LEEDS United’s Elland Road has rarely been an easy place for visiting teams over the years, but it currently doesn’t hold the same fear.
United have lost five league games at home this season and will go into tomorrow’s Yorkshire derby against Doncaster Rovers on the back of successive defeats at home to Birmingham City and Brighton.
The 4-1 home defeat against the in-form Blues proved to be manager Simon Grayson’s last game in charge.
The alarm bells started ringing in the United camp following Blackpool’s 5-0 win at Elland Road in early November.
Expectations were high among the Elland Road faithful in the club’s second season back in the Championship despite the departure of Max Gradel and Bradley Johnson, and those expectations looked like they could be realised as United went on a good run of five wins and two draws in seven games during September and early October - a sequence of results which included a 3-0 win at the Keepmoat Stadium.
It was United’s second visit to the Keepmoat - they had come from behind to beat Rovers 2-1 in their Carling Cup tie.
Yet it was a game Rovers could and should have won.
Rovers took an early lead through Giles Barnes and threatened to over-run Leeds in the first half before the West Yorkshire side claimed the spoils with a well-taken brace by Nunez.
Three successive away wins in November got Leeds back on track after they had picked up just one point in three games but they lost ground in December when picking up just four points from five games.
Results were mixed in January with the departure of skipper Jonny Howson, who joined Premier League Norwich City in a seven-figure deal, not helping the cause.
When Grayson and his No 2 Glynn Snodin, a former Rovers’ favourite, were relieved of their duties, Leeds turned to another man with Rovers’ connections, Neil Redfearn.
He was given four games, the last of which is tomorrow, to stake his claim to keep the job on a permanent basis.
But a flattering 3-0 win at nine-man Bristol City in his first game in charge has been followed by successive defeats and the likelihood is that the former midfielder will be in charge for the last time tomorrow.
He will be looking to the likes of Robert Snodgrass, outstanding in the corresponding game last season, and strikers Ross McCormack and Luciano Becchio to throw him a lifeline.
One to watch
Leeds striker Ross McCormack will need little introduction to Rovers’ fans. The Scottish international spent a spell on loan at the club whilst at Rangers during Dave Penney’s time in charge at Belle Vue. McCormack joined Leeds from Cardiff at the start of the 2010-11 season but suffered a largely frustrating first campaign at Elland Road. He was on fire in the opening weeks of the current campaign and had bagged 10 goals, which included one at the Keepmoat Stadium, by the end of October. Although the flow of goals have slowed down, he remains United’s top scorer with 15 to his credit.