Leeds Draw Points Up The Positives

TYPICAL Boro! Being mugged in stoppage time in such heartbreaking fashion with three massive points within grasp was a real kick in the teeth. We had bossed the game for 70 minutes and at the death had a chance to seal it – Justin Hoyte! In the box and facing the goal late on for the second game running! The terror of responsibility! Arrrrggghh! – then were undone by a 60 yard punt forward.


If you are minded to look for recriminations you can argue over how you parcel up the blame for the goal all night long – Hoyte missed the chance to seal it or at least row zed it…. David Wheater was out-jumped by makeshift targetman Collins to the kind of ball he had gobbled up all day for the knockdown … that forced Jason Steele to charge out and dive in to put a weak punch on it…. that fell into the gap where Matthew Bates should have been and Becchio was – but it won’t stop it hurting.
With 91 minutes gone you expect to hold out, even if we had been pummelled for the last 10 minutes by an increasingly desperate side. We had started to retreat and invite pressure and Leeds were pumping it forward creating some nervous and scrappy moments. Becchio fired over, a McCormack header flashed wide, Steele came out to collect one and missed and if drifted just outside the post. It was hairy stuff. But we still looked like hanging on. Until the enamel shattering size nine in the teeth.
So it hurts. And rightly so. Especially as it was a day when all the results went our way. All the bottom three lost and Sheffield United got battered and helpfully took their recent goals against tally to 11 in three games so we could claw above them on GD. Had we won the day would have taken on a very healthy complexion.
But let’s not beat ourselves up too much. Before the game you’d have taken a point. Yes you would! Leeds were unbeaten in 11, had polished off runaway leaders QPR and had they won would have gone second. Given our appalling away record an away draw at Elland Road would have to be seen as a platform building bonus.
And, despite the late blow, we can take heart from what was a good, solid, industrious performance by what looked a well-balanced, organised and motivated side. Boro battled in midfield, crashed into tackles, closed down quickly and stopped Leeds playing with any width or pace or rhythm with scapegoat elect Nicky Bailey outstanding and Barry Robson putting in some hard graft after he came on early for Thomson who once again limped out feeling a reaction to his fracture earlier this term.
And having knocked Leeds out of their stride, after the first 15 minutes grabbing the game by the throat, Boro started to assert themselves. They started to pick their way forward and make some dangerous probes down the flanks with Marvin Emnes causing all sorts of problems down the right and Julio Arca and Joe Bennett looking a potent attacking unit down the left. Boro looked bright and inventive and hungry.
The first half was heartening and entertaining stuff and although the goal was far from pretty, Wheater’s header made it two goals from set-pieces in successive away games, which is a useful weapon to add to our armoury… and cynics might add, a couple of goals will help push up the Redcar Rock’s price in January.
In the second half Boro were tested more but stood up to it without much trouble until the last ten minutes. Five minutes even. Leeds were forced to go long and push a defender up front to play route one stuff and we were coping. And we looked sharp on the break and really, really should have sealed it through Hoyte.
In recent weeks – after Doncaster and Coventry in particular when missed chances and late goals leaked proved costly – the gaffer has urged the Teesbeat press posse to look not to the result but to the positives in the performance. Ironically today we were saying the same to him but he was more scathing about the points dropped. I think maybe he has a hint of old Ayresome antipathy towards Leeds and took it personally. It’s not a bad thing if the manager has a real affection for the club and feels the pain.
And there were some strong positives to take from the game. That we come away gutted at a draw away to one of the promotion chasers shows the bar has been imperceptibly raised. a few weeks ago we’d have been glad to get away without being battered. In fact, they – fans, players, manager – were relieved to scrape a point.
And there were some excellent individual performances. Joe Bennett is fast improving as a defender and was superb going forward and his weaving run into the box only to fire over was exquisite. A player discarded by the old regime is coming on leaps and bounds. Marvin Emnes too shows he has something to offer. He won’t score a lot of goals but we know that pace can unsettle teams.
Julio Arca continues his purple patch and has been Boro’s most consistent creative player this term… just as his contract is running out. And a word too for Nicky Bailey. I know that once players have been branded “rubbish” by the crowd the dye is cast and it will take some winning his detractors round after a sticky start that belied his reputation as a goalscoring midfielder, but his recent displays in a more robust battling role deeper in the engine room have been instrumental in Boro earning the right to play.
So yes, it hurts to have two points snatched away at the death – but that was a good point earned by a steadily improving team. Things are starting to slowly swing our way.
Happy New Year.

