Huddersfield Town 10th September 2016

The day got off to a bad start for me when my foot slipped off the garden step and I ended up on my bum at the bottom, but not before smacking my back into the step. Once I realised I was okay I got up and thought I’d got off relatively light until I saw my hand was bleeding and later found a graze all down my arm! Oh dear.  All I was bothered about though was that my Leeds shirt was in one piece!

When we parked up at Elland Road, my daughter Dani and granddaughter Laura headed up to Holbeck Moor Park where we were going to join Martin Hywood in the final mile walk of his fund raiser for Muscular Dystrophy. As we walked through the tunnel at the edge of the park it brought back memories from the ‘70s of thousands of Leeds fans walking back to the station. Those were the days!

When we arrived at Elland Road it was fantastic to see the Leeds fans stood around clapping enmasse for Martin’s achievement which was no mean feat. A big well done to him and also to everyone else who turned out to walk with him.

As I walked alongside the South Stand I met some Leeds fans from Norway who I had met on our pre-season tour over there last year. That seems so long ago now! As the weather had turned out okay which I hadn’t been expecting, there was a big crowd in and out at the Peacock.  Those inside watching the football whilst those in the garden listening to a band. Thanks to all those who took time to ask me how I was after my little accident this morning which was appreciated.

As we were walking to the Kop we took the opportunity of having our bags checked on the way round to save time at the turnstiles! There was going to be a big crowd today as Huddersfield were top of the league so for once had sold out all there tickets. With many of our fans picking and choosing games, this was one that they had decided to come to.

The team today was Green, Jansson making his debut, Bartley, Ayling, Sacko, Mowatt, Taylor, Phillips, Wood, Bridcutt and Antonsson. Subs were Roofe for Sacko and Doukara for Antonsson. Attendance was 28,514 with 2,721 Huddersfield. I’m not sure if they did sell out?

With Huddersfield flying high at the top of the table whilst we were near the bottom, it was going to be a tough test today. Whilst feeling indifferent about the game yesterday at what to expect, as usual my hopes had built up on the way to the game. There was a good atmosphere at the start of the game although it quietened down quite a bit later on. Looking at the team on paper, it looked okay but again with bringing 11 new players in, things are going to take time if they are going to work. We started off with the players chasing after the ball and backing each other up which was a good sign. At one point Jansson won the ball and as the Kop cheered he turned to us encouraging us to do more! Whilst Huddersfield had a couple of chances (one of which I’m glad their player didn’t play to the whistle), both teams had lots of possession without really doing much. The play was from end to end though. The longer the game went on, I thought it looked like a game that would end in a draw because neither side looked too dangerous. When Antonsson was brought down in the area the ref waved away claims for a penalty. I think it was the way that he landed that made it look as if he’d dived but contact was indeed made. I didn’t feel unduly worried when we went into the break on equal terms.

Unfortunately for us though, once again it seems that we ran out of steam and couldn’t really get going in the second half. Where did it go wrong?  A long range cracker scored by Huddersfield changed the game and once they were in the lead there was no going back. To be honest I said they’d either get another one to kill the game or we’d sneak a goal and get a draw. But it was Huddersfield who nearly sneaked one with another long range effort that had Green scrambling back to tip it over the bar. The nearest we came to equalise was in the last few minutes of injury time (eight minutes in all). He was in space and his header was quite tame but their goalie had to stretch to save it. If only he could have buried it? Monk himself was coming in for some stick from fans because he was stood on the sidelines with his hands in his pockets. He doesn’t seem to be geeing his players up or guiding them with tactics. The only time he showed some passion was when Huddersfield were wasting time which they did a lot and he waved his arms about. I do want to see him do well but he seems to be a dead man walking at the moment.

There were quite a few stoppages during the game plus with all the substitutes and time wasting from Town we expected at least six minutes injury time but got two more on top.  That still couldn’t get us that equaliser though and Town were the ones who stayed top of the league with three points whilst we dropped into the bottom three. The longer we stay down near the bottom of the table, the harder it will be to get out. My thoughts have always been that we should have built on our players that we should have kept, instead of cashing in and having to start again with a new team and manager.  With the team getting booed loudly from all the stands at the end of the game they are up against it with the crowd who have got sick and tired of seeing the poor performances from a Leeds team. I didn’t boo but I didn’t clap them either. Where do we go from here?  It is hard to know at this moment in time. We have Blackburn at home on Tuesday with Cardiff away and an early start next Saturday. Will we be able to get anything from them at all?  Who knows and whilst I will be at them both I would say Tuesday night’s game will be a low attendance as most night games are these days.

After Monk’s interview after the game with Adam Pope for BBC Radio Leeds today, he hasn’t impressed many fans at all with the way he reacted. Although I haven’t heard it all, I did hear him say that he wasn’t going to answer a specific question. He is definitely rattled which isn’t good at this early stage of the season so I am hoping at least that him and team can pick themselves up for Tuesday. Next week’s game and result will be telling on where our season will head although at the moment it is not looking good. See you on Tuesday – LUFC – Marching on Together!

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