Leeds United head off on travels with renewed hope

Available again: Gaetano Berardi.
Available again: Gaetano Berardi.

After their unpredictable topsy turvy season took another twist last weekend Leeds United go on their travels now with confidence surely boosted.

A 2-1 home win over high flying Hull City just a fortnight after losing on the same ground to a Rotherham United side at the opposite end of the table showed again how crazy the Sky Bet Championship can be and how you never know what to expect from the Whites these days.

While they had to fight a rearguard action in the second half when promotion candidates Hull put them under pressure United had been more than good value for a two-goal half-time lead and many felt this was their best all-round performance of the season.

For that to come off the back of poor displays at QPR and against Rotherham highlighted a resilience in the camp and showed there may be more reasons for optimism than previously considered in the build-up to the latest game.

The fans played their part and earned praise from head coach Steve Evans for the vocal backing they gave their team despite more controversies in the lead up with the “pie tax” and planned walkout of supporters in the South Stand asked to pay £5 more admission mid-season in return for a food and drink voucher.

The 17th minute walkout did not really materialise, although there were clashes with stewards and some throwing of pies as fans wished to make their point.

Those that chose to stay were rewarded with goals from Chris Wood and Tom Adeyemi at the South Stand end and although the Whites rode their luck at times in the second half the spirited nature of Leeds’ display deserved the ultimate reward of three precious points.

Now Evans and his staff will be aiming to get some momentum going away from home with United at Charlton this Saturday then away to Wolves the following Thursday.

Both are winnable games with the form the hosts have been in this term so there will be more pressure on Leeds players to perform than there was against Hull and no real excuses ahead of the first of the matches with Evans likely to have a stronger squad available.

Gaetano Berardi’s two match ban is now served so he can come back in at right-back while captain Sol Bamba is close to full fitness again and should be competing for a starting place with Liam Cooper and Giuseppe Bellusci in the centre of defence.

Evans sprung a surprise for last Saturday’s match when he abandoned his 4-4-2 formation and went for a 4-1-4-1 with just Wood up front. The change certainly played a part in the improved display so it would be just as much a surprise if he now altered it back to two strikers for the trip to Charlton.