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26 thoughts on “Leeds Draw Points Up The Positives

  1. I think it’s time to get forward and get results -now. So I am greedy and go for a 1-0 win for Boro! Scorer: McDonald at 27th minute. Most probably I am wrong, though.
    But this is 2011. Happy new Year to all fellow bloggers! Up the Boro!

  2. Tried to send you an e-mail a few minutes ago but failed. Let’s try with a short one. On balance – a good point at Leeds but it could have been a GREAT three points. Still, a sign that things are picking up.
    They will need to against Norwich – a decent side. Already feeling much more positive….
    And a Happy New Years to all Bloggers!

  3. On the whole…we have to be pleased with a point. But to have the victory snatched away so late in the game..(not so much snatched, more like handed to them) feels a bit of a sickener.
    But with 40 years experience of watching the Boro I am hardly surprised.

  4. I’m sorry but did everybody see the same game I did,or was I still in a fog from last night?
    WE looked an unbalanced team,that basically just ran around stopping them,from going anywhere, we didnt create anything upfront at all. OK the late Hoyte chance.
    WE have just played a team who have spent three years in the third tier,and haven’t spent a penny but they, although obviously having an off day, looked more comfortable in posession than we ever did.
    Please lets get real, only two players showed a little class and that was Bennett and Arca. If I was scouting this team for a premiership club,my report, dont bother
    Happy New Year Bloggy Friends

  5. Just back from Leeds. Gutted. Had been buzzing when it looked like three points but it was a right kick in the undercrackers when they scored – although it had been coming. We retreated again and let them pump long balls in when we should have been pushing them further up the pitch.
    But I’m not too down. Away to a side up in the top four and unbeaten for so long so it is a decent point. Especially on the back of winning well at Preston. If we can get something from Norwich then it will become a very good point and send us into a massive few weeks in good spirits.
    MotM: Joe Bennett. He is really coming on now. And to think Strachan didn’t rate him (and played Hoyte and Robson! ahead of him there). He wasn’r far away from scoring a wondergoal.
    Mentioned in despatches…. Arca, Wheater, and (gulp) Bailey.

  6. I had the benefit of watching today’s match with our close friends who are Leeds United fans.That meant we were in the home supporters section directly behind the home dug out and within spitting distance of the away dug out.
    Having suffered ribbing all week about what Leeds were going to do to the Boro I had the quiet satisfaction of listening to their positive comments and analysis of our team.
    Their view was we were the better team,who should have won the match.They were impressed with our passing, closing down, swift counter attacking play and thought Mowbray had outwitted Grayson tactically by not allowing Snodgrass their most creative player, any time on the ball and nullified any threat he posed.
    Their assessment was that we should improve further and move up the table. Listening to other fans’ view allows some perspective and freshness to how you see your team.
    Despite the disappointment of drawing I thought that was our best away performance, we were calm, in command, kept the ball effectively and Bennett in particular caught the eye with his foraging runs and overlaps.
    Make no mistake Mowbray’s control and influence on this team is growing.I watched him carefully, he does not miss anything, giving sharp, clear intructions to the players and he sees early the shifts and patterns of play.
    We didn’t achieve the ideal result but the consensus today among the section of the home crowd where we were, was a team unrecognisable from the shambles that took the field in the last encounter at the Riverside.

  7. The evidence-based predictor yields a 1-1 draw, from a match in which Boro, once again, will play better as a team, but lack of quality and composure by individual players will let points slip away again and they will snatch a draw from the jaws of what otherwise would have been a very creditable second successive away victory.
    David Wheater will underscore his Premier League credentials at the start of the transfer window, while others will just underscore.
    The same villains will repeat the same crimes.
    Simples. More or less.
    PS Moveable Type will also prove to be intransigent, reporting “No such entry was found with the correct status ‘307732’.4”
    **AV writes: Nah, can’t see it.

  8. Leeds here. We weren’t at our best today but fair play, you did well, especially first half and stopped us playing.
    We could/should maybe have snatched it at end but McCormack header went wide. Then again you could have wrapped it up if any other player on the pitch except Hoyte got ball in box at the end. He’s rubbish.
    In the end draw was fair result. You were light years better than the shambles at the Riverside. You’ll stay up I reckon. Not sure we are ready to go up but this is a poor league so who knows.

