The season is now in full swing and we head into October this week on the back of a good finish to a tricky month.
The month started with an entertaining 3-3 draw with Blackburn Rovers at Elland Road.
Leeds in the end would have been disappointed despite trailing 2-0 in the first half. A great fight back saw Leeds lead 3-2 inside the final ten minutes but a soft avoidable goal meant the points were shared.
Cardiff City were next up in South Wales. The game never really got going and Leeds were dealt a huge blow when Ross McCormack suffered a serious ankle injury inside five minutes, which rules him out until around December.
The game looked to be heading for a goalless draw until Cardiff introduced Craig Bellamy. You knew what was going to happen the moment he entered the pitch and within five minutes, he was celebrating putting the home side ahead. They quickly added a second from the penalty spot and the game looked over for Leeds. Rodolph Austin gave Leeds hope with a long-range effort and Lee Peltier could have claimed a point for Leeds when his header cleared the bar in the closing minutes.
Four days later, Leeds were again licking their wounds when they suffered their first home defeat of the season to Hull City.
Leeds made a good start. Luciano Becchio fired Leeds ahead from the penalty spot and there were chances to increase the lead. Leeds were made to pay for their misses and a strong Hull side took advantage with three goals. A late Andy Gray goal gave Leeds hope but they could not find an equaliser.
The defeat left Leeds in fourteenth place and with an ever-increasing injury list, many fans were already writing off Leeds season after just seven games.
The one thing Leeds do under Neil Warnock is fight and despite their recent form and injury situation, Leeds put previously unbeaten Nottingham Forest to the sword at Elland Road.
Becchio netted his seventh of the season and there was a first senior goal for Dominic Poleon. Forest pulled a goal back to make it a nervous end to the game but Leeds held out to claim an important three points.
Four days later, Leeds were in League Cup action against highflying Premier League side Everton. Leeds had seven senior players missing through injury but that did not stop them claiming a deserved 2-1 win. Aidy White scored his first senior goal for Leeds after four years at Elland Road with a superb individual opener and Rodolph Austin steered a Danny Pugh shot in to make it 2-0 in the second half. Sylvain Distin gave Everton hope in the final ten minutes but Leeds saw the game out to book a fourth round home tie with Southampton.
The month finished with a trip to Bristol City who have started the season well and had netted eleven goals in their three home games previously.
After a dour first half, El Hadji Diouf put Leeds ahead twice and a stunning strike from Michael Tonge gave Leeds some daylight. A late own goal could not stop Leeds making it three wins in a week.
Neil Warnock says he wants Leeds to be within three points of the play-offs going into the international break next weekend.
With two games in the next week against Bolton away and Barnsley at home, Leeds are well positioned to do that and more, sitting one point outside the play-offs and just three points off the top position.
A slow start to the month finished in fine style and with players returning from injury, hopefully an imminent takeover and the possibility of funds for players, Warnock is looking well positioned to win that eighth promotion he is dreaming about but there is still a long way to go.
There are currently a number of polls running on the Vital Leeds forum for September:
Player of the month?
Goal of the month?
McCormack – Blackburn
Austin – Cardiff
White – Everton
Tonge – Bristol City
October looks another difficult month as the fixtures continue to come thick and fast. Leeds have five championship games. How many points will they achieve in October?
So get yourself onto the Vital Leeds forum and cast your vote.
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