By Mark Rasdall
Almost exactly a year ago I wrote a post in my blog and syndicated to the weallloveleeds site. It was entitled 'Leeds United edging past Birmingham City' and looked forward to the forthcoming match between LUFC and Birmingham and also previous games, including the famous FA Cup semi-final win in 1972.
On Sunday we face them again at Elland Road for the first time since narrowly losing at St Andrews towards the end of last season when Brian McDermott had already guided us to Championship safety. A lot has been made of our dismal run of form recently but let's think back to where the Warnock era had left us - on the brink of League One. Let's remember the way we started this campaign and our unbeaten run; I even saw us win at Ipswich!
It's been worrying, that's for sure, but Brian and the players do not go bad overnight. Had we won rather than lost in the dying seconds at Reading things may not have gone downhill so fast; confidence might not have crumbled and players like Noel Hunt may not have tried too hard to do what previously came naturally to him. Brian was a Chief Scout and we should all trust in his informed opinions of what the players in the Leeds United squad can and cannot do.
The international break probably came at a good time this time. I remember last season - having just scraped past Barnsley - it affected our rhythm and we struggled to recover. So, the whole team and coaching staff have had the opportunity to take an outside-of-the box approach without the pressure of immediate success that each next fixture brings. We will all be hoping they have managed to find new combinations of positions and maybe even a new team shape to try. That's what we trust them to do.
I dearly want to see us back in the top league and winning. What I don't want is to be going to places like St Andrews again having survived relegation by the skin of our goalposts. None of us need or deserve that kind of stress. So let's stick behind the youth and experience our squad provides and trust in Brian, Neil and the team to find that winning formula. Hurling abuse and expecting instant success is never going to work for any club in the long-term. It might get worse still before it gets better but I want Leeds United to be building a new legacy for us all to look back on, not just relying on these dips into our glorious past.