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Brian goes back to basics
Monday, 13th Jan 2014 18:00 by Tim Whelan

Brian McDermott has admitted that the formation that started the game against Sheffield Wednesday didn’t work, so will start from scratch with his team as he prepares for the vital games to come.

He told the official site “You are trying to find a way of playing that wasn’t so drastically away from what we have been playing and what we have been doing. We have to go back to basics to work our socks off to get to where we need to get to. We need to fight, we need to do whatever we have to do now."

“We’ll see in the coming weeks how deep rooted the problems are. We’ll get a major reaction from that game on Saturday, we know that. That game was probably as close to rock bottom as you are going to get as a Leeds United manager. We have to find a team next week that wants to fight, that’s got desire and has the bravery to get on the ball and compete.”

At least the manager realised it wasn’t working at half time and tried to change to the 4-4-2 formation most of us would have chosen to start the game. Matt Smith came on and certainly showed the bravery to compete, only to get an immediate red card for clattering into Reda Johnson.
Now Brian McDermott has decided to appeal against this contentious sending off.

McDermott spoke to Lee Probert about the dismissal after the game and said "It wasn't a sending off. There's no way that's a sending off. Matt caught him but he was trying to make an honest challenge. I didn't think it was a booking quite frankly and the referee's got to look at it. They have to rescind it and if they don't, it's not right." Let’s hope they do, because we could certainly do with Smith against Leicester on Saturday.

But if Saturday was a disaster on the field, we did at least get some praise from the local police chiefs for the behaviour of the fans. There were about 400 officers on duty to ensure there was no repeat of last season’s disorder, and although one person was ejected from the stadium for breaching a banning order there were no arrests.

Superintendent Shaun Morley, the man with overall responsibility for policing at Hillsborough, told the Sheffield Star “More than 21,000 fans attended and the atmosphere was very pleasant with no arrests. I would like to thank fans for creating a very pleasant and enjoyable atmosphere.” That might be going a bit far, seeing as there were a couple of renditions of the David Jones song, but it’s nice for Leeds fans to get a pat on the back for a change.

Aaron Cawley travelled to Sheffield despite his banning order, but the police said he stayed in the city centre rather than attempting to get to the game. The way things turned out, they might be wishing that they’d forced him to go in and watch the match as a special punishment.
We’ll have to hope that the team will very soon be attracting as much praise, starting with the Leicester game on Saturday, when we will once again be delighting the nation with a live appearance on Sky TV.

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Photo: Action Images

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