  9. Nearly 12 hours on the result is still sickening, and if anything getting worse, but there is something very pleasing too about it all.
    I think we’re all really starting to feel the pain again and the club and fans are coming alive once more.
    The numbness and apathy of a few months ago are going and steadily. Yes we all hate a loss but an hour after the event who really cared about being tonked at Watford or Derby and more at the time?
    This time the loss of two points is a real stomach churner and Mogga’s moaning about the goal is a real rallying point. We’re coming together as a club and 22 games remaining offers plenty of scope to refine, remodel and get results. Well done Tony.
    That said, no matter how well we play away from home, results won’t flow until we start to score.
    Yes, the defence messed up to concede yesterday but most teams are likely to ship one goal each away trip. We do routinely and this needs addressing now.
    But equally the lack of goals puts a huge pressure on the defence and team. We could easily have won at Coventry, Donny and Leeds but dropped points largely because we didn’t score more than once. Preston proves the point.
    Surely no-one in this league has the goalscoring record of Boyd or MacDonald. We need to do something about it and today.

  10. The cynics and the usual suspects will moan on all day long about the points dropped.But what would we have given 4 weeks ago for a synopsis of the game AV has just writen.
    I feared the worst, Leeds unbeaten in 10 against our form. What were the bookies offering for a draw. I gave Boro no chance.
    But look at us now. I could only watch the Leeds goal on Sky and thought Steel was unfortunate not to connect with that scoring shot. Can’t remember the last time we had such an athletic goalie.
    My worry is this present team is going to be shredded if decent offers come along.
    But Mowbray is showing he knows how to mobilise players and out think the opposition and I’m sure can bring in quality players.
    Where do you find a manager gutted about the result because it was Leeds?
    Wish I could be home for tomorrow’s game. The second half of this season is looking very promising.

  11. Listening to Ali and contributing in the BJ stand you could feel the tensioon as the match approached 90 mins.
    Sundry comments about 27 minutes left and counting, Leeds pressure mounting led to belief there would be an equaliser.
    Missing a sitter one end then letting in a late sickener looked on the cards.
    We must not lose sight of the facts that though Leeds were bad they had far more possession and shots. We would have settled for a point when we woke up yesterday morning, if you were away on holiday and hadnt followed the match you would have been chuffed at the score.
    Lets just take the point and move on. Norwich will be a stern test but we can go into the game with some hope that wasnt there a few weeks ago.
    Point by point we are climbing the table, that is all we can do, If we can keep progressing we can gain some momentum and finish in a decent position.
    Just seen a super goal from James Morrison. And Danny Graham scored.
    **AV writes: And Tayls got a screamer.

  12. I was against Southgate getting sacked last season. But the one good thing that has come out of the Strachan fiasco is that we now have our perfect manager. His CV ticks all the boxes for a club in our position. On top of that he is a local lad and ex Boro captain.
    That was an excellent performance yesterday. It confirmed the recent progress that has been made. I am absolutely convinced that we will not go down this season.
    This could be the start of a new era. I hope Mowbray goes on to be our manager for years to come.

  13. For me the main positives where the individual performances of certain players.
    Bailey was simply awesome he snapped harried tackled everything and played some decent passes, Bennett was outstanding for such a skinny kid he shirks nothing when Bailey had decked Snodgrass and it looked like Bradley Johnson might want some afters there was rake thin Bennet stepping in the way with a gentle hand on the throat, pace, power, strength commitment I so wish he had scored that exsquisite run he more than deserved it.
    Who was that dark haired bloke that sounds like Julio el Geordio someone told me it was Arca but the amount of ground covered in all directions not just sideways made me think it just couldnt be hell even showed a bit of pace on the odd occasion.
    Emnes some neat touches some great winning of free kicks and some blistering pace, one thing I didn’t understand about the match was why we didn’t get Emnes on the ball constantly for the first 10 mins of that second half. Johnson and their LB where already yellowed both where getting frustrated by him and snapping into challenges at the end of the first half I don’t care if its unsporting or not our sole aim at the start of the 2nd half should have been to get one of them sent off.
    Less than impressive today where Steele tbh he was due a bad game and today was that game he flapped and mispunched so much I thought we had Corporal Jones back in goal. Hoyte solid game but get him on the training park all week just smacking a ball goalbound.
    Robson… what’s happened to him? He looks incredibly lightweight. I would go as far as saying as he doesnt look well at all. His first touch was woeful he wasnt quite his usual driven self, Boyd admitedly not much time but god hes frustrating. I counted at least 5 times with a bit more pressuring where he could have possibly snatched the ball.
    All in all a good performance a good result i suppose although it does still feel like a kick in the teeth but well done to the guys anyway.

