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Leeds United player ratings v Ipswich

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1. Marco Silvestri – First up and the hardest one for me to give a definite score against. The Ipswich goal if we are being critical you shouldn’t be getting beat at your near post, especially if you get a hand to it. Later on from that he effectively wins us the game with a great penalty save. Marco is up for player of the month for February, I don’t know how likely it is for a keeper to win it but his performance live on sky v Boro should help.
Match Rating 8

Two wins in a week and suddenly the Whites are looking up the table

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If you’d have told me this time last month that we’d be sitting mid table, I would’ve laughed in your face. What a great last month or so for Leeds fans. Isn’t it weird how results and performances have picked up since we dispensed with the diamond and switched to a 4-2-3-1, it’s also weird how they’ve picked up since Massimo was banned. Coincidence? Was he really picking the team and formation; or was it just a matter of teams knowing exactly how to compete against a team with no width?

Either way, I’m really not too bothered, but it’s nice to see us playing with width, playing good football and creating chances. The resurgence of Luke Murphy has been one of the reasons for this. The £1 million man looked a certainty to leave the club before coming back into the side and now he’s become one of our best performers in my opinion. His goals, his range of passing and his ability to tackle has impressed greatly over the past month or so.

The youth, always highly regarded at Elland Road, has been the biggest success of the season. Both Sam Byram and Alex Mowatt were already in the first-team picture, with the former moving into a new right-wing position and the latter playing in a wide left role. Charlie Taylor spent last season on loan and did very well at Fleetwood, and after Stephen Warnock departed to Derby, has come into the Leeds side and done very well. The best of the lot, without a doubt, is Lewis Cook. Just 18 years of age, he’s playing way beyond his years. In my opinion, he’s better than Delph was when he pushed into the United first-team. If he carries on improving he’ll be in the England squad before long.

With the form of the last month, Leeds have dragged themselves out of the relegation battle and into a mid-table position, and some fans are talking about a top-six finish. Me, I’m not too sure, we can’t get too ahead of ourselves, a couple of defeats and we’re right back in the mire. We’ve still got to make up 15 points in order to get into the play-off’s. It would take a miracle to achieve, I think we can safely say a mid-table finish is a good enough position given our end of 2014 form and continuous managerial and player changes.

Casper Sloth should be given a run in the side

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Casper Sloth, a highly rated player from Denmark found himself nowhere near the starting eleven for a long while this season, he was just as confused about it as we were. However now he’s back in with a shout and I think he should be allowed to show us what he’s got. When he came on against Reading in the first-half due to a Bianchi injury I was really hoping he’d just not embarrass me (I’m a big fan). I was very pleased with the result, by all accounts he played very well, I think everyone was agreed on that. Read more

The Brentford result must be forgotten quickly – who will start against Reading?

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A disappointing performance and result on Saturday, but being at Elland Road I really thought we were going to get another win. But what will be will be and we need to move on quickly and start picking up wins. Boss Neil Redfearn went with two strikers on Saturday, and it didn’t really pay off. We didn’t create enough opportunities, and I do think that’s because we didn’t have enough men in midfield to keep possession of the ball. I’m hoping we switch back to the 4-2-3-1 formation, but who will Redders pick for the game?

Goalkeeper

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Marco Silvestri

Silvestri was back to his best on Saturday, making a string of saves to keep us in the game and without him it could have been a much heavier defeat. He’s come in for a lot of criticism lately, me included, and he certainly proved that he can be a top ‘keeper at this level.

Onto what I presume will be a back four…

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