By Mark Rasdall
Like all other Leeds United supporters I couldn't wait for our opening game against Wolves on Saturday. We'd spent the summer wondering whether we were going to be taken over and yesterday morning wondering whether we'd be overcome.
I actually think the takeover is very much on. I think the Leeds United Supporters Trust (LUST) were asked by the club to issue their provocative statement just over a week ago in order to push the potential purchasers over the line, whilst keeping them just about on side.
The money has begun to flow a little more strongly over the past few days and I think Ross McCormack's new contract deal is as much a sign of that as any new players coming in. I'm sure there are players the club wishes to offload and everyone is sticking to the same hymn sheet about moving players on before new faces can come in. To me this just means that the PR machine is working as well as at any time since Ken Bates has been in charge. The Championship campaign is a long haul and I really don't believe that at his age and with his supposedly deteriorating health he would really be holding out for riches that come with the Premier League.
As to the football (ah yes, the football), well wasn't it great to see 23,000 + packed into Elland Road again with a collective hope that this could be our season? I know we are all fanatical about our club and loyalty is in our DNA not our bank accounts, but I really did sense that we are getting behind Neil Warnock and the new team. When you remember the false dawns and worry over the summer we've all had to put up with, to come out with any kind of belief intact is quite amazing I think.
For me, there were two points of difference from last season, quite apart from the new players. I thought we were more organised as a unit and players new and old knew their roles and largely stuck to them. Individuals did not go walkabout and we looked less ragged when the play was suddenly brought to us at pace. Secondly, I felt that every single player tried the best that they possibly could - typified by Austin. One of my favourite Clash songs is 'Rudie can't fail.' If he and the other players are able to keep up this kind of tempo and commitment for even half of our games this season, then surely the team will succeed?
Whether some of the players' best is going to be good enough or of sufficient quality against the very best Championship teams, we'll have to wait and see. We're off to Blackpool on Tuesday and will need to dig in quickly because they too had a good win at the Den yesterday and will be more than ready for us - as they were last season. We're not going there or anywhere else this season to make up the numbers or to necessarily play pretty football. We're going there to win. We never get any credit but hopefully we won't be overdrawn either