  14. Yeah – agree with lots that’s been said.
    It’s great that the late blow was a sickener – in the sense it shows progress. We’d have taken a draw before the game and at least most of the other sides in the do-do got nowt from their games.
    It’s going to be a long drag out of the mess we got ourselves into but so long as we keep taking a step forward and avoid the ones back we give ourselves a chance.
    I thought that Mogga and Veno had got it well thought out yesterday. They haven’t always – but credit where it’s due.
    Talking about Hoyte’s debacle, though, shouldn’t let Robbo or, indeed, Boyd off the hook either.
    Stamping your little feet in a tantrum rather than taking charge when you are two yards away when your colleague falls over is no use at all. But at least he was close enough to the ball at the breakdown to be in the frame for the incident. Where was our expensive ‘does nothing except to snap up chances’ striker?
    Tonsilitis seems to be a convenient ‘illness’ at Rockliffe. We’ve certainly had doses of ‘Tactical Tonsilitis’ before. Was GON down with ‘Transfer Tonsilitis’ yesterday?
    Is Thomo going for beating the deux ‘Femmer Frenchies’ at their own game? Along with others, I’m still far from convinced about him on what we’ve seen. And – again – credit where it’s due, Nicky Bailey did well enough alongside Robbo in a position that Mogga has sorted for him.
    Another big challenge tomorrow. Let’s hope for another step forward – and maybe three!

  15. Themightyboro –
    Yes it’s unsporting but hey.. I’d perfer to frame it as Emnes would have far more scope if their LB is on a yellow and afraid to dive in, thus giving Emnes more time and space to play.
    A couple of years ago away to Palace, we had them in a similar position but we uttlery failed to get the ball at all to Jonno and exploit the situation. We lost 1.0.
    Ian Gill –
    I didn’t follow the game, was elated for the ten seconds until I saw their scoring time. But AV is absolutely correct, I would have gladly, willingly, ecstastically accepted a point before kick off.
    Am just old enough to share the old Ayresome antipathy towards Leeds. Oh well. Four points from two games. Refuse to be too down about it. But then I didn’t have to suffer in real time.
    Oh, thanks to Stokesly White, always glad to hear a lucid and balanced opposition fans view. I’m not sure there are any teams good enough to go up – maybe QPR if their Chairman will spend the money.
    Come on Boro

  16. To be bemoaning two points dropped away to Leeds is a measure of how much progress is being made by Mogga and Venus. Four points from two away games over the Christmas period is virgin territory for Boro.
    The renaissance of individuals under Mogga continues unabated with the list getting longer as the weeks go by. Bennett, Arca, Emnes, Bailey and (even allowing for his lightheadedness in the oppositions 18 yard box) Hoyte!
    The recent performances of the last few weeks have brought some frustrations but frustations borne of lost opportunity rather than frustration borne of clueless, disorganised ineptitude. That in itself is the biggest measure of how things have changed and the improvements being made. So much so that I’m looking forward to an entertaining game against Norwich and hoping for three points on Monday. How many of the other teams supporters in the bottom eight are feeling as positive?
    The transfer window over the coming weeks will present both threats and opportunity in equal measure but in Mogga I believe we have someone in whom we can entrust the future of the team in particular and the club in general.

  17. Progress is measured on the league table, not the we played well but deserved more table. Let’s just win, don’t care how.
    PS: Clean sheets win matches

  18. Good shout Redcar Red.
    It’s not easy to stop yourself looking at what the extra two points would have done to our position and confidence, especially as we were the better side for most of the game. The problem is that we were unable to press the superiority home and it was inevitable that they would come hard towards the end.
    Hoyte should probably have won it for us, and sods law says that we then go on to take the “typical Boro” sucker punch. However, several of my Leeds supporting friends have been quick to point out that we should have gone on to lose it when they missed the best chance of the game.
    Initially gutted, but ultimately happy. A good performance against Norwich (and at least a point) will set us up nicely for a run of games where results will be key and when much will be decided.
    I think we have many reasons to feel optimistic but let’s not get too excited – at least until after the transfer window when we will see things a little more clearly both on and off the field.

