After yesterday’s clash with Ipswich Town, Tractor Boys fan Terry Davis has his say on the shock win.
The result yesterday was completely unexpected. We hadn’t managed to score 3 at home all season. However we needed some help to get them, and the the 90th minute mix up between Casilla and Ayling was an absolute gift, especially as we were down to 10 men.
The 4 goals up to then had been well worked, especially when Andre Dozzell finished off a box to box move which was the best move I’ve seen from us all season.
Klich showed how dangerous he is with a smart finish and Dallas was in the right place at the right time to make it 2 apiece, as was Downes for the first of the match.
The sending off has been quite controversial with some debate about whether it was an accidental challenge. My take is that it was a tackle from behind, and a clear goal scoring opportunity so Chambers had to go and it also was a clear penalty.
Having picked Roofe to score against us I was relieved to see the penalty go over - I still can’t be sure if he slipped or simply miskicked, but it was awful whatever.
Throughout this season, we have thrown in the towel if we’ve gone behind or gone a man down. It promises much for next season that we managed to nick the points at the end.
We haven’t managed that very much this season and although Leeds had twice the possession, four times the number of shots, and the extra man, we somehow managed to come out on top.
Hopefully we’ll take some heart from that into next season. You’ll be hoping you’ve got the howler out of the way before the play offs!
Whatever happens I think it will be a few years before we meet again in the league...
By Terry Davis
Ahead of today’s clash with Ipswich Town, we spoke to Terry about his club and this season.
How long have you supported Ipswich Town FC and why did you choose them as your team?
I first supported Ipswich as a 5 year old back in 1963. I turned 60 last year and it occurred to me that I’d been a fan for well over 50 years ! I grew up in Suffolk and I remember there being a choice between Ipswich, N****** and Colchester but as Ipswich was the nearest I chose them. I can remember my first game as if it were yesterday - a match under floodlights and seeing my favourite player score. Danny Hegan’s goal wasn’t enough to prevent a 2-1 home defeat against Portsmouth but I was hooked from that moment on.
What’s your favourite moment as a fan. Season, game or anything other occasion?
I remember us gaining a few promotions, and winning the FA cup in 1978, but the EUFA Cup in 1981 has to be my personal highlight. This was before the days of satellite TV and there weren’t screens everywhere to watch the match. However when the second leg took place I was playing for my University team that night. We played in what is now the Lowland League and we were up against a team from a tough mining village in Central Scotland. Although Ipswich won the first leg 3-0 I knew we had gone 2-1 behind from talk on the sidelines. I’d been getting stick from the crowd as a loud Englishman so things weren’t going well in the night. However when we got back on the team
bus afterwards the radio was turned up loud and everyone was cheering Ipswich on, and I remember the journey back as something special, listening to a tinny old radio commentary as we held on for a 5-4 victory.
Today in 1972 Leeds beat Birmingham City 3-0 to reach the FA Cup Final. Scorers Jones(2), Lorimer.
The EFL announced that these will be the dates for the Playoff semi finals and Final
Championship A 1st Leg: Saturday May 11(kick-off 12.30pm) Championship B 1st Leg: Saturday May 11(kick-off 5.15pm)
Championship A 2nd Leg: Tuesday May 14(kick-off 7.45pm) Championship B 2nd Leg: Wednesday May 15(kick-off 7.45pm)
The selection for which is fixtures are A and B will be made once the Championship season is completed.
The play-off semi final matches will see the side finishing in 3rd face those who finish 6th, while 4th position will take on 5th.The higher ranked side play at home in the second leg and, as ever, all ties will be broadcast on Sky Sports.
The Championship play-off final will then be held on Monday, May 26th(3pm kick-off)
Let’s hope we can sit back, watch them, relaxed because we are already promoted.
Leeds LWWLL 3rd
Villa WWWWW 5th
The curtain came down on another regular season quietly, NOT! The amazing and enthralling contest at Elland Road just about had everything in it’s ninety plus minutes.
Despite two victories and other results elsewhere, Leeds picked themselves off the floor, dusted down their white uniforms and tore into a team that had won ten straight games in a row. This was just what the 36k plus fans needed to see from their team.
