By Adam Walker
My, my, where did that come from? The performance yesterday against Birmingham City just proved that the international break, at the right time can really give you a serious boost. The squad played so well, I couldn't be critical of any player. Not only did we score four, but we also kept a clean sheet too.
An unpopular opinion of mine is that Rudy Austin isn't a great player. Previously I
thought he was just a bit of a battering ram with no real skill on the ball. Yesterday, McDermott played him in a triangle up-top with McCormack and Smith. It worked a treat. His vision and energy in that hole was key for us yesterday. He caused problems all afternoon for the Blues. Some of the passes he sprayed about were phenomenal too. Our two youngsters on the pitch that also impressed were Byram and Mowatt. Byram after coming back from his troublesome injury hasn't been hitting the form we know he can. In a more advanced role yesterday he strutted his stuff superbly, Mowatt as we've seen in the past month or so really can play. McDermott wanted a passer of the ball and in young Alex Mowatt he seems to have found one. The first-time assist to Smith for the fourth goal epitomised his performance.
Smith is actually a player I really like. A lot of Leeds fans have been quick to criticise him but I've always felt he could pose a real threat to defenders. Yesterday he put himself about well, challenged the weaknesses of the Birmingham back four and scored two well taken goals. Playing him and Ross together really worked yesterday and I hope McDermott takes a similar gameplan into our next game. I'd also like to give Tom Lees a bit of a shout-out, he hasn't been at his best for a while but yesterday did play very well and was like a wall at the back. His clearance off the line, one of the highlights.
Although yesterday may have only been Birmingham City who have been struggling, I do feel with a gameplay, mentality and work-rate like we showed yesterday we could string some results together and get out of this inconsistent spell. It may sound odd to some, but I rarely find myself applauding a Leeds goal or performance. Yesterday I did, just in awe of the way the team played. I hope to see more of the same.
Thanks for reading