Monday 8/4 continued
Leeds captain Liam Cooper and Kalvin Phillips were selected in the EFL Championship team of the season. The most surprising omission was Pablo Hernandez. Looks like the lads enjoyed their evening out.
Liam Cooper, Victor Orta and Kalvin Phillips with their awards.
Marcelo Bielsa on the game with Preston North End and Hernandez doubt: “The desire to be first or second is a very high motivation because it’s the aim and objective of one year of work, in the last part of the season, we want to solve this situation and our motivation is higher.In all of the games that are going to play from now until the end of the season, they have the same conditions- we have to win every game.”
“Preston North End are a different team in the Championship, they play with a different style and the players that they are using to develop this style are different to normal players for this.”
On Hernandez: “Pablo received a hit in the last minute of the previous game. His evolution today is a positive evolution, but we are not going to take any risks.There are possibilities that Pablo cannot play the game, Kemar Roofe will go in his position if Pablo cannot play.”
Kalvin Phillips: “It goes to show that we’ve done really well this season,as a team we’ve been absolutely brilliant. I don’t think anybody expected to do as well as we have before the start of the season and it goes to show the hard work that everyone’s put in. There’s six more big games to go but hopefully after tomorrow night, we can have a little chill, relax and watch Sheffield United get beat!”
“You win some and lose some. We didn’t play particularly well against Birmingham but we played really well against Sheffield United and lost. We take that as having to play better and if we play better, we’ll win. I think at a club like Leeds United there will always be pressure. There's no reason why we can't go on and win promotion. If we keep playing like we are there's every chance, I think it's going to go right to the wire."
Ipswich Town have altered the way you have to apply for tickets for their last game of the season against Leeds.
You have to have been a resident in Ipswich for at least three generations and have a minimum of six fingers! This is what they really said "Tickets will only be sold to Town fans who are on the database with purchase history prior to this season.“
The entire allocation of 2,000 tickets for the Leeds section is sold out. Ipswich went further by saying that: “Home supporters found to be passing their ticket allocation to any away supporter will face a ban from purchasing match tickets at Portman Road.”
Luke Ayling and Pablo Hernandez have been named in the PFA Player of the Month for the month of March.
Alex Neil on Leeds United: “Leeds are going to be a different proposition than Sheffield United were due to the way they play. I'd say that Leeds have been the most impressive team over the course of the season, even though they are sitting in third.”
Leeds United under 23’s beat Ipswich Town under 23’s 3-0 at Elland Road. Goals from Odour, Berardi, Edmundson.
Berardi nets number two.
Preston v Leeds
Team News: Leeds unchanged, Stevens replaces Clarke on the bench. One change for Preston, Johnson comes in for Gallagher
Team: Casilla, Ayling, Jansson, Cooper(c), Alioski, Phillips, Klich, Hernandez, Roberts, Harrison, Bamford.
Thanks to Leedsunited.com
Bamford ‘hammers’ his first goal.
Man of the Match: Patrick Bamford two goals, should have had three. Much better from the striker.
Marcelo Bielsa: “In the first half we deserved to win the game because we created four or five chances. They created one or two. The red card prevented one very clear chance and if you analyse the game 11 versus 11, we were the better team. I don’t want to say that we won the game because we played with one player more.”
“For a long time we’ve been playing well. Against Birmingham we went down in performance, especially the last 30 minutes, but the team tonight played like we’ve played all season. I’m proud of the performance because all of the players played at a high level.”
“I thought Patrick Bamford adapted very well after one very difficult game. He didn't play well against Millwall, against Birmingham he increased his level and performance. Having three chances is something positive for a striker. He improved his performance again today with two goals and he put in a lot of work for the team.”
Alex Neil: "I thought we matched them tonight and then the sending off has changed the game. They are not a team that you want to play against with 10 men and it was always going to be a very difficult game from that point.”
“The sending-off really put us on the back foot and we had to sit back. Leeds are not easy to stop, they are probably the hardest team in the league to stop and I think we found a way to do that up until the crucial error that determined the game."
Carnage after Bamford’s second.
Leeds are now guaranteed a top-six finish in the Championship for the first time since the 2005/06 season.
They have also recorded their highest points total(79)since winning Division Two in the 1989/90(85)season and the most wins in the second tier(24).
David Watkins and Heidi Haigh review the much needed win at Deepdale.
Thanks to David and Heidi.
Game of Thrones actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau on the real ‘King of the North’
“In Bielsa we Trust”
Sheffield United draw with Birmingham City 1-1 at St Andrews so stay third, Norwich draw 2-2 with Reading at Carrow Road, Villa win 2-1 at Rotherham and manu lose 1-0 to Barcelona in the Champs League Q/Final.
Pablo Hernandez is nominated for EFL player of the month for March.
Other nominees are
Semi Ajayi (Rotherham)
Emiliano Buendia (Norwich)
Jack O’Connell (Sheffield United)
Marcelo Bielsa looks ahead to Sheffield Wednesday: “From the change of the coach, Sheffield Wednesday have taken good results, they use less players and they keep to their style of play during the games. For us we have to win the five games left. When you have less points to win because you are in the last games of the league, the gap or space for mistakes is reduced.”
“In football anything can happen in one game, the game that Norwich played on Wednesday is a summary of this. The results of our opponents make us play with more responsibilities, but despite any result they can get, we have to win our games.”
“For us to play the games with the obligation to win is something that is not new for us. I don’t remember one game this season where we haven’t played to win the game. It is no good to make any analysis until this objective is complete, the only important thing is if we get promotion.”
“We play with obligation to win promotion, not to make the best season. We have to win the five games left. When you have few points left to win because you’re in the last few games of the league, the gap or the space for mistakes reduces. Anything can happen in one football game.”
