Players with a point to prove did just that last night with a stunning victory over table toppers Bournmouth. Rewind a month, and there’s not many who would have expected to see Luke Murphy, Scott Wootton, Steve Morison and possibly Rodolph Austin gracing the white shirt again. Skip back to the present day, and all are hitting top form as Leeds make it 3 games unbeaten.
Wootton was deemed surplus to requirements and farmed out on loan to Rotherham. However, the decision to move Sam Byram into midfield, and an injury to Berhadi has opened the door, and the centre back by trade has done a solid job. Austin has long flattered to deceive, the odd fantastic performance shows what he is capable of, but all to often games pass him by – last night, in the more attacking role he seems to enjoy, he took the game by the scruff of the neck and drove the team forward.
Morison – another who’s had loan spells and a fair amount of (deserved) stick was another who was way out of the picture. A change of style with the ex Millwall and Norwich man playing as a target man has seen 2 good performances – when he went off injured just after the hour mark, he received a great ovation – a far cry from the abuse he’s had for most of his time at Leeds.
Finally Murphy – his time at Leeds has been a huge dispaointment. A last minute winner on his debut last season, and a price tag of £1 million, gave the fans high expectations, but sadly, the odd performance apart, he struggled to live up to his billing. For much of this season, he hasn’t even made the 18 man squad, but, handed his place for the Sunderland FA Cup clash, he has shown in the last couple of games exactly what he is capable of. If he can keep his form, he could prove to be a huge player for us.
Despite their performances, and those of several others, it was the home grown Lewis Cook that stood out last night. Whilst most 17 year olds are struggling to get out of bed to attend College, grunting at their parents and addicted to their Xbox’s, Cook is running rings round most of this division. All the big clubs are monitoring him, but Leeds must hold on to him. He is without doubt the most exciting Leeds player of his generation – some have put him on par with the Delph’s, Milners and Lennon’s – I put him above them. He could be an England player for years to come and just gets better and better.
It was Cook that drove Leeds forward last night. An exciting game, won by Murphy’s stunning left foot winner from 25 yards. Despite having to withstand a late barrage from the visitors, including hitting the post, a missed penalty late on (note to referee – the foul has to happen inside the box for a penalty, not a good 2 yards out of it), and the dismissal of Bellusci for the professional foul that led to the penalty (take one for the team), Leeds held on for a vital win that hopeful may lead to them being able to look forward rather than backwards.