By Mike Courtney
So here we are at the business end of the season, just five games to go and still all to play for. Unfortunately for Leeds it's not at the right end of the table. A short few weeks ago all the talk was about getting the necessary points for a final assault on the top six. Now here we are with two vital home games coming up and we sit in 17th spot only 5 points clear of the drop zone. With just 11 points picked up out of a possible 39 since the start of February and four defeats in a row against teams we could and should have beaten, it is fair the say we are in relegation form.
With Warnock gone and no new man in as of yet, things are not looking good down at Elland Road. A visit from a near neighbour, another team battling for survival can be one of two things. It might be the kick up the backside that this underachieving bunch need to instill the passion into their play, backed up by a buoyant home crowd to get the desired result and put us 3 points closer to safety. The flip side is a passionless bunch, playing with fear, leaderless on and off the park and a nervous crowd getting on their backs everytime they make a mistake. Let their be no doubt about it, Saturdays home match against the Wendies could be the biggest game in the history of Leeds United.
No I am not blowing it all out of proportion. Lose and we could be facing relegation back to the third tier of English football, a division which we found hard enough to get out of the last time. With relegation we will lose most of this squad, most of our up and coming players, Byram, Lees etc and we won't attract the top class manager we need to get this club back where it belongs. Win and we live to fight another season in the Championship, we might attract the manager we need, the board might back him with funds to get the quality players needed to supplement the 5 or 6 decent players we have and we might just hang on to Byram, Lees etc.
The Wendies are on a decent run of late, 10 points out of their last 5 games, the only defeat coming to table toppers Cardiff. They will know that a win will see them safe with the added bonus of pushing us closer to the drop. There is no doubt that Dave Jones will have them up for it from the off and it is up to Redfearn and his sidekicks to ensure that our boys are up for the fight.
The players need to put in a full 90 minutes of hard work, determination and skill, something that has been missing for few months now. We need to take the chances when they come our way and we need to stop conceding sloppy goals late on. All easier said then done, with confidence low from our recent run. We need to strike early, get the crowd behind the players and get the points that will see us safe.
Saturday is a huge day in the history of Leeds United, it could be the game that defines the direction that this great club goes. Win and we can plan and build for the future, lose and that future could be very bleak indeed.
MOT Leeds Leeds Leeds
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