0 with Belfitt scoring both goals in front of a 25,760 crowd.
The cup game wasn’t until September 13th which would have been on an evening so hopefully I’ve narrowed it down to one of the two!
As it was, Sue’s dad had agreed to take us to Elland Road for her 12th birthday treat. My recollections of the day are vague but I know that I travelled with Sue, her dad and another friend Fiona to the game.
We had all met whilst in the first year of Selby High School for Girls which changed to Selby Grammar School in 1967 having amalgamated with Drax Grammar School for Boys.
Having had a conversation in the classroom at school there were quite a few of us who supported Leeds at the time, as they were always being shown on Match of the Day.
We went and stood in Lowfields Road near the front of the stand and near the half way line. The only thing that stands out in my mind was at half time when our names were announced over the tannoy. “Sue, Heidi and Fiona were there for Sue’s birthday and had travelled to the game from Selby”.
They then played Lily the Pink by the Scaffold for us! Everyone around us was laughing at our excitement saying that we had come all the way from Selby to the game, when we screamed on hearing our names read out. That is something I have never forgotten as it made our first game memorable and special.
I was already a Leeds United Supporter before this game and can remember watching Leeds lose to Liverpool in the 1965 FA Cup Final on TV plus my sister Karin had already gone to some of the games.
Actually going to Elland Road though to see Leeds play in person and standing on the terraces, is what indoctrinated me into being a loyal supporter, now in my 51st year!
Sue and I are still friends to this day and are both home and away season ticket holders. We travel to away games with Fullerton Park Supporters Club branch and are forever loyal!
Heidi Haigh, author of Follow Me and Leeds United, Once a Leeds fan, always a Leeds fan and co-author of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Leeds United.
By Heidi Haigh
If you are looking for a piece of Leeds United history you might want to look at an auction of football memorabilia at Sotheby's in London on the 25th/26th of April.
On sale at the auction will be the medal that was presented to Norman Hunter after Leeds were cruelly robbed of the ultimate prize of European football, the European Cup.
Graham Budd, who's auction firm is selling it said; “It’s a runners-up medal but nevertheless it’s still a major achievement and a very desirable object.”
Norman sold some of his medals in 2013 and it has now been put back up for sale. It should be worth around £4,000.
Burnley v Leeds
Steve Evans made three changes to the team to face Burnley, Silvestri, Diagouraga and Bamba replacing Peacock-Farrell, Bridcutt and the under fire Bellusci.
Heaton, Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward, Boyd, Jones, Barton, Arfield, Vokes, Gray
Robinson, Tarkowski, Dyer, Taylor, Barnes, Marney, Darikwa
Silvestri, Berardi, Bamba, Cooper, Taylor, Diagouraga, Murphy, Cook, Dallas, Carayol, Wood
Peacock-Farrell, Coyle, Bellusci, Adeyemi, Phillips, Mowatt, Antenucci
Leeds were undone within the first minute as Arfield beat Silvestri with an angled shot that I thought the Italian should have done better with.
1-0 down so early meant Leeds had a tough job to get back into the game, Bamba did test Heaton but the keeper dealt with his effort easily.
Boyd could have doubled the lead with a effort that was akin to the opening goal but the ball just went inches wide. Mostly for Leeds the quality of the ball into the final third wasn't good enough to trouble a well marshalled Burnley backline.
Wood had an effort over the bar before a guilt edged chance fell to the big striker, Carayol's cross found him but inexplicably the big striker headed wide and at three million quid those chances should be
Antenucci, on for Carayol burst past a defender and ended up prone in the area, the referee ignoring the Italians plea for a penalty.
Leeds had the lions share of the possession but not being able to capitalise on it, Taylor presented Wood with another opportunity but again he failed to find the net. Burnley should have doubled their lead but Barnes fired wide when set up by Burnley's Taylor.
Man of the Match: Liam Cooper
Evans; "Their goal cost us because of our inability to take chances. The Chris Wood chances, they’re bread and butter to him." Evans thought Antenucci was fouled and it was a penalty, Bridcutt had a scan this morning and is doubtful for Birmingham on Tuesday, very difficult week for the Scotsman after a family bereavement.
Sean Dyche; "Apart from the great goal, and if Boydy's goes in shortly afterwards, I think the game's done, but credit to Leeds.
"No one plays a game to lay down and accept it, especially not when the cameras are here, and sometimes, the weirdness of 1-0 almost makes teams play more freely, and they did, whereas they know we're tight and the crowd are a bit tight with the emotion of it, and to see our way through the game and get the win is important."
At least the lads and Evans didn't go hungry on the way back from Burnley. Pizza anyone?
According to Football League World the three worst moments for a Leeds supporter this season were the games at;
Middlesborough when we didn't turn up and 'Pepe' Bellusci had one of 'those' games
Brighton three goals in eight first half minutes in a defensive horror show.