True the old problem still occurred, putting the ball in the back of their opponents net, Hernandez having an early effort blocked and Harrison missing a one on one with Steer. One important change was the defence which looked porous in previous games stood like ‘lions’ to stop Grealish and co whenever they threatened the Leeds goal. Villa also tried every trick in the book to con a very poor Premier League referee, Mr Attwell hopefully has better days than the poor performance he put in today.
The game will be remembered most for an incredible six or seven minutes from the seventy second minute, first with a Villa player prone just outside the Leeds area the ball was moved up the line by Leeds substitute Tyler Roberts instead of putting the ball out of play. Klich took the ball into the Villa area and put the ball past Jed Steer, from then on a mass ‘confrontation’ ensued with Bamford clashing with El Ghazi, the Villa man was sent off for his actions against the Leeds striker.
Ahead of today’s clash with Aston Villa, we spoke to Chris Herbert about all things Villains.
How long have you supported Aston Villa and why did you choose them as your team?
I've supported Villa all my life and this is due to my dad & grandad. The best moments for me must be beating Birmingham City home and away and the 5-1 drumming we gave them in 2008. Cup winners in 1994 & 1998 also stand out.
What’s your favourite moment as a fan. Season, game or anything other occasion.
Most memorable match was the cup game at Elland road in October 1996. We had beaten Leeds in the final earlier that year but drew each other again. I was in the Leeds end with my dad (Villa fan), and my cousins & aunties who were all Leeds fans. Leeds took the lead in the 69th minute for Villa to equalise within a minute and then Yorke cheekily chipped a penalty straight down the middle which made the keeper look daft. Great and cool way to win a game.
Tell us about a player that you were proud to have on the back of a shirt, if you didn’t is there one you wished you would have.
I had a fair few shirts with names on the back when I was younger, Draper, Collymore, Merson, but the best one for me was Dwight Yorke.
Ahead of our Monday evening clash with Brentford we spoke to Ian Blackham about all things Bees.
How long have you supported Brentford and why did you choose them as your team?
My Dad took me in 1967 when I was 6, he started supporting them in 1936. My 24 year old son Daniel has been going since he was 7. It's in our blood!!
What’s your favourite moment as a fan. Season, game or anything other occasion.
Favourite game was away to Liverpool in 6th round of FA Cup 1989, best result 4-1 against Fulham in their own back yard. Favourite moment was knowing we had got promoted to the Championship.
Tell us about a player that you were proud to have on the back of a shirt, if you didn’t is there one you wished you would have?
Never had a players name on my back but the one Bees player I would have was Jay Tabb. A great little tough player and a superb lad. He gave my son a pair of signed boots at the training ground.
What’s your most memorable match playing Leeds?
Our first trip to Elland Road in 2010. we did a stadium tour before the game where my son (Daniel) who was 15 at the time proudly had his Bees flag. When we went 1 nil up we thought we would be beating one of the giants in English football
Are you happy with your dealings in this summer and winter transfer windows?
We are a club who buys young undervalued players to develop and sell on so any transfer window is scary. January was good as we kept most of our stars.
This summer could see the likes of Malpauy, Canos and Benrahma go. We have to sell to keep afloat being a championship side with crowds of 10,000.
What’s your realistic aim for the rest of the season and your hopes for the next one?
Our season was finished a while ago, my hope is we stay above QPR which I think we will. Next season is our last at Griffin Park and it would be amazing to beat Fulham at home in the last match to win promotion.
Your thoughts on the EFL Championship this season. Manager, player of the season?
One of the best seasons since we have been in the championship. Dean Smith should be manager of season if they get promoted after what he took on. Player of season our own Neal Malpauy, I would hate his attitude if he wasn't wearing a Bees shirt and scores for fun but works bloody hard for it.
Who are your three to be promoted this season? Two automatic places and playoff winners
Sorry but I think we will be playing Leeds again next year with Norwich and Sheffield United being 1st and 2nd with Villa winning the play off.
Ahead of our vital clash with Wigan on this Good Friday, we spoke to Jake, an avid Latins fan.
How long have you supported Wigan Athletic and why did you choose them as your team?
