By Mark Rasdall
I'll be going to Leeds United's away game with Peterborough United tomorrow. I actually grew up in Peterborough so it's something of a home game for me in a strange kind of way. Growing up in the 'Seventies I couldn't afford to travel to Elland Road often but went to watch Posh who had an exciting team at the time, managed by the late Noel Cantwell.
The highlight for me was seeing our great team play Peterborough at London Road in an FA Cup 4th round tie in January 1974, which Leeds won 4-1 in front of a crowd of 28,000. Although Peter Lorimer and the rest made it look easy that day, Peterborough's reputation grew on the back of being a very good cup team and this helped their election to the Football League in 1960. Probably their greatest result was in 1965 when they beat Arsenal 2-1, also in the 4th round, in front of 30,000!
So, Peterborough certainly have the pedigree and I do remember well that Cantwell's team always seemed to play out of their skins against the best teams but struggled against lesser opposition. With two defeats out of two so far this season, they will certainly be up for us tomorrow, especially with what is sure to be one of the biggest crowds they'll get at home all season. We may not have sold all of our tickets but believe me it will feel as if we've filled their tight ground for them - and I'm sure we'll all be reminding them of that.
I've seen Leeds play Peterborough twice more since that wintery afternoon all those years ago. We lost there 2-0 three seasons ago but won 3-2 last season with a last minute goal by Becchio. That was also a match to remember! We did our very best to throw it away and only won it in literally the last few seconds.
It would be good to see Becchio score again tomorrow (obviously) especially after his winner last Saturday. He's undoubtedly struggled over the last year and it's clear to all of us that his injury was worse than the club admitted publicly. I know that Neil was on his back again after Tuesday's game at Blackpool - as with all of the front players it seems - so we all be willing him on and hope he really can get back to his best form for us.
The other player I'm not at all sure about yet is Luke Varney. I wasn't that impressed with him against Wolves and obviously he was at fault for the first goal on Tuesday. I'm all for giving players the chance to settle in and prove themselves. We at Leeds are often too impatient far too quickly and it sometimes takes longer for some players than others. Hopefully we'll be more impressed after tomorrow's game and I certainly want him to do as well as any other player. I just think he's flattered to deceive so far.
So, can't wait for the game and being unable to talk properly for days afterwards - hopefully these words will tell of another great day for Leeds as opposed to the glory hunters from Peterborough.
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