Leeds FanZoner Leah Waller calls for Dominic Poleon to get a run in the side alongside El-Hadji Diouf, following back-to-back league defeats.
The season got off to an impressive start as far as Leeds fans were concerned. We looked hard to beat and were picking up points from difficult games, but as every Leeds fan knows only too well: all good things come to an end.
After an impressive away win across the Pennines at struggling Bolton, spirits were high going into the midweek fixture away to Reading. The game was end to end with both teams looking more than capable of edging ahead, and with just stoppage time remaining and a good performance under their belt, a 0-0 draw looked likely. That was until Jason Pearce put an open header just wide, leaving Leeds' travelling away support open-mouthed, and just as they were getting their heads around the near miss that could have won them the game, Stephen Warnock made a rash challenge earning himself a second yellow card and Reading a well-positioned free-kick. The six minutes of stoppage time were up, making Adam Le Fondre's late, late winner an even more bitter pill to swallow for the Leeds faithful, and ruining an otherwise impressive return to Reading for boss Brian McDermott.
Before the Burnley game on Saturday the manager made a few changes, with Noel Hunt, Tom Lees and the suspended Warnock missing from the starting 11 to give way to El-Hadji Diouf, Aidan White and the Sam Byram's return - who would take up his usual spot at right-back.
Burnley had made an impressive start to the season but United were keen to get back to winning ways. The home side fell behind conceding two soft goals in the first half; changes were needed in the second to salvage anything from the game. Despite the scoreline Leeds dominated comfortably at times, and again had a flurry of chances that weren't converted and it wasn't until substitute Matt Smith entered the field that we hit the back of the net. Leeds pushed for an equaliser but the game finished 2-1 to the Clarets marking Leeds' third defeat of the season.
Although the results didn't go our way, there's not an awful lot I can fault. We dominated in both games and had spells where we piled on the pressure and went for goal. But it is becoming more and more obvious that we lack a clinical striker and rely on Ross McCormack to bag our goals even though he's not playing up top.
Luke Varney is very hard working, and criticising his performances would be unfair when he's giving 110%, but unfortunately he lacks the quality in the final third to convert his chances. I'd like to see Diouf and Dominic Poleon starting together, as I really think they'd complement each other.
Diouf is classy and oozes quality whereas Poleon is fast and tricky. Diouf could really create some good chances for Poleon to run on to which I think would cause Championship defences all kinds of trouble. McCormack and Diouf often link up well - they're arguably our most creative players and they play some nice football, and this could help us create higher quality chances and hopefully more goals.
It would be nice for us to get a proper goal poacher in on loan but wages are scarce at Leeds, so mentioning players we don't have seems a little pointless.
The team took a different format today, with Byram back adding the element of pace to the right flank, an element that was repeated on the left with White, but it seems unlikely that White will keep that position when Warnock returns, so the call for a left winger is still necessary I believe.
With Ryan Hall loaned out to Sheffield United, wages could be there for a winger to be recruited, width is badly needed in the team and someone who is capable of running at the defence and providing some decent service into the box would be more than welcome at Elland Road.
McDermott has said a winger is top of his list and he hinted that Hall's departure could mean a new arrival, so the activity at Leeds will be interesting over the coming weeks.
This week hasn't gone to plan but this doesn't worry me like it would have in the past. Why? Because of McDermott. He is more than capable of making the necessary improvements to the squad and will make try to make addition where he thinks they are required.
He's been getting the best out of the players so far, and despite this mid-September-blip, I believe he will continue to do so.