  19. This is, at least, the third occasion this season, on which Kevin Thomson has taken a knock on his vulnerable leg and been forced off the pitch, since coming back from his stress fracture.
    If he has some intrinsic weakness in that leg and it’s impact injury that sets him back each time, you really would have thought that he could have been afforded some specially-constructed personal protective pad for that area.
    Or is that too far beyond the wit or imagination of the Rockliffe physios and medical staff? A number of years ago, when Mark Schwarzer had his depressed fracture of his cheekbone, he returned to action with a “phantom of the opera” plastic mask.
    Is this the Premier League Club that Gibson built with it’s state of the art facilities? Or is this another example of a culture in which the focus is on the facilities rather than the personnel who are supposed to be delivering the product?
    Earlier in the season, on here, I aired my concerns for Thomson’s psychological condition on coming back as early as he did and then getting immediately walloped in the vicinity of his injury. Since then, I’ve been impressed by Thomson’s resilience, but surely both the physical and psychological effects of this vulnerability could be mitigated by a specially moulded protective pad?

  20. AV –
    I wonder when we might start to see Jon Franks re-appear on the bench.
    Before the big freeze we were beginning to hear good things about his physical rehabilitation and performances in training and practice matches.
    I guess the lack of outdoor work at Rockliffe won’t have helped but with McDonald away for a month, now would be a good time to start to feed the young man back into the first team fray.
    **AV writes: He travelled with the team to Leeds but wasn’t though ready for the 18. Can’t be far away though.

  21. Pity about the late goal given away in injury time – it’s debatable whether it was caused by Hoyte missing a sitter or his decision as a defender to be in the opponents box during injury time – but at least Leeds also missed a sitter in injury time to give us a point.
    I think what’s important now is that Boro try to go on an unbeaten run and try to join the pack of clubs currently sitting on 30 points. If we manage that in January I think we’ll be in for a comfortable season of mid-table obscurity.
    It may also mean we don’t engage in panic buying or selling towards the end of the transfer deadline – OK the squad’s not perfect but it should be good enough to finish mid-table.
    Budget deals done in January are usually for players who can’t get a game because they’re out of form – and we’ve already got enough of those!
    As for today, I wouldn’t rule out a win against Norwich but scoring still looks to be a problem for us.

  22. I don’t think Stoke is the right club for Wheater even though Huth is there. If he goes he needs to go to a bigger club like Villa or Everton. Even though these clubs have not won anything in resent years – unlike Boro.
    The value must be right for Boro, too. I don’t know how much we would get in Summer but £1.5m is too little now. If we got £6 to 7m for Johnno then £2.5 to 3m must be right for Wheater. I know the contract situation is different but Wheater is much better than Jones – were it £2.3m Liverpool paid?
    At least it does not look like he is signing a pre-contract with somebody else now. I just wish Boro won a few matches before he needs to make a decision!
    Up the Boro!
    **AV writes: If Boro don’t sell in January Wheater will go on a free in the summer.

  23. Werdermouth –
    Hoyte had been pushed forward into midfiled with Tony Mac om at right back. Not ideal but there we are.
    Jarkko –
    A few optionas are avaiable for Wheater, the perfect one would a new contract with the promise of not standing in the way this summer – like Downing and O’Neill but the latter got injured. But that would leave little scope for changes to the squad.
    If he isnt going to sign we cannot afford to wait and get nothing in the summer. At least some money now gives scope for movement for players in terms of small fees and wages.

  24. Wheaters situation is very difficult as he would like to stay but needs to move due to his ambitions.
    We needed to be up there with a shout and then think he would stay.As per last season he gave it a go didnt play well and had many partners in the the back four. Villa or Everton would be best for him not Stoke.
    I am lost now is Boro at home tonight if so 2-0 come on you reds.

