Leeds United don’t do ‘ordinary’ seasons. We’re either battling for promotion, fighting off relegation, contesting points deductions, trying to remove Ken Bates etc, but I couldn’t imagine it any other way. Being one of those teams that just happily sits in mid-table wouldn’t feel right, the ones that beat the odd good team now and again but never really give the fans too much to shout, or argue, about.
This season has been no different, even though we currently occupy a mid-table position we’ve got every chance to finish a lot higher, but I’m not sure I dare believe it, yet. The thing with Leeds is that we just can’t do it the easy way. We can’t just lose a few in a row, leaving us with no hope, or win a few in a row and cement our place in the playoffs, oh no. Instead, we do it the Leeds United way. The last week has been a perfect example of this, after our 7-3 defeat to Nottingham Forest we looked out of it, too inconsistent, too out of our depth. We accepted that this wasn’t going to be our season, and agreed that even if other teams slipped up in the next few games we could never get promoted with a defence capable of conceding seven goals at home. Cue a 1-0 win over Millwall, clean sheet in hand.
Then look. Three points off a playoff place, five points off Brighton in 4th.
Not only that, but we’re all feeling fairly happy again. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a long way to go in the Ken Bates saga and I’m sure that L.U.S.T will be continuing their excellent work into making the fans voices and opinions heard, but we’re concentrating on the football again and no matter how you currently feel about Bates, that has to be a good thing.
I don’t know how we’re still involved in the race for the playoffs, I honestly don’t, but I couldn’t be happier that we are. For a while we looked like becoming one of the mid-table teams I referred to earlier, ending our season early and watching the rest of it play out without a care in the world. But no, that’d be too easy, too straight forward, too unlike Leeds.
The result against Watford on Saturday may heavily dent morale, but any team in the top half of the table can still reach the play offs in my opinion, with teams stuttering above us and teams hitting form below us, Neil Warnock and the boys have now got to decide which of the two groups they will join.