Another Derby Is Just What Whites Need - Lorimer

17 September 2010 06:36
It might sound like a strange comment after such a bad defeat at Oakwell but tonight's game against Doncaster Rovers is arguably the toughest of Leeds United's back-to-back derbies. I sincerely hope that Barnsley comes to represents the lowest point by far of these local battles but I can't imagine that any of the Yorkshire teams in the Championship will have a better chance of reaching the play-offs than Doncaster.The sign of a good team is the number of people who speak highly of them, and Sean O'Driscoll's squads always command respect. Whenever Doncaster are mentioned, you hear talk of a footballing side; a side who are as technically gifted as they are organised. It wouldn't surprise me if you can count on one hand the number of visiting clubs who win at the Keepmoat Stadium this season.It is not, at first glance, the perfect fixture to follow on from such a painful night at Barnsley but I don't think it will do United's squad any harm to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire.Their 5-2 loss at Oakwell, not to mention the performance, will have stung every one of the players responsible but they've had very little time to stew on the result or wallow in it. By the time they walk out of the tunnel in Doncaster, they're minds should focus automatically on the job in hand. Derbies have that effect on you.Tuesday night was a forgettable evening for every Leeds supporter but I'm wary of adding to knee-jerk reactions by criticising the team too heavily for it. Their capitulation in the second half was frustrating and they finished the match with very little credit but it's one serious black mark on a Championship season that is six games old.I still think the game came down to a very brief period at the start of the second-half when they knocked on the door and scored twice. It was our game to lose until shortly before half-time. If we look at the bigger picture, 10 points from half-a-dozen fixtures is a very good haul. I doubt whether many of the club's supporters - who, by the way, were magnificent with their noise and numbers at Oakwell - would have turned their noses up at that record six weeks ago. You cannot say that Leeds to date have not done well. But equally, you do not react to a result like a 5-2 defeat at Barnsley by sticking your head in the sand. There are areas of the team and not just the defence that need to improve and Simon Grayson has the right to make the changes he feels are necessary. I'd expect a few this evening.It sounds like Robert Snodgrass and Billy Paynter are just about fit after playing for the reserves on Tuesday and I suspect that both would have started the season if they'd been available. I'm also hearing very good things about Ramon Nunez, our Honduran midfielder. The priority tonight is to ensure Barnsley is an isolated failure, not the first of many.Doncaster will be more accomplished than Barnsley were and they are the sort of team who can kill you with 1,000 passes.But we owe them one for our defeat in the play-off final two years ago and we are no less capable of winning this game than we were a week ago, when the players' tails were up.I shared the sentiments of the supporters at Barnsley but I'd ask them not to feel too depressed or anxious. Every team has a bad game and Tuesday night was a reminder that we will not walk through this league.If nothing else, the players have now been warned.