  25. Does the point at Leeds still look as good?
    I think its time I laid it on the line. That is not to say that I disagree with AV or The Gazette. In fact I think they both give fair and accurate reflections of the game I see. But especially for those in the BJ Stand and others who cannot get to games, lets get things right.
    You must pick up the points available when laid bare in front of you. There will be plenty of times in the coming games when we play badly and get beat. Take your chances!!
    Today we gave a away the type of goal I would be embarrassed to conceded in a five a side kick about . A bustling ‘robust’ centre forward brushed off our centre half from a long punt forward. Then he hit a shot so poorly that took so many bobbles it barely crept over the line.
    Individual errors? They can’t keep happening to good players.
    Jason Steele. I asked a couple of weeks ago is he unlucky or not that good? No one likes a hindsight Harry, he’s got a lot of promise but at the moment he needs a break. I’m sure he will come back a better keeper.
    Norwich. I very rarely talk about the opposition, but they have taken four points off us this season and have had to do very little to get such a bounty. Lets not forget the season we got relegated from the prem they got relegated from the chimpship. This should serve as an incentive as it proves how quickly things can turn round. But they were crup, formulaic, typical chimpship non descriptness.
    Yes we came at them the last twenty mins but was this not the away side sitting back and holding on to an away point after four games in 9 days?
    Then the transfer window, hopefully the squad balance may be addressed but the team will be worse off. Financially some wrongs may be righted and this has to be done, but the starting XI will not be as good.
    So in conclusion all of those fans who didn’t attend today, or any time this season, or for any time in the future you are missing nowt. We will finish in the bottom six, hopefully the top half.
    Don’t want to sound like the harbinger of doom but this is going to be a nail bitter.
    p.s. it happened right in front of me and I saw sod all wrong with the Wheater ‘goal’
    Pps clean sheets win matches.
    **AV writes: The way I see it is this…
    Boro have ‘turned the corner’ so many times this season (this past year) we have been left dizzy. Up to now important wins have almost inevitably been followed by major slips-ups that have left us looking vulnerable again or at least, treading water and really having to look hard for any positives.
    But this time it feels different. The win at Preston was a hostage to fortune because it was followed by two very tough games against in-form promotion contenders. Had we been still the inherently fragile team of two months ago we could easily have been battered at Leeds or worse, at home in front of a home crowd still undecided as to whether to throw their weight behind the Mogganaut.
    In fact we haven’t folded and slipped back. We have played two top sides in this league and after both games we have been disappointed to only get a point (and both opposition gaffers have been relieved after the game to scrape a point). That we are disappointed in itself is step forward: our expectations have been raised, our performances have been raised and our results have improved.
    Underneath the usual white noise of matchday surface activity Mowbray has slowly put in places some important tactical underpinning that make the team more organised, more flexible, more resilient and with more spirit. And it is starting to show in results.
    We were never going to make a great leap forward, suddenly click and go on a long winning run. The squad was too unbalanced, flawed and demoralised for that. First were were going to have to stop getting monstered. Then stop getting beaten. Then hold our own. Then start to assert ourselves and impose a shape and tempo on games. I think we are well along that route now.
    We have just gone three games unbeaten for the first time this season. That includes two away games, two games against in-form top four sides, two games in which we have come from behind (and quickly) and two games in which we have come away disappointed not to have won. One decision by the ref going the other way today and we would be cock-ahoop over seven points from three games. Dismay at that arbitary event shouldn’t blind us to the concrete things that have been happening slowly and steadily. Small acorns.
    Yes, there are still problems. There are still big mistakes happening at the back too often (the goal and Leeds and against Norwich were avoidable) and we are not creating enough chances at the other end. But we know that. That has been the problem all season and without changes in personnel they are not going to be eliminated completely. But they are being addressed. Things ARE improving.
    Goals for and against columns are edging the right way: no more three goal collapses. The points return is improving. We are slowly clawing back up the table. The performances of some key individuals has improved: early season scapegoat Nicky Bailey has been outstanding for the last four or five games; Julio Arca has finally blossomed into a consistent midfield schemer; Strachan discard Joe Bennett is growing in confidence and assurance by the game; Marvin Emnes has added work rate to his pace and potential (goal next please); Justin Hoyte has found a new zest going forward; these are all big plusses.
    Personally I have seen a steady, perceptible positive shift in the shape and dynamics in games in recent weeks that suggests real tangible progress is being made. We have stopped losing. We have bottomed out. Now we need gto build on that. I think the last two draws (while still disappointing) represent good points, big points and concrete steps forward.
    The next four league games – all basement battles – will tell.
    **I’m going to cut and past this into a new blog – it can be the post Norwich piece – as I think there is a real difference in perception now. Post-match Teesbeat press room opinion was divided over the result with some thinking it was a bad result (some were very scathing). Given where we are now – and where we were six weeks ago – I can’t fathom that. yes it is disappointing not to win, it always is, but for me it is another small step towards recovery.
    Given that I’ve made a detailed response to your points and then put it in the shop window it is only fair to give you another shot. Feel free to respond to what I have written and I’ll add it after my stuff.

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