It was a strange afternoon at Elland Road yesterday. Booed off at half-time the players wanted off in a hurry and it was clear after the game that Paul Heckingbottom had told them some home truths although he didn’t reveal what. Into the second half and some ironic chanting started when the ref gave a foul our way, it carried on with piss taking of the situation then turned serious, the atmosphere incredible, and the players responded.
I am a firm believer in that if the players push fans to the point where they want to boo then they really are playing poor. Most of the time fans won’t boo even if the team are losing, but on very rare occasions they will get some stick if the fans don’t believe their performance. I couldn’t accept that first-half display yesterday and it was the same against Cardiff and Millwall at half-time. When the players are putting the effort in, losing or not they will get their credit and Leeds fans can’t be questioned for sticking with the team through the hard times. I must admit, I haven’t seen an atmosphere swing like that in many years at Elland Road, and it gave me goosebumps which doesn’t happen much in a ground you visit every other week, something special has to happen. At 0-2 it did, if the ref hadn’t blown up for the foul on Roofe who knows what would have happened. Bristol City couldn’t cope with the surroundings, they crumbled.
Paul Heckingbottom was the first to acknowledge the fans, saying that it was them who earned the point for the team and as a Yorkshireman he will know all about this sort of atmosphere at Elland Road. The players responded and not many fans left after the game before roaring the players off the pitch, and head-coach who made the trip around the pitch. I actually watched Heckingbottom at 1-2, he just stared at the South Stand and then the Kop for what seemed quite a long time as Marching On Together rang around, nearly taking the roof off of Elland Road and in that moment he probably knew a draw was the least he would end up with. The players left nothing on the field and were heroes as they left the park. It does make you realise the power of the Leeds United fans because when we go through bad spells the seats begin to show again and attendances drop. Extremely proud of the players and fans yesterday, Bristol City lucky to get away with a point.