Building momentum in the Championship is crucial for any team that seriously wants to challenge. Over the years the season has often ended with at least one team reaching the Play Offs that had been out of the reckoning at Christmas.
Check the table now and you can go as low as Bolton in 18th, who are only seven points behind 6th place, when looking for potential candidates for a post Christmas push, the league really is wide open.
We’re sat in 14th, not sitting pretty but sitting non the less. Before the Derby game anyone could be forgiven for getting a little over excited, we’d just beaten two of the leagues form teams and even brushed aside our little Yorkshire neighbours as well. Three wins out of three, nine points, the team were flying. Cue a disappointing defeat to Derby, who couldn’t have deserved it more.
The gap to 6th place is a mere four points for us, but if you look a little higher you start to see the importance of a good Christmas run. Leicester in fifth are eight points above us, and while that is an achievable amount, it will require Leeds to avoid any further slip ups over the next few weeks.
The next three games are tough. Ipswich are rejuvenated, Middlesborough can beat anyone on their day and Forest can be ruthless too, but if we can get back to the performance levels of the three games prior to Derby then we have every chance of picking up some points. Teams will be beating each other all over the place, and obviously nine points would thrust us straight into the mix up, but realistically we are probably looking at quite a few less.
Considering Christmas is just around the corner (along with the January transfer window) Leeds fans have been picking out exactly which player they’d like as their late present.
There was an article earlier this week entitled ‘Max Gradel Open To Leeds Return’ – anyone that read the story will wonder just how they came to that headline, considering all Gradel said was that he’d like to come to English football one day, but that he was happy in France right now.
Another old boy linked to a return, if only by the fans, is Jermaine Beckford. When questioned on Twitter whether Huddersfield were close to striking a deal with Leicester, Nick Rubery, Beckfords agent, replied ‘Yes’. He then went on to claim that since departing Elland Road, Leeds haven’t been back in for Jermaine once.
Never mind then.
A more likely target would be Craig Makail-Smith. We were in for him in the summer but couldn’t get the funds together to come up with a deal, but with GFH promising their backing to Warnock, January could see us splash the cash for once.
I cant help but think Makail-Smith and McCormack up front would be a ridiculously good strike force, but then I can’t help imagining them both passing it around to each other in front of goal trying to set each other up. Maybe that’s just me.
Whatever happens, it’s been a long year for us, and if the takeover is officially completed on the 21st then we can start our party early. As a fan base we’ve had our ups and downs, at times we’ve found ourselves split and questioning the actions of others, but through it all we’ve wanted the same thing. We all cheer every goal, whether that’s in the ground, the car, at home, anywhere.
We are Leeds, and that’s worth remembering.