Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Proud to be City

Following the performance against Aldershot, anything could have happened at Elland Road last night. Had the team performed to a similar level, the score could have been embarrassing. But the team did us proud last night. It is an awfully long time since I have witnessed a performance like that from a City team. A performance with passion, commitment and drive. Which as fans is all we can ask for. It was a complete contrast from the Aldershot game.

Walking out of Valley Parade on Saturday and walking out of Elland Road last night, the emotions felt could not be any more different. Following Aldershot a sense of despondency filled the air and the pre season optimism had seemingly vanished. But last night every fan coming out of Elland Road was pleased and the optimism seemed to have returned. There seemed to be a feeling that if the team can carry on playing in that manner then we’ll do OK.

Peter Jackson changed the shape of the side from Saturday; changing from a 4-4-2 formation to a 4-5-1/4-3-3 with Jack Compton and Mark Stewart playing the winger/support striker roles. And it worked well. Mark Stewart in particularly enjoyed space and ran well at the defenders – none of which were comfortable in dealing with him. If he can learn to compose himself when he reaches the area he could be a dangerous player this year.

David Syers was back to his best, too. In the second half of last season he struggled with his form a bit but last night he bossed the midfield until he went off injured. In fact, his injury was a game changing moment; when he went off the City midfield lacked his energy and it allowed the Leeds midfield to begin to move the ball around much more easily. If Syers can maintain that form once again, he will be a top, top player this year.

The squad showed last night that when they want to, they can play very well. However, two of the Leeds goals were very avoidable. For their second Steve Williams lost his man allowing him a free header at the back post and the third goal was through a lack of communication. Clearly there is still work to do but if City can begin to cut out these errors, a decent season can be had.

Despite defeat, walking out of Elland Road we could all hold our heads high, knowing we went to a top half Championship team and gave them a scare. It's just a shame we couldn't hold on but we didn’t look out of place and the team can be very pleased with their efforts. Well done City.

Let’s hope the performance can replicated at Oxford this Saturday and we get our first three points of the season.

Here are those goals again.....

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