“Any of the results of our opponents could make us play more freely or play with more responsibility but with any result they (Sheffield United) get, we still need to win the games.”
“For us, to play the games with an obligation to win is nothing new. I don’t remember playing one game without thinking we had to win it.”
The Head Coach also said that Leeds will keep the same starting eleven for the weekend clash with Wednesday. Marcelo Bielsa has picked the same outfield players for the ninth consecutive game. The only game where the starting eleven have changed is Millwall when Bailey Peacock-Farrell replaced Kiko Casilla who was suspended.
Tyler Roberts: “Of late I have been playing the 10 role, I prefer it in the centre of the pitch definitely. In training it has been different for me learning different positions but I have enjoyed it and it has been a positive for me. It has given me a boost in confidence.
I like to get on the ball and trying to beat players so I can do that here. 9 or 10 are my prefered positions, I tried it at 7 and it didn't work out that well but I am enjoying that position. I would like to get a few more goals and assists of course but the main thing is promotion.”
On the pressure of being second: “I wouldn't say we feel pressure, more positivity flowing through the camp. I didn't watch the game last night, I watched Barca, I just checked the result at the end! I was flicking over they channels and stuff but it's more a case of that we have got five games to go and we have got to win all five of them.”
We’ve met before
Leeds 1-2 Sheffield Wednesday March 2017
Leeds 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday February 2017
Leeds 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday August 2015
Leeds 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday October 2014
Leeds 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday August 2013
All Championship games.
Leeds face Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday tea time and by the time the teams come out of the tunnel they will know if they are third in the table as their main rival Sheffield United for an automatic place will have already played their game.
Sheffield Wednesday have improved under Steve Bruce and sit just below the top six in the Championship. They had an impressive 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest in midweek. Bruce has an impressive squad to pick from, with plenty of experience in it.
Marcelo Bielsa will stick with the eleven that beat Preston 2-0 and the starting eleven has changed only once in nine games. Patrick Bamford will be hopeful of continuing where he left off on Tuesday, the striker had gone four games without a goal before Preston but proved he will be an asset in the last five games of the season. His ratio of goals in games is as good as anybody in the Championship.
It’s a game Leeds need to win, but it may me a nervy affair with only a goal separating the two teams. Leeds 2-1.
Rotherham United’s Semi Ajayi is the EFL Championship Player of the Month for March. Manager of the Month was Dean Smith.
Leeds v Sheffield Wednesday
Team News: Gaetano Berardi comes in as a late replacement for Liam Cooper who was injured in the pre match warm up. Luke Ayling takes the captains armband. Three changes for Sheffield Wednesday.
Team: Casilla, Ayling(c), Jansson, Berardi, Alioski, Phillips, Klich, Hernandez, Roberts, Harrison, Bamford.
Ryan Ingham reviews the game
Jack Harrison scores and celebrates.
Commentary from BBC Radio Leeds
Man of the Match: Tyler Roberts, impressive throughout and one of his best games in the white shirt.
Marcelo Bielsa: “There are 12 points to play for and we only have three points over them. We have to make analysis of this difference and think about what the numbers say. It's not a big difference. We played a good game because we defended well and attacked well too. We created chances to score but we only scored one goal.”
“When you’re winning by only one goal, you have to be focused because they created one chance in the last minute of the game. You always have to stay focused. We need to create a lot of chances to score a goal. It's important to create danger close to the opponent's goal but my objective is to improve our level of efficiency. The work in defence today was good. We didn’t suffer a lot of danger and we reacted well to the different skills of their strikers.”
Steve Bruce: “We didn't do enough but sometimes you have to credit the opposition. That's the third time I've seen them and they look a very good bet to go up. The transformation with similar players to where they were 12 months ago is remarkable. The intensity they played at, we found it a struggle and overall if I'm being brutally honest the better team won.”
“They look a totally different team to where they were 12 months ago. We found it very difficult to play against. They were very good today, I have to say that.”
David Watkins on high jinks in the Centenary Pavilion(following the Millwall equaliser)and another major step towards the Premiership.
Thank you David, hope the post match Malt tasted even sweeter.
Golf caddie Billy Foster showing his colours at the Masters in Augusta. The 52 year old is originally from Keighley, West Yorkshire. The tournament was won by ‘Tiger’ Woods, his first victory since 2005 and his fifth overall.
Wigan so nearly ‘clip’ the Canaries wings, only a linesman’s flag denies them a much needed victory over the Championship leaders. The game ended 1-1. Liverpool beat Chelski 2-0 at Anfield so top of the Premiership. Norwich head the Championship by four points.
Leeds captain Liam Cooper will have a scan on the injury he sustained during the warm up before the game with Sheffield Wednesday, he has a glute muscle injury. Marcelo Bielsa said this of his captain “He felt a pain like a strained muscle and usually the players don’t suffer an injury in this muscle but with the pain, he couldn’t play. Losing Cooper was an uncomfortable situation but Berardi adapted to the game very fast.”
“He(Cooper)leads with the way he plays, he’s always motivating the team, he’s a great team player and he has talent. He plays such an important role within the side.”
Heidi Haigh on a busy week, meeting fans and a stray ball plus her superb blog on the win over Sheffield Wednesday.
Thank you Heidi and hope your husband is ‘on the mend’. My best.
Saturday may be key to achieving the dream of promotion to the Premiership. Coupled with another poor result for Sheffield United it may be this weekend that we look back on as what made it possible. Can any of our nerves take the strain. Four games to go!
Today marks the 30th Anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy. Still the families of the 96 people who lost loved ones still await JUSTICE.
You shall never be forgotten
I dedicate this diary to them.
Never give up your fight!
By Keith Ingham