Leeds vs Wolves
Team news: One change, Pablo Hernandez out injured so Ronaldo Vieira comes in, positionally Phillips moves into the 'number 10' role behind Wood, Doukara makes his way on to the bench.
Team: Green, Ayling, Bartley(c), Jansson, Taylor, Vieira, O'Kane, Sacko, Phillips, Wood.
Leeds finished the hectic seven days after the international break with a much deserved win, it wasn't pretty but a clean sheet away is always a big bonus.
They rode their luck a few times, but with Roofe and Sacko giving the Wolves fullbacks a day they won't forget and the midfield three O'Kane, Phillips and Vieira battling for every ball, the work ethic of the side warranted the three points.
Most of the team deserve mentioning, with the defence repelling Wolves resolutely and limiting them to half chances.
The goal that won it came from a Bartley long ball that Sacko battled with Doherty for, the Leeds winger won the ball and intelligently put the ball into the six yard box, although Roofe claimed the goal, replays showed that Wolves defender Silvio put it past Ikeme. Wolves nearly stole an equaliser but Costa hit a late chance way over the bar.
Man of the Match: Eunan O'Kane, busy and getter better, game by game.
Garry Monk's look ahead to the weekend's game at the iPro Stadium;
Doesn't expect the one game touchline ban to affect things, on the ban, he hopes not to cause problems again, considers the ban very harsh, Stuart Dallas is 'doubtful' for the Derby County game, Bridcutt is progressing but not in consideration for the upcoming games, hopes that McClaren's appointment won't change things for them, feels good about the players and they want to produce more, expected Derby to be higher up the table with the squad they have, Berardi nearly fit and will play ninety minutes for the under 23's and if he comes through it unscathed he will be considered for the first team, finished with "its a bizarre league"
A satisfied Monk.
Other news Chelski sign a new shirt deal with Nike for sixty million pounds per season, how the other half live!
Derby v Leeds Preview
Derby wins 35
Leeds wins 53
First game played at Derby 11/03/22
Derby 2 Leeds 0
Last five games at Pride Park/iPro Stadium
29/8/15 Derby 1 Leeds 2
30/12/14 Derby 2 Leeds 0
5/10/13 Derby 3 Leeds 1
8/12/12 Derby 3 Leeds 1
26/12/11 Derby 1 Leeds 0
Not the happiest of hunting grounds as the results above show, last season was the first time we'd beaten them away since 2002 in the Premier League days.
Until last season this fixture wasn't the happiest, or enjoyable away day. 'The Rams' for a good number of years seem to have the best of results. Chris Wood's late winner last season put an end to that hoodoo and I remember it well being surrounded by Leeds fans watching it in a bar in Salou, Spain.
This week's game comes after a badly, for Leeds timed break. Leeds had built up a 'head of steam' going into it and five out of six games, including three clean sheets was a great return from September and early October.
Garry Monk's only doubt is Stuart Dallas, injured on international duty, so either Alex Mowatt of Kemar Roofe will probably deputise for the Northern Ireland winger fails to recover in time, fitness test today.
Derby have welcomed back Steve McClaren earlier in the week, the appointment of the 'wally with the brolly' has met with a mixed reaction from the Derby County fans.
This is his second spell as manager of the club.
Leeds face a tough fourteen days with five games to play, I'm hopeful that the great run, curtailed by the international break is continued with a win at Derby.
My prediction; Leeds 2-1.
Team: One change, Alex Mowatt replacing injured Stuart Dallas; Green, Ayling, Bartley (c), Jansson, Taylor, O'Kane, Phillips, Sacko, Hernandez, Mowatt, Wood. Matt Grimes on the bench.
Leeds lost for only the second time in two months, the 1-0 defeat at the iPro Stadium was very unlucky as they deserved at least a point. Two moments at the end of each half denied the visitors a goal, firstly Bartley's header came back off the crossbar when he met Mowatt's corner then in second half injury time substitute Marcus Antonsson beat Carson but not the post. Fine margins!
The winner was scored by Russell, a second half substitute for Anya.
A corner was only half cleared and the Scotsman's shot squirmed under Green's body, a couple of questions might be asked about the coach's substitutions and surely either Roofe or Antonsson need to start versus Wigan on Tuesday if Stuart Dallas is again unavailable.
Keith Ingham spoke to family friend and Wolves mad Tony Stevens ahead of saturdays clash at the Molyneux.
Tony as we know you've been a fan for a number of years, what's your best period of this support?
Well Keith I think for me it's not really about playing in the Premier League. I look back with so much fondness to the late 60's early 70's and then the late 80's revival.
Many players have graced the 'gold and black', could you give me your top five?
