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Time to sink or swim, but is Hockaday out of his depth?
Sunday, 10th Aug 2014 12:58 by Tim Whelan

After yesterday’s disappointing defeat at Millwall our ‘head coach’ commented that “we saw who sank and who swum”, but are Leeds all at sea under his leadership?

The Hock thought that we should have got something out of the game, and he told LUTV "We didn`t start well and we didn`t play well in the first half. We lacked intensity, a purpose in our play and we lacked intelligence. To concede a soft goal from a corner, that shouldn't be happening and it was poor marking.”

"I was delighted to get in at half time just 1-0 down if I am being honest. In the second half we changed things around. We had more chances, we caused them more problems, and we had a lot of chances. We had three or four good chances and we didn`t finish them. Although we didn`t play well, we had chances to get something from the game and we didn`t take them."

He also said that he is trying to introduce a more passing style of football compared to the more direct game we have become used to in the last couple of seasons, but passing football can become a bit aimless when it’s not working, and sometimes you need a bit of passion to go with it. Perhaps Hock is right that the second half performance could brought us a result, and that we were lucky to concede the second when we were chasing the game.

But on the evidence he doesn’t seem to have solved a couple of the basic problems that have plagued us for too long. One of those is poor defending from set-pieces, with Beevers finding plenty of space to score the first goal despite plenty of Leeds defenders being with him in the area. Another problem is Noel Hunt, a striker who amazingly still hasn’t scored for Leeds, despite being presented with our best chance of the game after Forde obligingly dropped the ball in front of him.

Hunt’s selection was a surprise to anyone who watched Leeds last season, but we could kind to the Hock and allow him a bit of time to find his best starting line-up after the massive turnover of players we’ve had during the summer. It’s bound to take a few games for the side to develop an understanding and there are still opportunities to improve the squad before the end of the transfer window, with a few more deals still in the pipeline.

But yesterday’s performance and result are further ammunition for Hockaday’s many critics in the Leeds support who thought he was a bizarre appointment to start with and that a man with his background can never get the respect he needs from our playing squad. There are some worrying signs that all is not well behind the scenes, with the collapse of the Sorendsen deal and reports that Byram is tempted to give the Premiership a go after a large bid arrived from Southampton.

For now I’m going to give it a few games before jumping on the ‘Hockaday out’ bandwagon, but he will have to learn from his mistakes pretty quickly. It will help to have Tommaso Bianchi available again after his suspension, as the midfielder looked the best of the new signings during the pre-season friendlies, but for everyone’s sake we need a big improvement very soon.

Can Hockaday turn the ship around, or are we going to find that it was only Ross McCormack’s goals that kept us afloat last season, and that without him were in danger of going down?

Photo: Action Images



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