Another month begins, and once again Leeds United are top of the Championship, the second tier of English football. For the seventh month in a row on this Blog, here is a screenshot taken from the BBC website to confirm this.
As noted often on these pages I have followed the team since childhood. I try to limit how often I write about their fortunes (this is their first mention here since 1 January) but they occupy my thoughts throughout the month. January 2020 saw Leeds win one game out of five, but that was still enough to return to the top of the table last Tuesday (28 January), thanks to West Brom’s defeat at Cardiff.
Tuesday night’s game, at home to Millwall, felt like a turning point. 2-0 down at half-time, Leeds came back to take a 3-2 lead and defend it for the last 25 minutes. The slump in form that preceded it also had a turning point: 3-0 up against Cardiff in the last home game before Christmas (on 14 December 2019), Leeds conceded late on to draw 3-3, and went on to win just one of the next seven games.
Today’s home game is a 3pm kick-off against Wigan. The equivalent fixture last season was on Good Friday. It was definitely a turning point, the one that saw Leeds earn just one point from the last four games of the regular season, drop out of the automatic promotion places and fail to gain promotion through the play-offs. Wigan had a man sent off in the first half, Leeds missed a penalty, took the lead before half-time, but still went on to lose 2-1. I am hoping for better this afternoon, and for the rest of February: seven games between now Saturday 29th.