Hell fire Keith am I only allowed 5! Lol Ok then I will restrict it to those I have seen play, but obviously the fabulous 50's teams had some awesome players (Wright Williams Slater Broadband Mullen Hancox Westcott etc etc
1 Mike Bailey
2. Derek Dougan
3 Peter Knowles
5. And the Legend that is Steven George Bull
Could I ask for another memorable game between the clubs you've either attended or seen on TV?
Can't remember which game I picked last time! It was probably the FA Cup Semi at Maine Road so it has to be the March 7th 1998 F.A Cup game which we won 1-0 at Elland Road thanks to Don Goodman's goal and Jimmy Floyd's penalty saved by Han's Segers in the 88th minute.
Driving to tbe ground with a Wolves scarf out of one window and a Leeds out of another.
Me and my Step-Son (a 9-year old Leeds fan) in the West Stand near the Wolves away support. The banter was harsh but good natured as the Leeds fans around us realised early on that I wasn't one of them lol
Obviously, as we know both clubs have massive fan bases, do you think under the current climate with teams having so much money after being relegated, can Leeds and Wolves can challenge this season?
We can challenge Keith but it's not on a level playing field and I think that unless you can unearth a few "gems" and bring in seasoned campaigners who are winners like we did with Ince, Irwin and Rae in 2002/2003, then the best we can hope for is a shot at the playoffs.
Those relegated teams can afford to keep their top players and strengthen too. As you know we have had a "Chinese cash injection" but throwing money around and bringing a dozen or more players in does not guarantee you immediate success, it will take time.
You're a fan of the NFL, could you say the attendance of games is a better experience than watching your favourite team Wolves?
Have to say that at the moment it is. The whole fan experience is brilliant both inside and outside the stadium and football can learn a lot from the NFL if it really wants to. However nothing can match that nail biting stomach knotting stress you go through watching "your babbies" winning a tight big local derby!
What do you think of both teams start to the 2016/17 season and your most improved player?
We've both had an up and down start to the season and you were starting to get a run going but have been unlucky lately. I think that Gary Monk appears to be doing a good job from an outsider's perspective.
We on the other hand are inconsistent eg. Lose 4-0 at home to Barnsley and then go to Newcastle and win 2-0. We have a "Tinkerman" at the helm and we have rarely, if at all started the same 11 in consecutive games and that must be as frustrating for the players as it is the fans. We are out playing teams for long spells with no end product.
Both teams are in mid table, if you had a spare tenner who would you put your money on to finish highest?
Naturally I'm going to say Wolves Keith! But as it stands currently there won't be much between us come May unless one of us hits a rich vein of form and has a bit of luck too.
Your Champions, Runners Up and six Playoff teams for 2016/17?
Runners up ......Norwich
Playoffs. .......... how about. ...Huddersfield Sheffield Wednesday Leeds and Wolves. ...that would keep Me and 3 of my best friends very happy until game day lol
Three for the drop?
Rotherham Burton and Wigan
Prediction and Scorers for Saturdays game?
Thank you Tony for taking the time to answer our questions and fingers crossed your top 6 prediction is right, two potential Yorkshire derbies!
By Keith Ingham
Ahead of tomorrow's clash between Leeds and Wigan at Elland Road, I spoke to Tom Horn about all things Wigan Athletic.
Who is your favourite player to put on a Wigan shirt?
At the moment I'd say ex-Leeds Stephen Warnock. Even during the worst of team performances this season his personal performances have been excellent. His impact at Wigan has been so good that he's recently just been given the club captaincy role. We have a fairly young squad so the longer we stay down towards the bottom of the table, the more the experience of the likes of Warnock could be key.
It's also hard to ignore Will Grigg who's probably our first proven goalscorer for nearly a decade. His 28 goals last year were one of the main reasons we got back to the championship at the first attempt. It was strange to see how little game time he got at Euro 2016, especially as the "Will Grigg's on fire" chant was being sung by nearly everyone in France!
Historically though I'd say it has to be Emmerson Boyce, our FA Cup winning captain who left us in 2015. I'd be suprised if we have another player who plays for us for anywhere near as long as the 8 years Boyce did for us.
After one brief year in England's third tier, how does it feel to be back in the championship?
It's great to be back in a league where many of our supporters feel we now belong. When you look at some of the teams at this level now it feels like it's the premier league. We've already played teams like Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Wednesday, they'd probably both see themselves as premiership clubs. Adding to that the likes of Newcastle, Aston Villa, Derby and Leeds who are all massive clubs.
League 1 was different, there was a local derby for us nearly every week. From a supporters point of view it was great as away games were cheap (unlike what we're paying on Tuesday) and most games were very close to home. Strangely, our average away followings were far higher in League 1 than they were during our Premier League seasons. However as good as it was to see us winning most weeks, as a club it's important we're in the championship at least if we're going to remain in a good financial state.
