Leeds face Barnsley on Saturday as the pressure continues to mount on under fire boss Paul Heckingbottom. Several website and twitter polls are suggesting the majority of fans want a managerial change, and the last thing he needs is the visit of former club Barnsley. The Tykes will be desperate to put one over on their former boss who quit in February to take over at Leeds. With Barnsley fighting for their Championship lives, and Leeds in the middle of an awful run of form and injuries, a defeat will massively crank up th pressure and maybe leave chairman Radrizzani with a decision to make..
leeds are down to the bare bones for tomorrow’s trip to in form Aston Villa. The first 7 choice defenders all look to be out-Ayling, Jansen, De Bock, Cooper, Shaunassy and Pennington are all injured with Beradi suspended. It’s likely to leave the back four of Dallas (a winger), Daiz (0 starts), O Connor (2 starts) and possibly Anita (a midfielder) as the back 4!! Add to that the absence of the impressive Forshaw and Roberts (yet to start since January transfer), a young goalkeeper with a handful of appearances, and you can see why even the most optimistic Leeds fan isn’t expecting much from the game!! Samu Saiz should come back into the line up after resting his hamstring on Tuesday night, but there’s not a great deal that Heckingbottom can do in regards to personal-expect to see a few more u23s on the bench!!
Could last nights defeat at Preston see the end of the road for Leeds manager Paul Heckingbottom. Despite been only a couple of months into the role, results and performances have been poor and the former Barnsley boss is losing the support of the fans, and quickly. There is an argument for both sides-he has certainly been hampered by injuries (entire back 4 out by end of the game last night and key midfielder Forshaw missing). He has also had no transfer window and been let down by the performances of key players. On the hand, there has been no ‘new manager bounce’, little if no improvement from the end of Christians reign, and results have been nothing short of awful.
IF Radrizzani is to get a new manager in, as is been rumoured, then now would be the time to do it-a few games to assess the current squad and build for next season.
There is no doubt that his job is on the line, and when the crowd is against you, it’s an incredibly difficult job to turn them back..
Mick McCarthy is now available and must be in Radz’s mind (not mine personally as don’t like his brand of football despite the results).
The other man who is surely under threat is DoF Victor Orta who has brought in a succession of flops.. time for our chairman to stand up and make some tough decisions..
Leeds boss Paul Heckingbottom is expected to make changes tonight as Leeds visit Preston. One enforced move will be at left back as Beradi begins a 5 game suspension that has ended his season. Vernon Anita could slot in, but I expect to see Tom Pearce make his second start. Another likely change will be up from with Lassoga poor performances likely to see him replaced-Ekuban and Grot both pushing to replace him, whilst the fit again Kemar Roofe will also fancy his chances. U23 striker Sam Dolby is unlikely to come in after playing the bulk of yesterday’s u23 game at Millwall. One player that didn’t feature yesterday is going wide player Jack Clark (below) who may have a chance of making the bench. Although their is little to play for but pride now, many of the players are actually fighting for their future in these final few games as Heckingbottom decides who will feature next season.
surely now is the time for boss Paul Heckingbottom to move away from the players who will not be featuring next season. The likes of Lassoga who has been worse than poor recently, Anita, O’Kane etc are all unlikely to feature, so it’s time to move them aside and see which u23s are ready to step up.
The u23s have been very impressive, certainly in the second half of be season-however, it is a big jump from that level to the first team-some can’t handle it-physically and/or mentally, whilst others thrive. I’ve seen a lot of their games this season, and they play with an identity-the ball is on th floor and they are all comfortable on it. For me, th and next ones in line to join the likes of Pearce and BPF are a couple of obvious ones-Jack Clarke for starters who looks a real player and Sam Danby. However, Oriel Ray and Bryce Hossanah have stood out, whilst Ryan Edmonson, Oliver Sarkic, Kun Temenuzhkov, Bobby Kamwa and Jamie Shakleton all look to have bags of potential-as do a few others. I’d personally get a few more blooded - not all at once, but get one or two of them in each game and let’s see-because the current crop are just not good enough...