I have been following Wigan athletic home and away games for the past 10 years. I was originally born In Liverpool and followed them for my early years but since moving to Wigan and going to a few a games I instantly fell in love with them as every game was a challenge. Cheap season tickets and watching top footballers in the premier league was amazing. Wigan seem to be a team that will always surprise you and that’s why I follow them.
What’s your favourite moment as a fan. Season, game or anything other occasion.
I have to say the FA cup final against Man City in 2013 was just a day I’ll never forget. It gives me goose bumps just thinking about it. I can remember exactly what happened... the tannoy announced there was 3 minutes of added time, as that happened Shaun Maloney whipped in a corner and up stepped what Wigan fans called God... Ben Watson with a header into the top corner. That feeling will live with every Wigan fan for the rest of our lives. I don’t see us ever doing that again, we were told we could never do it and that Man City were to strong. Little Wigan proved everyone wrong.
Monday 8/4 continued
Leeds captain Liam Cooper and Kalvin Phillips were selected in the EFL Championship team of the season. The most surprising omission was Pablo Hernandez. Looks like the lads enjoyed their evening out.
Liam Cooper, Victor Orta and Kalvin Phillips with their awards.
Marcelo Bielsa on the game with Preston North End and Hernandez doubt: “The desire to be first or second is a very high motivation because it’s the aim and objective of one year of work, in the last part of the season, we want to solve this situation and our motivation is higher.In all of the games that are going to play from now until the end of the season, they have the same conditions- we have to win every game.”
“Preston North End are a different team in the Championship, they play with a different style and the players that they are using to develop this style are different to normal players for this.”
On Hernandez: “Pablo received a hit in the last minute of the previous game. His evolution today is a positive evolution, but we are not going to take any risks.There are possibilities that Pablo cannot play the game, Kemar Roofe will go in his position if Pablo cannot play.”
Kalvin Phillips: “It goes to show that we’ve done really well this season,as a team we’ve been absolutely brilliant. I don’t think anybody expected to do as well as we have before the start of the season and it goes to show the hard work that everyone’s put in. There’s six more big games to go but hopefully after tomorrow night, we can have a little chill, relax and watch Sheffield United get beat!”
“You win some and lose some. We didn’t play particularly well against Birmingham but we played really well against Sheffield United and lost. We take that as having to play better and if we play better, we’ll win. I think at a club like Leeds United there will always be pressure. There's no reason why we can't go on and win promotion. If we keep playing like we are there's every chance, I think it's going to go right to the wire."
Ipswich Town have altered the way you have to apply for tickets for their last game of the season against Leeds.
You have to have been a resident in Ipswich for at least three generations and have a minimum of six fingers! This is what they really said "Tickets will only be sold to Town fans who are on the database with purchase history prior to this season.“
The entire allocation of 2,000 tickets for the Leeds section is sold out. Ipswich went further by saying that: “Home supporters found to be passing their ticket allocation to any away supporter will face a ban from purchasing match tickets at Portman Road.”
Luke Ayling and Pablo Hernandez have been named in the PFA Player of the Month for the month of March.
Alex Neil on Leeds United: “Leeds are going to be a different proposition than Sheffield United were due to the way they play. I'd say that Leeds have been the most impressive team over the course of the season, even though they are sitting in third.”
Leeds United under 23’s beat Ipswich Town under 23’s 3-0 at Elland Road. Goals from Odour, Berardi, Edmundson.
Berardi nets number two.
Preston v Leeds
Team News: Leeds unchanged, Stevens replaces Clarke on the bench. One change for Preston, Johnson comes in for Gallagher
Team: Casilla, Ayling, Jansson, Cooper(c), Alioski, Phillips, Klich, Hernandez, Roberts, Harrison, Bamford.
Thanks to Leedsunited.com
Bamford ‘hammers’ his first goal.
Man of the Match: Patrick Bamford two goals, should have had three. Much better from the striker.
Marcelo Bielsa: “In the first half we deserved to win the game because we created four or five chances. They created one or two. The red card prevented one very clear chance and if you analyse the game 11 versus 11, we were the better team. I don’t want to say that we won the game because we played with one player more.”
