By Rob Atkinson
Leeds fans hoping for the bonus of some team-strengthening ahead of Tuesday night's home date with Bournemouth might well be encouraged by the possible absence of Stephen Warnock who picked up a knock in the defeat at those chirpy, lovable cockney chappies Millwall on Saturday. That apart, there is little to report in terms of personnel changes, although Tom Lees could be back from a three game injury absence. Yay.
Bournemouth's own injury list reads like a day on the set of "Casualty", although we all know that whichever eleven take the field for the Cherries, all will give their everything towards every Championship player's dream of giving Leeds a bloody nose. The name and the shirt, it seems, are motivation enough for any opposing player.
Leeds have been undeniably their own worst enemies though in this dire run of four straight defeats. The performance at the New Den clearly stunned manager McDermott; he wasn't exactly speechless (he actually said quite a lot), but his scathing condemnation of his team's failure to do the basics against ordinary opponents clearly marked the performance as a new low in the Leeds gaffer's own personal United experience.
The pressure will be on, then, for a much improved showing against AFC Bournemouth, who will not lack for motivation themselves; a historical grudge is still borne from a certain Bank Holiday promotion clincher in 1990. With a difficult-looking fixture to follow at Derby, who will be parading their new Dutch manager Shteve McLaren, three points from this home match are sorely needed by Leeds, who frankly should not be too worried about anything but somehow, anyhow, getting that win.
Having crashed and burned with my wildly optimistic Millwall prediction (the scoreline that is; I was spot on with my crystal ball vision of their fans being utter losers) - I shall endeavour to be more cautious for this one. So it's Leeds United 5, Bournemouth 0 with two goals for sub Noel Hunt after a first-half hat-trick from Luke Varney, all resulting from quality wide deliveries.