Frustration growing for Leeds United fans
They were not disgraced by any means by their narrow defeat in the FA Cup at Watford and deservedly picked up a point from the game with Fulham on Tuesday, but Leeds United are continuing to attract criticism for the way the club is being run.
With hopes of promotion long gone and signs of improvement thin on the ground crowds are now dwindling with little except pride to effectively play for now for the players.
Only just over 17,000 turned up at Elland Road for the Fulham game and only one of the last five matches has attracted a crowd that matched last season’s average so apathy appears to be setting in.
With the Massimo Out campaign building momentum and criticism of head coach Steve Evans mounting fans are being vocal at their disappointment of another wasted season and there is little faith that things can be easily turned round following the hugely disappointing January transfer window.
It does not help that the goals have dried up with only one in their last six-and-a-half hours of football – and that a spectacular long range strike that surprised everyone, including probably scorer Lewis Cook.
Even Sky may stop choosing them for live games with interest on the wane, but not before another game is broadcast next Monday at Brighton.
Leeds still remain 12 points above the relegation zone so should not get dragged into a relegation scrap unless there is a complete collapse, but what of the rest of the season?
It could be useful to have no pressure as the next bunch of youngsters out of the academy could be given a little try with the hope of finding a player or two for next season.
Equally it could be handy for working out which players should still be with the club after the summer and in what areas the squad is weak.
At a stable club being in a position like Leeds now find themselves in can be a big help in shaping a team for next season. But recent history tells you this will not be the case at this club.
Current boss Evans will be desperate for every point he can muster as he looks to ensure the side at least finish higher up the league than last year so experimentation is unlikely.
He has set a tenth place target, which is achievable, but must be aware that unless he can help lift United from their present position he will not still be in charge when the first ball is kicked next season.
Assurances from the top that Evans was being backed to be head coach next term and was being offered a new contract to say just that would at least make it clear which direction Leeds are going in. But with the silence deafening it is adding to the general level of uncertainty that has hung over Elland Road ever since they came back into the Championship.
Against this backdrop, United do have to carry on their campaign and they test themselves against another of the promotion challengers next Monday night when they go to Brighton.
The Seagulls will be looking to do the double over the Whites, having beaten them courtesy of an 89th minute winner by Bobby Zamora in Uwe Rosler’s last game in charge in October. They have beaten Leeds in their last four games against them and will start favourites to do so again.