Huddersfield at Elland Road when after getting the first goal we collapsed and some players gave in when Town went ahead 2-1
Myself though they were bad, I think Ipswich Town at home was for me just as shocking. Can't remember their keeper being troubled and commentating on it was a nightmare
Leicester City have been compared to the Leeds United side that won the Championship in 1992, the last English Champions before the Premier League came in the season after.
Gordon Strachan talking on 'Goals on Sunday' compared Wilkinson's side to Ranieri's, he said; "It [Leeds] was a team that overpowered teams and a team that was quite basic but when it came to areas to play we could play."
He then added "The standards [at Leeds] were set not by the fitness coaches or nutritionists or anything else. It was the guys who led from the front that trained every day and said 'Right, we'll lead from the back and we'll take you. You want to join us. If you can't join us you're not good enough for us."
Vital Leeds gave Charlie Taylor the man of the match against Burnley, they also touched on what a few fans have been saying about the last few games of this forgettable season. Excellent review as always.
I think we all feared the worst when they scored in the opening minute but after that, we controlled the game. Like the rest of the season, we lack any power in the final third and rarely look like scoring so when we get the chances, we must score.
With safety all but guaranteed I think it is time to give some of the fringe players a chance. I would like to see Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Lewie Coyle, Kalvin Phillips, Casper Sloth, Lee Erwin, Jordan Botaka and Eoghan Stokes given a chance in the final weeks of the season.
As fans, we have little to look forward to between now and the end of the season so let us give some of the squad a chance.
Many Thanks to Vital Leeds.
Lucy Ward's tribunal case for unfair dismissal and sexual discrimination against Leeds United starts today, the hearing takes place in Leeds.
The last word word on Saturday's game by the excellent Jon Howe
Many Thanks to LEEDSLIVING
In a season that will not be remembered for much, Lewis Cook's nomination as one of the Football League's players of the year is another boost to the academy system at the club.
It's such a shame Cellino sees this as a costly incumbrance on the clubs bank balance, the proof that it works is on show every match day.
Lewis has also played for the England under 19's and helped them qualify for the European Championships in Germany this July.
By Keith Ingham
Head of Content Keith Ingham spoke with Blues fan John Cavanagh about Leeds' next opposition Birmingham City in tomorows game at the St Andrews.
How long have you been a Blues fan?
I've followed Birmingham City for as long as I remember, was taken to matches as a child and my love for blues went from there.
Who was your favourite player?
My favourite ever Birmingham player has to be Mikael Forssell, the guy was an absolute goal machine, unfortunately you lot didn't get to witness the best of him when he played for you briefly.
What is your most memorable game against Leeds?
Memorable game vs Leeds has to be the 3-1 defeat at St Andrews. Relatively good first half followed by a total collapse in the second, Leeds were brilliant in the second half of that game.
Which player would you like from Leeds?
If I could take a Leeds player it would be Alex Mowett without a doubt. Looks an excellent player to me, has a great future ahead of him too.
What is your opinion on your owner?
I think Carson Yeung stole the soul from our club. He has put us through so much as supporters and destroyed the feel good factor at St Andrews. I despise him for that.
What's your opinion on Rowett?
I think Gary Rowett has worked a miracle, I expected us to go down after the 8-0 defeat to Bournemouth but he has brought positivity back into the club and a new found optimism, we'd struggle without him in charge.
Steve Evans or Lee Clarke?
I'd take Steve Evans over Lee Clark anyday. Clark had a lot of passion but he was clueless, our worst manager in years in my opinion.
Where do you think you'll finish this season?
Playoffs are gone for us this season, was always a tough ask but defeats to Charlton and Brighton ended all hope for me.
What about next season?
I think we'll finish in the playoffs next season but only if Rowett is still manager, with him I believe anything can happen.
Prediction for the game?
Birmingham 1-1 Leeds.
Donaldson for us and Antenucci for Leeds
By Keith Ingham
Head of Content Keith Ingham speak to friend and Burnley fan Pete Birtwhisle about today's fixture at Turf Moor.
Are you happy with your season so far?
Very much so. It's now squeaky bum time but hopefully it will continue.
Sean Dyche, one of your best managers ever?
Definitely in my lifetime and if he takes us up again then most definitely in the modern era
How long have you been a 'claret'?
Pretty much forever
What is the best game you've seen Burnley play against Leeds?
Any we won. Wish I'd have seen October '68. 5-1 to a young burnley side v the likes of Gray, Hunter and Bremner.
Can you name any players that have
played for both clubs?
Brian Flynn, Clarke Carlisle, Ian Moore and Sam Vokes on loan.
(What a shame we didn't get the same free-scoring Vokes Burnley have come to enjoy)
What do you think of the current situation at Leeds? Do you have any pity or is it just amusing to see our plight?
I often think foreign investment would be great to give a bit of financial clout but then I look at the likes of Leeds and Blackburn and think I'm glad we've got sensible owners. It makes me wonder how the fit and proper owners can be called a 'test'.
