Andy Munro on Blues’ win at Leeds.
A win at vociferous Leeds United is always pleasing, although it’s not necessarily the dawn of a new age nor has it turned Lee Clarke into Alex Ferguson. However,we’re undoubtedly slowly digging ourselves out of the big mess that has been Blues on the pitch.
Leicester, Millwall and Leeds all had one thing in common – they were all teams at the height of their form and somehow we’ve managed to stay unbeaten against them. For the moment I’m going to give the manager credit for this in the same way I, and others, have also given him plenty of stick. Is it a long term renaissance? I’m still not sure.
The Leeds game saw the usual pre-match comments by the opposition manager of being ‘wary’ and ‘respecting the opposition’ – mind you when has Neil Warnock respected anybody? We lined up with two up top balanced by playing only one winger. In the middle we had Ravel Morrison (good news) and Haydn Mullins (not so good news) and, at the back, Lee Clarke sensibly went with ‘Blue’ Robbo on the right hand side.
We played some good, coherent football against an in-form Leeds side and probably deserved to be in the lead at half time. However, Leeds fought back in the second period and it took a fabulous save from Butland to keep the scoresheet clean. In fact, Butland is in the sort of form when he could even stop a trespassing Leeds supporter. Certainly, if I hear anybody starting to get pernickety about him again on the Tilton, they’ll get short thrift from me.
The match-winning goal befitted that phrase when Lita exploded a shot past the keeper as everybody else was screaming ‘pass’. In fact, soon afterwards, Marlon King nearly completely silenced his goading Leeds fans when he saw a superb drive unluckily hit the bar. His attitude to the stick was to just get on with it without moaning. Mind you, his name isn’t Dave Jones.
Overall it was a great three points and let’s hope we don’t become complacent against Ipswich and Bristol City, two sides in poor form but desperate for results. Incidentally, returning to the puzzle that is Lee Clarke, a few weeks ago almost all Bluenoses would have clamoured for two up front with Ravel Morrison and Nathan Redmond to add skill and youthful energy in midfield. Maybe, it’s still a mite worrying that it’s taken a catalogue of poor results for Clarke to come up with the same conclusions.