Disappointed with a point away at Villa, that is the sign of true progression at Leeds United Football Club. A game that we strangled for a half and then dominated for another half and left feeling bitterly disappointed after an individual error cost us the three points that weren’t really being threatened. 2016 has ended in a very good place for the club.
This is a side that are unbeaten at home this season and have spent around £45 million on a few players just a few months ago that we are gutted about drawing with. The players put everything and more into that game and we more than deserved to win the game. Decisions have cost us and not just the Liam Cooper hand ball. Hadi Sacko who I thought was bloody brilliant could have squared for Wood and then hit the bar with minutes to go, Jansson hit the bar and we, with more composure could have won that game by a couple in the second half.
The positives are shining through at the club and tonight was the perfect example. Garry Monk and the team had a game-plan and stuck to it throughout even after Villa had scored the penalty. I thought all the players had decent games and some were fantastic as you’ll see by the ratings. Make no mistake this team is more than good enough to make the play-offs this season and that performance was a marker as to where we should be in every game. 4 points from Preston and Villa away…not really anything to be worrying about.
Villa weren’t scoring in that game unless we made a mistake and Monk put it as best he could when he said that it was a mistake, but an honest mistake. We could have had two or three but in the end we can roll into 2017 and a big Yorkshire Derby with Rotherham knowing that this side is a team we can believe in, and I genuinely think we will make the top 6 this season. Steve Bruce said after the game that he believes we are genuine contenders to go up and it’s the best Leeds team he’s seen in many years.
Man of the Match – Pontus Jansson – Brilliant, along with Ayling and Green tonight. Commanded the back line and Villa were never scoring from open play, unlucky with volley at 0-1.
Green – 9 – Brilliant tonight. Collected and commanded and those who say he isn’t a good shot-stopper…what about that one at the end? Best game in a Leeds shirt.
Ayling – 9 – Fantastic tonight. How we signed him for £1 million I will never know.
Jansson – 9 – Solid and commanding. What a guy.
Cooper – 7 – Good defensively but needs to cut out the Hollywood balls. Clear mistake for penalty.
Berardi – 8 – Fitted back into the team as we expected, fully committed.
Bridcutt – 8 – Led the team tonight, better in second half and very good to have him back.
Phillips – 7 – Gave ball away at times but got stuck in and drove forward.
Sacko – 8 – Can’t be angry at him for the Wood incident, absolutely love him, he will learn.
Roofe – 7 – Good tonight but struggled in first half slightly. Fitting into side well.
Dallas – 6 – Worked hard but didn’t do much going forward
Doukara – 7 – Much better second half and good off the left, deserves to keep his place.
Hernandez – 8 – Made a huge difference and looked back to his best.
Wood – 6 – Good touches but he’s better when he starts the game.
Vieira – N/A