What's your opinion of Steve Evans?
Did ok at Rotherham I suppose but I wasn't sure he was going to bring anything that would improve results.
Your club didn't spend last time you were promoted, would you think it wise if you go up this season?
No we didn't spend much but we almost stayed up and didn't have a great start.
A lot of money spent on buying back the ground and off pitch improvements and I'm sure if we go back up they will look to improve and invest but only if it fits his framework.
Is there Leeds player you'd buy?
(Sorry can't have him!)
What's your prediction and who will be the scorers?
2-1 - Gray, Keane and Antenucci.
By Keith Ingham
The signing of Kyle Barkley and the departure of Bellusci sent a good message to this particular Leeds United fan, inward bound a Premiership defender and outward a trouble causing, selfish, Italian, mistake waiting to happen.
So far so good with good appointments around the club and interesting signings on the playing side.
A Head Coach left and a new one came in, Steve Evans like Redfearn last season wasn't treated well but in Gary Monk I see a coach who will have his own criteria on getting the best out of the players in his charge. His assistant Pep Clotet from his days at Swansea has also joined along with Darryl Flahaven as goalkeeper coach and James Beattie, ex-Everton and many other clubs as first team coach.
It's a step in the right direction but as always it all depends on them being left alone to do the jobs the club is paying them for.
Upstairs has been boosted by a couple of appointments too, they hopefully will keep Massimo away from Monk. Ben Mansford the new chief executive arrives after three years at Barnsley and is well respected within the game. Paul Bell returned after a year away after moving to Sheffield Wednesday to become chief operating officer. He was heavily involved in commercial department previously at Leeds.
Players so far brought in; Marcus Antonsson, a striker from Sweden who has an impressive record of scoring and is seen as an excellent signing.
Kyle Bartley was brought in on a year long loan from Monk's old club Swansea. Added to these Leeds youngsters Peacock-Farrell, Stokes, Purver and Mulhern signed extended deals. Ronaldo Vieira Nan has signed as a professional and it is hoped he continues his progress he made last season in the development squad.
I understand that we've been here before with signings and good appointments and it's gone horribly wrong because a certain Italian probably got out of bed the wrong side, we can only hope that he lets it run in a professional way.
If it does I see a better season than I thought it was going to be, we aren't perfect, a few more signings are still needed; an experienced midfielder for one is needed and they don't come cheap, unless one can be picked up from a Premiership team on the cheap. Liam Bridcutt would be ideal but his wages seem a little too high for Leeds.
We await with interest the coming weeks and months to see if finally we can concentrate on good things on the pitch and quietness away from it.
By Keith Ingham
A rogues gallery: Katherine Hannah, Noel Whelan, Adam Pope, Eddie Gray and Thom Kirwin. The local media who follow Leeds United.
Many Thanks to Follow me and Leeds United for the use of this photograph.
If you'd like to read my thoughts on the situation at the club please read my blog 'Where do we go from here?' on WeallloveLeeds.co.uk
A very good article by Simon O'Rourke about our fortunes under the leadership of Massimo Cellino:
Where we'll be in another two years is open for debate but it won't be anywhere near the Premiership, that I can guarantee.
Italian club Ascoli seem intent on testing Leeds' resolve in keeping 'bicycle' Bellusci and Mirco Antenucci in the summer.
Antenucci is out of contract and Bellusci is a former player of the Italian side. Already there are Bianchi on loan, along with Del Fabro and Benedicic who signed earlier in the year after departing Leeds.
Last word on Saturday should come from an excellent article from Jon Howe of LEEDSLIVING:
Such passion has to be shared.
The most important thing to remember this week is not football, it's remembering two lads who travelled to a football game in high hopes of seeing their team progress to their first European final for the first time since 1975.
Chris and Kevin left their families after thugs in Istanbul murdered them the day before the game. As a family of supporters, let's remember them proudly and sing our song "Marching on Together" with pride for these boys on Tuesday versus QPR.
Phil Hay’s view: “QPR have tried to look like play-off candidates this season but in reality they’ve been as far off the pace as Leeds. Their results reveal the sort of inconsistency that mid-table sides suffer from and United, despite their problems, should fancy their chances. Evans’ side must dominate the midfield, however. Their failure to do so was decisive in a 1-0 defeat at Loftus Road in November.”
Many Thanks to the YEP and Phil Hay.
Leeds vs QPR
Steve Evans made five changes for the game versus QPR, Peacock-Farrell, Cooper, Murphy, Dallas and Carayol coming in for Bamba, Diagouraga, Antenucci, Mowatt who dropped to the bench, Marco Silvestri was suspended for his late sending off at Rotherham. The main talking point in the 'Old Peacock' was Evans keeping Bellusci in the starting eleven, most disagreed with the Scotsman's selection of the under fire Italian.