Thanks to some very late ticket arranging and changing on Saturday afternoon I got into the game to give you my views of the players in the crunch game with Norwich City.
Shane Higgs 6
Didn`t have much chance with the goal and had a farely quiet afternoon.
Nice to see a Leeds keeper actually coming out and taking the ball and controlling his back four.
Only bad point was a few of his kicks were very poor.
Andy Hughes 6 (replaced 90)
Got forward to help out the midfield but was guilty of some wayward passing at times. Was lucky to get away with a poor back pass in the first half.
Richard Naylor 7
Looked back to the form of last season, hardly gave Holt a kick all afternoon in a good battle between the two strong men.
Neil Collins 7
Made a good debut, some to be the defender who was controlling the back four with plenty of instructions being barked out to his fellow defenders.
Only bad point was allowing Martin to get across him for the all important goal.
Shane Lowry 7
Played much better than on his last loan spell, got stuck in with some hard tackles.
Only bad point was his crossing, on two or three occasions he found himself in a good position to put in a telling cross but failed to get close to a team mate with any of them.
Jon Howson 7
Worked very hard with the rest of the midfield with some crunching tackles and never giving the Norwich midfield a moments rest.
Neil Kilkenny 7 (replaced 85 minutes)
Was Leeds best player in the first half as he controlled the midfield and was regularly finding time and space on the ball to play in the overlapping full backs. Tired in the second half
Mike Doyle 8 Star man
Along with Kilkenny, Doyle ran the midfield with his non stop running, tackling and passing. Won everything in the second half and his performance got the dredit it deserved when Norwich replaced their influential midfielder Wes Hoolahan with 20 minutes remaining.
Luciano Becchio 5 (replaced 14 minutes)
Was sorely missed after being knocked unconscious, Leeds really missed a player in attack to win the headers and hold the ball up.
Jermaine Beckford 3
Just doesn`t look interested when faced with a big strong central defender. Gary Doherty in the Norwich defence never gave him a chance all afternoon and Beckford`s lack of effort and continual throwing himself to the floor when Doherty came anywhere near him frustrated both sets of fans.
In his defence, the balls into him were always in the air and he was never going to win a ball. What he needed was balls into the channel and behind Doherty as he as the legs to beat him all afternoon.
Robert Snodgrass 7
Seemed to be given a more free roll in the Leeds midfield and wandered all over the park all afternoon.
Was another who was instrumental in the Leeds midfield but was unable to get in a telling cross.
Was unlucky when his shot flashed across the face of goal.
Mike Grella 6 (replaced Becchio 14)
Got plenty of time on the pitch for a change, worked very hard alongside the statuesque Beckford, lacked a real cutting edge in front of goal and just wanted one touch to many.
Bradley Johnson(replaced Kilkenny 85) 3
Was at fault for not picking up Hughes for the cross that created the goal in the final minute.
Never really threatened in an attacking sense and looks a shadow of the player that was mr consistent in the first three months of the season.
Tresor Kandol (replaced Hughes 90) 0
Lasted 20 seconds for an alleged head butt, didn`t actually look much in the incident which happened right in front of referee. He obviously saw something we didn`t.
Simon Grayson 6
People have been saying he`s lost the dressing room but on this performance that is not evident. The players (apart from one) worked their socks off for him all afternoon.
If Leeds can take this performance into the last eight games of the season then we will clinch the final automatic place.
Felt the game was crying out for either Dickov or Kandol with 20 minutes remaining just to unsettle the Norwich defence as we lacked any punch up front (until Kandol came on!).
Felt worse after this defeat than the one on Monday, we really didn`t deserve to lose in what was a carbon copy of the game at Elland Road earlier in the season when the visitors midfield dominated the game without creating any clear cut chances.
On a positive note it looks like the side have finally realised that they really are in a scrap for automatic promotion and if they can continue like this for the final eight games then we will definitely be in the mix.
One bad note is the lack of real goal scoring opportunities, the games now without a goal and without seriously threatening the opposition keeper.
Finally got the midfield sorted now needs the players in for some extra shooting practice ahead of a critical game against Swindon next Saturday.
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