Like our new boss Garry Monk, your gaffer Gary Caldwell is fairly new to the management scene, how do you think he's doing?
He's had a very hard job, when he took over we were on our way down from the championship, he had a complete overhaul of players in that summer and built a squad which won promotion at the first attempt. Many opposition managers and fans used to point out that we had significantly more money than everyone else in League 1 last season due to parachute payments, this is true but his biggest two investments have proved to be great decisions. Will Grigg and Yanic Wildschut made instant impacts and are showing signs of being able to produce at championship level too.
This year I think he's found it very difficult to adjust to this level. He brought in 13 players over the summer and we haven't yet seen any of them produce good perfomances consistently yet. He also sold Jason Pearce to Charlton, which a lot of supporters believe is a big reason why our defence has been so poor this season.
Unlike last season, our squad is very similar to others in the division. It's clear that at the moment Caldwell is struggling to find a system and balance to our team capable of getting results in the championship. His team selections at times are often very strange and we have seen lots of players playing out of position this season so Caldwell can continue to play the 3-5-2 system.
Can you name a memorable moment between the sides?
I'll go for Dave Whelan silencing the Leeds fans when he was making his resignation speech. "Leeds United have not won the FA Cup for twenty five years"
Much like Leeds, Wigan are too big a side to be out of England's top tier. Do you think the premier league misses teams such as ours?
It's hard to believe the amount of years a club of Leeds' size has been outside of the top division.
You'd like to think we'd both be back up there soon, but with the amount of money in the championship right now it's looking more and more unlikely that a club not receiving parachute payments will win promotion. I think it misses Leeds definitely, I'm sure you'd still be there if it wasn't for mismanagement.
Champions, runners up and play off teams this year?
4th Sheffield Wednesday
5th Bristol City
Who do you think will be relegated?
22nd Any of Barnsley, Burton, Wigan or Preston
Predictions and scorers for Tuesday's game?
Leeds have picked up recently after a poor start but I think we'll managed to get our second away point of the season somehow. 1-1. Scorers Chris Wood for Leeds and Will Grigg for Wigan. We've looked a bit more solid defensively over the last couple of games so hopefully we can keep the likes of Hernandez quiet on Tuesday night.
We'd like to thank Tom for taking the time to do our interview and wish him and the Wigan fans the best for the season.
By Ryan Ingham
Like many fans after Saturdays defeat to Derby I was disappointed and wanted answers to why we didn't seem to show up at Pride Park for a large part of the first 60 minutes of the game.
Unlike a good proportion fans, I didn't take to twitter to rant at Leeds midfielder Alex Mowatt, who received a barrage of insults on social media after a lacklustre performance from the academy graduate.
Although I do think that if Mowatt is continued to be a first team player he needs to up his game, is it really his fault for his performances or are we missing something?
Mowatt was largely ineffective in the final third of the pitch because he was being used as a left winger, a position that doesn't suit him. He however did make some brilliant moves in the game only for the side to lose possession before taking any notice.
For a large part of the first 60 minutes our midfield was bossed around that Pride Park pitch and players like Mowatt and Wood were completely overlooked as we focussed on breaking away with the ball with the likes of Sacko and Hernandez. Is it Mowatt's fault he wasn't being given the service on the left?
Although Phillips and O'Kane became valuable assets when we started to take the game to Derby in the final third of the match, prior to that they just weren't closing down and supplying any good service to our attacking three.
The debate of where to play Mowatt has now been going on for the past two seasons with no-one really getting any leeway when it comes to arguing their point.
The fact of the matter is, if you're planning on playing Mowatt in your side then put him behind a striker and let him do his business. If not, you're wasting a spot.
Mowatt is too slow to feature as a winger, a position that both Steve Evans and Garry Monk have unsuccessfully tried to shoehorn him in to. His defensive abilities seem to have diminished over the past year, meaning that a usual spot in our central midfield would not be viable.
There's no doubt that Mowatt plays his best football when he is deployed as a number 10 and is allowed to roam free between midfield and attack. His awareness on the ball, passing and shooting abilities make him the ideal attacking midfielder and he has shown us countless times what he can do, we all remember Huddersfield.
I don't think it's a case of catering for Mowatt, it's a case of giving a fantastic player his chance in the side in a position that will actually allow him to shine.
The reality of the situation is that if we can't use a player in his naturals position and then blame him for his performances, then why is it the players fault?
When Hernandez was being used as a winger and was largely ineffective we leapt to his defence saying that it's not is fault it's the selection process, what's different for Mowatt, one of our own?
Mowatt only has about 10 months left on his contract at Leeds and although fresh talks are continuing, I'm afraid with the reaction of fans and the lack of game time in his natural position, we could lose another fantastic young talent who will go on to star in the Premier League.
