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That was better but ultimately all that counts at the moment is points won and we didn't get any.
Faced with the devil's choice in midfield Eddie plumped for the Accused (Morris) instead of the Accursed (Roque) . As expected Camara returned at the back, and I must admit I was happy to see him back, Johnson also returned to anchor a midfield 5.
The start wasn't too great with Saints hitting the bar and forcing a good save from Robbo before we got going. So we amused ourselves by singing "Strachan's coming home" to the Southampton fans. However, we slowly began to get a measure of control in midfield, with Johnson having an impressive game playing deep and Pennant seeing plenty of the ball, although this was often followed up with a poor cross. In sharp contrast to last week we actually had some shots, Morris and Smith shooting wide from the edge of the box, Bakke just failing to beat the keeper to the ball and Pennant missing the best chance of the lot as the keeper came out to smother as he dawdled on the bouncing ball.
However, five minutes of defensive madness proved our undoing. An attack broke down following another poor cross and Prutton drove forward before slipping the ball into Ormerod's run. Camara hesitated to come across and help Kilgallon out, and Kilgallon fell over whilst back-peddling giving the striker plenty of time to beat Robbo. One nil down largely against the run of play but worse was to come, a couple of minutes later Camara lost concentration and let a simple square pass squirm under his foot into Phillips path and he slid it in to score his first goal for months. Total disaster, from playing well the game now looked a lost cause in a matter of minutes. The mood was not improved by the sight of Roque Jr doing the most lethargic warm-up ever at half-time.
Second half started out in a pretty listless manner and it looked like the game might just drift to an inevitable conclusion. Southampton had a couple more chances without ever putting us under serious pressure and until the substitution and the switch to 4-4-2 we didn't really threaten them at all. However, once Bridges came on to replace the irrelevant Morris, we suddenly began to look more threatening, as the new formation allowed us to create some pressure and Saints got nervous.
A (for once) well worked corner and cross from Harte allowed Kilgallon to get in front of the keeper to equalise and within a few more minutes we'd hit the bar (although the offside flag did go up) and then hit the post as a defender diverted Milner's cross past the keeper. Despite this the equaliser we deserved wouldn't come, and in one desperate goal mouth scramble neither Bridges or Smith could get a clear strike on goal. Come the last minute Robinson came up for a corner and Harte hit it straight at the first defender as per usual.
A much improved performance and we were unlucky but we just can't afford stupid mistakes like Camara's in the position we are in - time is running out in more ways than one.
Well 3 good things to take from the match, we scored, Kila got his first goal and Smith didn't get booked. The downside is that our defence is always going to leak goals.
Seemed to be playing 4-5-1, with Smithy up front and as always full of running, the few chances he had were off target or straight at the keeper. Milner and Pennant were pretty threatening and Pennant was repeatedly fouled, he had a good chance to score but the ball just wouldn't sit down for him. On another occasion Morris should have passed to him when he was unmarked in the box. Milner had some nice touches and I hope he stays.
At least we had some shots on target but the lack of Viduka as a target or holding the ball meant we were passing the ball around the box, but with no real threat.
The Midfield played OK in patches, Morris was poor, Johnson showed alot of commitment and a few nice touches, while Bakke is starting to gain fitness and made a few runs from midfield, but didin't have the pace or touch to really threaten. We need BAtty back for Morris.
Hopefully Matteo will be put in instead of Camara. Kelly had another poor game and I would really like to see Richardson given a chance. Kilgalon scored and seemed pretty solid, although he slipped to let Ormorod score their first, hopefully when he can build a partnership with someone else he might turn out to be a good player. Harte is now bereft of confidence and although he got an assist for the goal, but is the weakest link in a weak chain.
In the end we battled fairly well in the second half and although they hit the woodwork, so did we and in the last 10 minutes could have rescued a point, which we probably deserved. Soton are pretty average, but then so is the majority of the Premiership. Logically we are going down, but footie is a funny old game.
During the match Leeds fans excellent singing and supporting the team. The players seemed to acknowledge this at the final whistle, particularily Pennant, Smith and Robbo, which if you are pessimistic might indicate they were saying goodbye - eek!
Copy from Football Unlimited of 19/01/2004.
Leeds' board will this morning apply to creditors for a seven-day extension to today's administration deadline after failing to secure a bid for the club.
The hiatus is intended to provide the board with time to raise £5m of interim funding that will help take Leeds to the end of the season, when the team's fate for next term will be clear. The funds are anticipated to come from investors. However, part of the sum may be raised through player sales.
"We are fairly confident we can put that package together next week, and a number of options are being considered to raise that," the Leeds chief executive Trevor Birch told Sky Sports News.
Copy from Football Unlimited of 18/01/2004.
Leeds look doomed. Even if they get through the financial crisis that could see the club put into administration in the next fortnight, their days as a Premiership club look numbered.
As if it were not bad enough discovering before kick-off that they were bottom of the Premiership, thanks to Wolves' lunchtime victory over Manchester United, Leeds were pretty well buried by half-time - and the wounds were largely selfinflicted. Southampton's opening goal owed a large debt to Matthew Kilgallon's inexperience.
The young defender was dumped on his backside by Brett Ormerod's twists and turns before the former Blackpool striker fired a low shot past Paul Robinson in the 36th minute.