By Mike Courtney
Having just about recovered from the euphoria of last weekends thumping of Birmingham its back on the road again, albeit a short hop to Huddersfield, for the Leeds bandwagon. It's been an interesting week on the transfer front with the loan signing of Dexter Blackstock secured and the impending arrival of Lithuanian defender Marius Zaliukas. Just when the fans stopped screaming for signings we bring in fresh blood and a striker at that to add to the crop of front players we already have. Whether Blackstock can gain a starting place following the performances of Smith and McCormack last weekend remains to be seen, we also have Noel Hunt fresh from a hat-trick with the development squad, Diouf back from compassionate leave and Poleon itching for a game, competition up front is hotting up.
BMAC has indicated that barring injury he will stick with the starting eleven from last week and who can argue with that following our best performance in recent times. The 3-5-2 formation certainly worked at home and it remains to be seen if it can work on the road. Confidence will be high and we should be looking to build on that performance against a side that we have had success in recent times. There are no easy games at this level and the attitude has to be right from the start, we need to get at them from the off pressing high up the field like last week.
Austin is again key to this and if he can keep the pressure on the Terrier's defence then we should be able to carve out the chances for Rossco and Smith. Smith was a revelation last week and to borrow a phrase from X-Factors Louis Walsh "He reminded me of a young Lee Chapman". His headed goal last week was a throw back to Wilko's championship winning side and I had memories of Chapman's goal against Villa in a 4-1 win in our title winning season. If Smithy can get half the goals Big Lee got, he could help us mount a charge for the Premier League. But before we get ahead of ourselves we need to put a few wins back to back and climb the table to get within touching distance of the top 6 by Christmas. If we can perform like last weekend that is a distinct possibility but its not been long since we were very poor against Derby, so lets see what happens over the next few weeks before we get carried away.
The signs last week were very good and it put a smile on a lot of Leeds fans faces and shortened the working week, but if our attitude isn't right at lunchtime then those smiles could quickly become frowns and the doom and gloom merchants will be out in force. BMAC has shown he is willing to change and adapt his style of play when needed and it was certainly needed after the run of poor performances and results we had been on up to last week. Now is the time to kick on and prove that the beating of Birmingham was not a one off and that we have the squad to compete in this division.
The team is not the finished article by any stretch of the imagination but the additions of Blackstock and possibly Zaliukas will in my opinion give us a bit of strength in depth. With the return to fitness of Sam Byram and the emergence of young Mowatt in midfield, we are definitely in a stronger position than we were a few weeks ago. A win is a must to build on last weeks win and get us moving in the right direction and I think its a game we can win and have us smiling again by 2pm. Leeds to win 3-1.
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