Leeds v Coventry: Marching On In Spite Of Bates

Despite their tonking at the hands of their nemesis across the Pennines and the murkiness over the club's ownership, Leeds have hit form at the right time...
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The Whites are very much united as they soldier on towards the play-off positions in spite of their reprehensible owner.

In the week that Guardian journalist David Conn hung Ken Bates out to dry in his BBC documentary ”Who Owns Leeds Utd”, it was inevitable that the team would deflect any grief away from their slippery chairman by  recording an emphatic away victory at Doncaster that took them in to a play off place for the first time this season. Tonight they take on Coventry hoping that that form continues.

You have to go back almost two years to record the last time Leeds kept two clean sheets on the trot, but since the shameful drubbing at the hands of that lot over the Pennines there has been a positive air of optimism amongst the supporters after a turn around in the  fortune,  discipline, performance and ultimately results of a team who looked lightweight and off the mark at the start of the season. After all the pre season chatter Alan Smith didn’t come back for another kiss of the badge, but ironically it was the player we originally got as part of the deal that took him to Old Trafford that has returned to Beeston with great effect. The second coming of Danny Pugh has coincided with an unbeaten run that has seen the midfielder  grab two priceless goals and forge a decent partnership with Aidy White.

And he’s not the only one with something to prove. In February 2005, Irish teenager Andy Keogh was sold on the cheap to Scunthorpe after failing to impress Kevin Blackwell. Since returning on loan from Wolves he’s bagged several goals, a man of the match performance and a promising partnership with Ross McCormack is keeping terrace hero Luciano Becchio on the bench.  It’s also notable to point out that Honduran hitman Ramon Nunez ,  who single handedly destroyed Doncaster in the Carling Cup Cup fixture at the Keepmoat a few months back, wasn’t even named as a sub for this Yorkshire derby.

Leeds will face a lot tougher teams this season, but come rain or shi*e, the superb away following Leeds take to every game will continue to sing themselves hoarse.

As any manager would agree, that’s not a bad position to be in, but following Leeds you’re never likely to get too carried away. Pessimism is a trait that has been ingrained after decades of rotten luck, criminal refereeing, horrific giant killings and embarrassing surrenders, none more worse than last seasons 6-4 defeat to Preston where  Jon “The Beast” Parkin wiped out our seemingly unattainable 4-1 lead.  Playing, for Doncaster on Friday night the grizzly b*stard was tamed by Tom Lees, another great addition to the new look Leeds who scored Leed’s third and put in another confident performance.

Between Pugh’s opening goal and Lee’s header the highlight of the game was a superb strike by Scottish goal machine Ross McCormack.  With his first touch he flicked the ball over a defender and looked to have skewed the ball out of his reach until he threw himself backwards like a demented Thunderbirds puppet and hit a peach of an over head kick to take his goal tally in to double figures. Fellow Jock Robert Snodgrass - with two assists - also appears to be back on form after several weeks where he looked like he’d been hitting the Buckfast.

After the game Dean Saunders admonished his players for being too “nice” and pretty”,  (something that Parkin won’t have heard in his lifetime) and it’s fair to say that Leeds will face a lot tougher teams this season, but come rain or shi*e, the superb away following Leeds take to every game will continue to sing themselves hoarse and as long as the team progress up the table then it’s likely that Ken Bates will keep a low profile.  Or as they say in Monaco “Et les cochons voleront”.

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