MOT Super Fans: After win v Reading it's time for Leeds to take promotion bid to next level
This post-match column is part of a regular series from our panel of Leeds United Super Fans. Each week, our Super Fans will deliver their verdicts on the biggest talking points and news stories around Elland Road and Thorp Arch
Winning when not at your best is a sure sign of being an automatic promotion candidate, and Leeds are doing exactly that so far this season…
There is no denying that Leeds dominate games in terms of possession, and the game against Reading was no different. However, converting chances when they come has been an issue all season long with only 24 goals scored in 18 Championship outings so far.
Jack Harrison’s 87th minute goal to snatch an extra two points could prove invaluable by the end of the season. Helder Costa – who has looked much better in recent games – provided the assist and was extremely lively down the right-hand side after he came on for Tyler Roberts.
It may be a cliché but the true mark of champions is the ability to win late or to win ugly. Two games on the spin Leeds have showed that grit, determination and extra burst of energy late in a game to conjure up a vital winner. The counter against Reading took less than 14 seconds to complete with Harrison starting it at left-back and finishing it from inside the six-yard box!
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Bielsa’s intense fitness methods seem to be paying off. When teams are tiring late on, Leeds consistently now find that extra yard needed from somewhere. From the 75th minute onwards, Leeds have now picked up an extra nine points in the Championship.
Leeds are one of the form teams at the moment. They find themselves unbeaten in seven games including four wins on the spin. They have conceded only 10 goals from 18 games so far, and have a league-high nine clean sheets in that time too.
We may be top of the league for now but the real priority isn’t necessarily first place. Automatic promotion is the aim, and thus continuing to increase the gap to third. West Brom seem to have the knack of winning late or when not at their best too, but also have a considerably more difficult run of games coming up. Games which I actually wouldn’t mind them winning to increase both our grip and theirs on the top two!
Leeds play Middlesbrough at home next, before games against Huddersfield (a), Hull (h), and Cardiff (h). The Whites have a real opportunity to put some daylight between them and the chasing pack. Fulham play Swansea, Nottingham Forest play Cardiff, and West Brom play Preston in this weekend’s round of fixtures. It will be favourable for us if they take points off each other. With a tricky festive period run-in coming up, Leeds really should be getting maximum points from the next four games! If they do that? Game on…
Adam Elliott is a member of the MOT Super Fans panel and provides his post-match thoughts on Leeds after every game
In other Leeds United news, Marcelo Bielsa delivers update on Tyler Roberts injury v Reading