Let's remember the young lad who came through our academy and has given us beautiful moments like away at Wolves. That's the lad we want to see on the pitch again and the only way we'll see it is if we give him the support he deserves.
By Ryan Ingham
Ahead of Saturday's clash with Championship strugglers Derby County, Keith Ingham spoke to friend and Derby fan Adrian, who is very vocal about his distaste for Leeds, especially in the workplace!
How long have you 'suffered' being a Derby County supporter?
As long as I can remember. I wasn't given a team by my family. Somewhere along the way I picked up Derby County.
Favourite players since you started to follow them?
Perhaps Stefano Eranio. He made the game look easy.
Football has changed, some say for the worst since our teams have been in the top division. What has caused it in your opinion?
Change is constant. We all have to live with it. But there is far too much money in football and it should be shared more evenly through the football league. The premier league is to blame.
The 'Rams' and Leeds share quite a few links, probably the biggest being a certain Brian Clough. I know you're too young to remember him but do you consider him as one of the best managers ever?
One of the games greatest characters yes and one of the best managers without a doubt. But I do think you have to put Clough and Taylor together. They didn't work apart. I don't think Clough could ever have been successful without Taylor.
You've just appointed Steve McClaren as manager, good or a bad appointment?
I am a big fan. But only time will tell. He has a bit of making up to do with the fans.
Can you name a memorable game between the two teams, recent or past?
October 5th 2013. 3-1 Stevie Mac first game in charge of Derby and Derby's 10th successive win over Leeds. Just over 3 years on Stevie is back.
Champions, Runners up and six teams to be challenging for the Playoffs?
Runners up Newcastle
Playoff is between six teams; Brighton, Derby, Leeds, Wednesday, Bristol City and Villa.
Name three teams that you think will be relegated?
Forrest, Ipswich and Barnsley.
Why do you call us Dirty Leeds?
I don't know. My dad told me to hate them
Prediction and Scorers for Saturday's game?
It will be a tight game. Derby will win. Mac will get us scoring again. 3-1. Tom Ince will grab a brace.
We'd like to thank Adrian for answering our questions and wish him the best of luck for the season. Derby along with Leeds are a team that deserves to be in the top flight of English football and have some fantastic fans. Let's hope to see a firecracker in tomorrow's game at Pride Park.
Leeds United vs Barnsley
Team: Green, Ayling, Bartley(c), Jansson, Taylor, Phillips, O'Kane, Sacko, Hernandez, Dallas, Wood.
One change on the bench, Vieira replaces Grimes.
Pre Game: A minute's applause was held for Duncan Revie, son of the great Don Revie. The popular businessman passed away yesterday. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.
The Game: Leeds registered their fourth win in five games in a end to end contest at Elland Road. Goals from Bartley and Hernandez giving the hosts a 2-0 lead before a Taylor own goal gave Barnsley a hope of getting a draw.
Barnsley threatened first but were met by resolute Jansson and captain Bartley, both were superb throughout the game. Leeds went in front when Hernandez's 'whipped' cross hit Bartley on the thigh and beat Davies.
The lively threesome of Dallas, Sacko and Hernandez were causing a nervous looking Barnsley backline problems. After firing wide when free in the area Hernandez doubled the lead with a superb finish when beating the offside trap.
After a flurry of substitutions, Antonsson was denied by a superb save by Davies and Pontus Jansson headed off the line when Green was beaten.
A well deserved win.
GORDON STRACHAN PREPARES FOR ELLAND ROAD RETURN
Leeds United fans will have a unique opportunity to relive the glory days when club legend Gordon Strachan returns to Elland Road for a glittering dinner that will mark the 25th anniversary of the team winning the title during the 1991-92 season.
Both individual tickets and tables are already selling fast for the event, which will be held in The Centenary Pavilion at Elland Road on Friday 4th November 2016, just a week before the current Scotland manager prepares to take on England in a World Cup qualifying match.
During the event, Gordon will talk about the special times he enjoyed captaining Leeds United to the league title and what it felt like to deny the team’s arch-rivals Manchester United, as well as his former boss Alex Ferguson, who finished as runners-up.
There will also be a three course dinner served, followed by entertainment by a renowned comedian.
A spokesperson from event organiser Events in the City, said: “It’s hard to believe 25 years have passed since Leeds United last lifted a trophy and this will be a great opportunity for Leeds fans to relive lots of the memorable moments with Gordon from that amazing season.
“The fact it takes place a week before the England vs Scotland game will also make it a special occasion and I’m sure the Leeds fans will have plenty to say about that as well!”
The event starts at 7pm, with dinner served at 8pm. The remaining tickets are £55 per person or £500 for a table of 10. Anyone wanting to reserve places should call 07585 002386 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.