“For a long time we’ve been playing well. Against Birmingham we went down in performance, especially the last 30 minutes, but the team tonight played like we’ve played all season. I’m proud of the performance because all of the players played at a high level.”
“I thought Patrick Bamford adapted very well after one very difficult game. He didn't play well against Millwall, against Birmingham he increased his level and performance. Having three chances is something positive for a striker. He improved his performance again today with two goals and he put in a lot of work for the team.”
Alex Neil: "I thought we matched them tonight and then the sending off has changed the game. They are not a team that you want to play against with 10 men and it was always going to be a very difficult game from that point.”
“The sending-off really put us on the back foot and we had to sit back. Leeds are not easy to stop, they are probably the hardest team in the league to stop and I think we found a way to do that up until the crucial error that determined the game."
Carnage after Bamford’s second.
Leeds are now guaranteed a top-six finish in the Championship for the first time since the 2005/06 season.
They have also recorded their highest points total(79)since winning Division Two in the 1989/90(85)season and the most wins in the second tier(24).
David Watkins and Heidi Haigh review the much needed win at Deepdale.
Thanks to David and Heidi.
Game of Thrones actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau on the real ‘King of the North’
“In Bielsa we Trust”
Sheffield United draw with Birmingham City 1-1 at St Andrews so stay third, Norwich draw 2-2 with Reading at Carrow Road, Villa win 2-1 at Rotherham and manu lose 1-0 to Barcelona in the Champs League Q/Final.
Pablo Hernandez is nominated for EFL player of the month for March.
Other nominees are
Semi Ajayi (Rotherham)
Emiliano Buendia (Norwich)
Jack O’Connell (Sheffield United)
Marcelo Bielsa looks ahead to Sheffield Wednesday: “From the change of the coach, Sheffield Wednesday have taken good results, they use less players and they keep to their style of play during the games. For us we have to win the five games left. When you have less points to win because you are in the last games of the league, the gap or space for mistakes is reduced.”
“In football anything can happen in one game, the game that Norwich played on Wednesday is a summary of this. The results of our opponents make us play with more responsibilities, but despite any result they can get, we have to win our games.”
“For us to play the games with the obligation to win is something that is not new for us. I don’t remember one game this season where we haven’t played to win the game. It is no good to make any analysis until this objective is complete, the only important thing is if we get promotion.”
“We play with obligation to win promotion, not to make the best season. We have to win the five games left. When you have few points left to win because you’re in the last few games of the league, the gap or the space for mistakes reduces. Anything can happen in one football game.”
“Any of the results of our opponents could make us play more freely or play with more responsibility but with any result they (Sheffield United) get, we still need to win the games.”
“For us, to play the games with an obligation to win is nothing new. I don’t remember playing one game without thinking we had to win it.”
The Head Coach also said that Leeds will keep the same starting eleven for the weekend clash with Wednesday. Marcelo Bielsa has picked the same outfield players for the ninth consecutive game. The only game where the starting eleven have changed is Millwall when Bailey Peacock-Farrell replaced Kiko Casilla who was suspended.
Tyler Roberts: “Of late I have been playing the 10 role, I prefer it in the centre of the pitch definitely. In training it has been different for me learning different positions but I have enjoyed it and it has been a positive for me. It has given me a boost in confidence.
I like to get on the ball and trying to beat players so I can do that here. 9 or 10 are my prefered positions, I tried it at 7 and it didn't work out that well but I am enjoying that position. I would like to get a few more goals and assists of course but the main thing is promotion.”
On the pressure of being second: “I wouldn't say we feel pressure, more positivity flowing through the camp. I didn't watch the game last night, I watched Barca, I just checked the result at the end! I was flicking over they channels and stuff but it's more a case of that we have got five games to go and we have got to win all five of them.”
We’ve met before
Leeds 1-2 Sheffield Wednesday March 2017
Leeds 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday February 2017
Leeds 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday August 2015
Leeds 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday October 2014
Leeds 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday August 2013
All Championship games.
Leeds face Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday tea time and by the time the teams come out of the tunnel they will know if they are third in the table as their main rival Sheffield United for an automatic place will have already played their game.
