Cast your mind back a few months, an away trip to Newport, at Elland Road in the Northern section of the League Cup…against a team from South Wales. Well now we are actually heading to South Wales for the FA Cup. Not the tie we all wanted, a home game against the Premier League boys and old rivals. We will have to wait, and navigate past tricky opposition.
Make no mistake Newport are trick opposition as well. Their pace and directness caused mayhem at times during what turned our to be a good result on paper for Leeds. In actual fact Newport could have found themselves more than 0-1 up. Kemar Roofe was the big difference on the night, Samu Saiz and Ronaldo Vieira added to the score line late on but I’m sure if you ask Luke Ayling, the skipper on the night he will tell you the game was anything but easy. Newport winger Frank Nouble played down the left hand side and tormented Ayling when he moved over from centre-back. He went inside and out, leaving Ayling in a heap more than once. He wasn’t the only one causing problems and Leeds will need to be on their game to make sure we progress.
Getting one of the Premier League teams at Elland Road isn’t proving easy, we have done very well in the last few years, both in the FA Cup and League Cup but haven’t managed to get any of the bigger teams back to Elland Road. We did draw Liverpool last season, a trip to Anfield in the quarter finals of the League Cup and lost 2-0 but it was a very good performance, a long-range effort from Kemar Roofe rattled the home side and the inside of the post before Liverpool took the tie away from us. That same player will want to start in South Wales come January, a wonderful hat-trick included a volley and an overhead kick of sorts. It will give the likes of Conor Shaughnessy and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson some much-needed game time, although both probably feel they are worth some as it is.