A GREAT weekend for the Steel City and not a bad one if you are of a Leeds United or Bradford City persuasion either. Here’s five things we learned.
And as for Rotherham United fans, well they are still catching their breath after their side produced arguably the comeback of the season at home to Derby County.
Here’s five observations from the weekend’s action for Yorkshire clubs.
1. Leeds United are in a good place again.
Funny ol’ game, football. Just under a fortnight ago, Steve Evans was hanging onto his post after a horrible 4-0 defeat at Brighton, which he described as the toughest night of his managerial career.
Fast forward to now with Leeds basking in the glow of a triple whammy of wins over Bolton Wanderers, Cardiff City and Blackburn Rovers, with Evans presiding over three successive victories for the first time as a Championship manager.
A dominant midfield performance laid the foundations for a sweet and overdue win over Blackburn, with Mirco Antenucci also continuing his upturn with another goal - his fourth in a week.
Leeds have rediscovered their hunger, heart and appetite after those desperate hours at Brighton and head into next weekend’s derby with Huddersfield Town in a good place.
2. A mess at Middlesbrough, but Hull aren’t cashing in.
With Karankagate hogging the headlines at Boro amid a dramatic implosion on Teesside, Hull squandered a golden chance to shove the boot in by beating MK Dons in a wholly disappointing draw at the KC.
It was the Tigers’ third successive draw on home soil, with the worrying sight of the goals drying up for Abel Hernandez and Mo Diame representing a big concern. It’s just one win in five now for City, who have massive games in the coming week against Forest and Boro.
Hull are showing a worry lack of a clinical edge, having had 49 efforts on goal in their past two games, but scoring just once. Another concern is the absence of Jake Livermore, with the midfield pivot unlikely to feature against Forest or Boro. It is not just the Teessiders with the promotion concerns.
3. A timely tonic for Sheffield Wednesday.
The Owls arrived at the City Ground with a few questions to answer after five games without a win, but they responded in thoroughly convincing fashion.
The visitors had far too more quality and nous for a poor Forest side hamstrung by a lack of options with a host of players out on the sidelines.
But you can only beat what is in front of you with Wednesday producing one of their most convincing away days of the side in a display in which they were strong at the back, busy and bright in midfield and dangerous up front with the likes of Kieran Lee, Fernando Foresteri and Aiden McGeady having a ball, with the only downer being the dismissal of Barry Bannan.
But the win, Wednesday’s biggest on the road since October 2012, represented a timely shot in the arm. Instead of looking over their shoulders, fifth-placed Derby are now in their sights.
4. Rotherham’s reservoirs of character are incredible.
Seven points from nine against the Owls, Boro and Derby is a haul that even the most optimistic Millers fan would have dismissed as wildly optimistic at the end of last week.
But that’s the delicious reality, although the Millers were pushed to the brink after trailing 3-0 to a rampant Derby side with less than ten minutes to go, only to stage a Lazarus-style recovery and take a point.
If ever the phrase ‘a draw feels as good as a win’, it was Saturday’s remarkable goings-on as the NYS. The Millers attitude and never-say-die qualities are worthy of the highest praise and how Neil Warnock is onto something after reinvigorating a group of players who are eating out of his own hand. Well, most of them..No team will want to face the Millers between now and the end of the season.
5. Desperate days for Doncaster Rovers - despite one crumb of comfort.
After another derby defeat, this time at Bradford City, Rovers are now 11 matches without a win, almost a quarter of the season with their run likely to be the worst in the country.
For the umpeenth occasion, Rovers were behind the eight-ball after conceding early on and they also were breached early in the second half to add to their pains.
Going forward, Rovers looked fitful despite having their moments after Nathan Tyson’s late goal, while at the back, they look suspect - with many fans coming around to the view that it was a mistake to part company with Rob Jones in late winter, given recent evidence when they have lacked defensive leadership.
The only good news was that results elsewhere went for Doncaster with Crewe, Oldham and Blackpool all losing. But some day soon, they won’t with the stakes rising ahead of a momentum Easter for Rovers who face fellow strugglers Colchester and Blackpool in two huge matches...
As for Bradford, they are sitting pretty after producing a meaningful response following their shock recent home loss to Colchester