Sheffield Wednesday have improved under Steve Bruce and sit just below the top six in the Championship. They had an impressive 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest in midweek. Bruce has an impressive squad to pick from, with plenty of experience in it.
Marcelo Bielsa will stick with the eleven that beat Preston 2-0 and the starting eleven has changed only once in nine games. Patrick Bamford will be hopeful of continuing where he left off on Tuesday, the striker had gone four games without a goal before Preston but proved he will be an asset in the last five games of the season. His ratio of goals in games is as good as anybody in the Championship.
It’s a game Leeds need to win, but it may me a nervy affair with only a goal separating the two teams. Leeds 2-1.
Rotherham United’s Semi Ajayi is the EFL Championship Player of the Month for March. Manager of the Month was Dean Smith.
Leeds v Sheffield Wednesday
Team News: Gaetano Berardi comes in as a late replacement for Liam Cooper who was injured in the pre match warm up. Luke Ayling takes the captains armband. Three changes for Sheffield Wednesday.
Team: Casilla, Ayling(c), Jansson, Berardi, Alioski, Phillips, Klich, Hernandez, Roberts, Harrison, Bamford.
Ryan Ingham reviews the game
Jack Harrison scores and celebrates.
Commentary from BBC Radio Leeds
Man of the Match: Tyler Roberts, impressive throughout and one of his best games in the white shirt.
Marcelo Bielsa: “There are 12 points to play for and we only have three points over them. We have to make analysis of this difference and think about what the numbers say. It's not a big difference. We played a good game because we defended well and attacked well too. We created chances to score but we only scored one goal.”
“When you’re winning by only one goal, you have to be focused because they created one chance in the last minute of the game. You always have to stay focused. We need to create a lot of chances to score a goal. It's important to create danger close to the opponent's goal but my objective is to improve our level of efficiency. The work in defence today was good. We didn’t suffer a lot of danger and we reacted well to the different skills of their strikers.”
Steve Bruce: “We didn't do enough but sometimes you have to credit the opposition. That's the third time I've seen them and they look a very good bet to go up. The transformation with similar players to where they were 12 months ago is remarkable. The intensity they played at, we found it a struggle and overall if I'm being brutally honest the better team won.”
“They look a totally different team to where they were 12 months ago. We found it very difficult to play against. They were very good today, I have to say that.”
David Watkins on high jinks in the Centenary Pavilion(following the Millwall equaliser)and another major step towards the Premiership.
Thank you David, hope the post match Malt tasted even sweeter.
Golf caddie Billy Foster showing his colours at the Masters in Augusta. The 52 year old is originally from Keighley, West Yorkshire. The tournament was won by ‘Tiger’ Woods, his first victory since 2005 and his fifth overall.
Wigan so nearly ‘clip’ the Canaries wings, only a linesman’s flag denies them a much needed victory over the Championship leaders. The game ended 1-1. Liverpool beat Chelski 2-0 at Anfield so top of the Premiership. Norwich head the Championship by four points.
Leeds captain Liam Cooper will have a scan on the injury he sustained during the warm up before the game with Sheffield Wednesday, he has a glute muscle injury. Marcelo Bielsa said this of his captain “He felt a pain like a strained muscle and usually the players don’t suffer an injury in this muscle but with the pain, he couldn’t play. Losing Cooper was an uncomfortable situation but Berardi adapted to the game very fast.”
“He(Cooper)leads with the way he plays, he’s always motivating the team, he’s a great team player and he has talent. He plays such an important role within the side.”
Heidi Haigh on a busy week, meeting fans and a stray ball plus her superb blog on the win over Sheffield Wednesday.
Thank you Heidi and hope your husband is ‘on the mend’. My best.
Saturday may be key to achieving the dream of promotion to the Premiership. Coupled with another poor result for Sheffield United it may be this weekend that we look back on as what made it possible. Can any of our nerves take the strain. Four games to go!
Today marks the 30th Anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy. Still the families of the 96 people who lost loved ones still await JUSTICE.
You shall never be forgotten
I dedicate this diary to them.
Never give up your fight!
By Keith Ingham