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Friday, 8 May 2009

Play Off Semi Final 1st leg preview

There have been times this season when I didn't think we would make the play offs. The obvious result to generate such feelings was that fateful night in Hereford when a woefully inept performance gifted the three points to the team that would ultimately finish bottom of the league. The majority of the loyal core of Leeds fans who had made the midweek trip turned on the players after the final whistle and chants of "We're shit and we're sick of it" wafted into the night air. In hindsight that one match was the watershed that changed our season. Before then I think most fans recognised that Gary Mac was out of his depth and when he was replaced by Larry after the reverse at the Franchise Dons there weren't too many grumbles from the beleaguered fans. Clearly Larry had begun to galvanise the team into a more robust unit so when we capitulated so easily at Edgar Street I think the general view was "oh no here we go again" But in the dressing room after the players had left the field Glyn Snodin hosted a full and frank debate on where the team went from there and although no details emerged as to what was said it is clear that there were some 24 carat bollockings handed out to the assembled stars. Why am I raising one of the darkest days of our season on the eve of the PO Semi Final? Well I think that match was one hell of a wake up call for all concerned from Larry downwards and they didn't like what they saw and from that day we have looked a different team culminating in the fine run of form that we finished the season with. So in a strange way I don't think we would be in the Play offs if it wasn't for that defeat at Hereford forcing both the players and management to face up the fact that despite having the best resources in the division how they were performing was light years from what was required to get us out of the 3rd tier of English football. So thanks Hereford!

That brings me to tomorrows game. I will be joining another 999 away fans at the intimidating New Den for what is sure to be a hostile atmosphere but if the strange South London fans think they will be able to bully the present Leeds team out of the game as they did earlier in the season then they are in for a shock. There is a steel spine to the team now with Bam Bam and Sammy leading from the back and even Casper looking assured between the sticks. In the middle of the park Killa and Howson are playing out of their skins and up front the mercurial Beckford is as lethal as any striker outside the Prem. Add to that a touch of Snoddy and a dash of Delph and it's difficult to see how we won't return to Elland Road with a comfortable cushion of at least one goal advantage. Millwall's form coming into the play offs has not been convincing so all the signs are that the journey back home from Bermondsey will be a happy one for the whites fans lucky enough to have tickets.

Talking about tickets the pre booked Wembley tickets went on sale this week and for once the much maligned website performed without a hitch (maybe Glyn Snodin's had a word with them aswell) so if we do overcome the Lions our tickets for the final are already confirmed and the priceless information tucked up nicely in my inbox!

One advantage Leeds will have over Millwall is the  passion and noise that our fans generate.  Tomorrow will be no exception so wherever you are listening on the radio, watching on TV, following on the internet or at the match..............lets all "sing your hearts out for the lads"
So come 12.45pm tomorrow I along with every other fan who worship the mighty whites will be holding their collective breath in anticipation of a performance worthy of the fanatical support our team gets week in week out.......and guess what?

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