By Mark Rasdall
Seven wins out of ten for Leeds United; 30,000 packed into Elland Road and optimism in the air, the like of which we haven't really experienced on an ongoing basis since the momentum of our Championship campaign under Simon Grayson after League One promotion finally ran out four years ago...
Yes there have been good days amongst the bad and the downright shocking but 'ups and downs' has never really been more appropriate than when describing our form since just missing out on a Play-Off place in 2011.
It would be so easy to say how frustrated and disappointed all LUFC fans must be feeling after the weekend's 0.0 draw. I must admit that not winning - in any circumstances - has put a dampener on my Saturday evenings ever since I was seven year's old. Today though I can honestly say that hope and expectation are intact, as they have been generally in 2015.
Nottingham Forest under our old creative mentor, Dougie Freedman, have found themselves and a way of playing which saw them come to Leeds in really impressive form too. In the Nottingham papers, Dougie is recognising that a draw against us was a really valuable away point. Not withstanding the PR pressure on him to say this, I think he will be as relieved as Neil Redfearn at not losing the match late on. A draw was clearly a fair result on the day.
Almost exactly three years ago we were losing 3.7 at home to Forest, after losing earlier in the season to Blackpool 5.0. I can't see that happening next Saturday - even though it is the away match this time. In fact I can't really see us either getting a good hiding or having no shots on target in any match (I still haven't forgotten that game at Hull away).
Even with Byram and Austin injured we managed to keep a solid shape in front of a sound defence. When Morison and Sharp came off we had Antenucci and Doukara to replace them. Also on the bench was yet another Academy product - Kalvin Phillips - who could have joined up with Cook or Mowatt in midfield, not to mention a rejuvenated Murphy. Oh, and Adryan is still in the building. If he is patient then I am sure Redfearn will get the best out of him too but it won't be at the expense of losing our team's formation and way of playing which looks better each week we see it.
So I for one am really, genuinely optimistic about next season providing the suits at the club ensure that their talented superiors remain on our balance sheet and not anybody else's. Let the Canaries sing but no longer over our bird food.
We are not going to win every match and will lose the odd game by the odd goal. It is called rebuilding. However, I can now see the wood for the Trees.