Q&A With Leeds United

  • March 04, 2016 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/98eaa

Andy Peterson, of The Square Ball, shares the Leeds United view on ticket prices, January's FA Cup tie, as well as Paul Rachubka's nightmare spell at Elland Road.

Bolton travel to Leeds on Saturday, looking to end a run that has seen them remain winless on the road for 11 months - since winning 3-0 at Cardiff City last April.

In our latest edition of Q&A, we have got the views of Andy (@ArcticReviews).

Q: Leeds have struggled since Christmas, winning just one of their 11 league games. A 4-0 defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion on Monday put pressure on manager Steve Evans' shoulders, just four-and-a-half months since taking over as manager. After a positive start under his guidance, what has gone wrong?

A: That's a question Evans himself needs an answer to. Under his management Leeds have become a very defensively minded outfit - he's clearly set his stall out on making us hard to beat - but even the decent run the team enjoyed was not without some good fortune.

Own goals brought us four points and some good work from the now sold Sam Byram, which arguably brought us another five.

The continued absence of Chris Wood with the longest hamstring injury ever is a real worry, and with players like Stuart Dallas in a poor run of form, goals have been at a premium.

Q: Just five weeks have passed since the sides met in an FA Cup tie at Macron Stadium, before which you praised Wanderers for their decision to charge £20 for admission. Adult entry this weekend is a whopping £37, a figure met with an air of disgust by fans of both clubs. What do you make of the pricing structure at Elland Road?

A: The vast majority of Leeds fans are, at best, unhappy and, at most, in complete revolt about ticket pricing.

As a season ticket holder it's actually very cheap in some parts of the ground - I pay £19 a game - but Cellino's blatant money grabbing has led to a silent boycott by fans which has seen a corresponding nosedive in attendances this season, much as happened to Ken Bates in the last months of his tenure as chairman.

Expect less than 20,000 on Saturday as a result. We averaged over 27,000 in the first season back after we were promoted from League One in 2010.

Q: Bolton were disappointing in the aforementioned cup tie at the end of January, with a late surge the only time they looked threatening. Did anybody stand out in our side that day and who will Evans be looking to keep an eye on ahead of our latest meeting?

A: Being honest - not really. I think we'll be worried about Zach Clough this time though, if he plays.

Q: Souleymane Doukara and Toumani Diagouraga were the goalscorers five weeks ago - do you expect either to be a major threat again, or is somebody else likely to be a cause for concern to the Trotters' backline?

A: Lewis Cook scored an absolute screamer against Fulham and Doukara has played well in patches.

Mirco Antenucci may not be sulking - he wanted to return home in the January transfer window - and could therefore offer some level of threat.

Hopefully for ours and his sake, Scott Wootton will have been replaced by Gaetano Berardi at right-back, which should bring some greater defensive stability for a rearguard which was completely humiliated on Monday night.

Q: A familiar face will return to Leeds for this game, as Paul Rachubka continues to deputise for the injured Ben Amos in goal for Bolton. His time with United was poor to say the least, with just six appearances and loan spells at Tranmere Rovers, Leyton Orient and Accrington Stanley on his record. What are your memories of his time at the club?

A: Very few good ones. The goal he effectively dropped into his own net against Blackpool - we lost 5-0 at home - will, bless him, I'm sure haunt Chubs to the end of what's left of his career.

I'd never seen a fully fit keeper subbed for a teenage debutant at half-time before or since.

Q: Finally, what is your score prediction for Saturday's game?

A: 1-1.

Burnden Aces would like to thank Andy for taking the time to answer our questions. You can read more from him on Twitter - @ArcticReviews.

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
7 Plymouth Argyle 46 80
8 Oxford United 46 76
9 Bolton Wanderers 46 73
10 Portsmouth 46 73
11 Ipswich Town 46 70
View Full Standings >>


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