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Match report: Leeds United 1, Bristol City 0
OPTIMIST Neil Warnock reflected on the positives after his Leeds United side laboured to a 1-0 win against Championship bottom club Bristol City.
Three points and a clean sheet should be cause for celebration as the Whites kept themselves on the fringes of the promotion chase.
But many Elland Road fans were unhappy after witnessing another poor match in which Leeds struggled to break down a side well-organised by new City boss Sean O’Driscoll.
Boos greeted the half-time whistle after a dire 45 minutes but Leeds just did enough in the second half to secure victory with Ross McCormack’s header to avoid more supporters’ derision.
Warnock said: “We knew it would be hard work because they have a new manager and are fighting for their lives.
“We got a grip at half-time and were a lot more positive in the second half. Tom Lees and Lee Peltier were fabulous at the back for us. Unfortunately, you can’t please everyone, even when you have won six in a row in the league at home. For me, the glass should be half full, not half empty.”
O’Driscoll’s last game was to oversee a 4-2 thumping of Leeds as manager of Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day. But there was no repeat of that goal-fest on Saturday as both sides lacked width, pace and creativity on a bitterly cold afternoon.
Home debutant Ross Barkley did provide some glimpses of skill and power but for the most part the match was a stodgy mess settled by a bit of rare quality on 66 minutes.
Barkley cleverly engineered space on the right before delivering a fine cross to the far post where McCormack got above Richard Foster to head home.
“I thought if anyone was going to score it was Ross. It was a cracking goal, he deserved it and he covered lots of ground,” said Warnock.
Leeds: Kenny, Byram, Lees, Peltier, White, Barkley (Green 80), Austin, Brown, McCormack (Tonge 88), Diouf, Becchio. Subs (not used): Ashdown, Pearce, Varney, Norris, Somma.
Bristol City: Heaton, Foster, Carey, Fontaine, Cunningham, Kelly, Kilkenny (Burns 71), Skuse, Pearson (Davies 77), Anderson (Stead 64), Taylor. Subs (not used): Gerken, Nyatanga, Wilson, Elliott.
Referee: Darren Sheldrake. Attendance: 18,156.