IT CERTAINLY could have been worse. That’s the verdict from a weekend of footballing action which produced several more highs than lows, for sure.
The West Yorkshire triumvirate of Leeds United, Huddersfield Town and Bradford City may have all come unstuck on November 28, but the flip side of the coin saw them all triumph, with the Whites and Town in particular producing morale-boosting and eye-catching wins over Hull City and Birmingham City respectively.
It wasn’t a bad old weekend for Doncaster Rovers either, who continued their improvement under Darren Ferguson with a 3-1 FA Cup win at Cambridge United - with their reward coming by way of an attractive third-round home tie with Premier League outfit Stoke City.
Here’s The Yorkshire Post’s Team of the Week.
1: Dimi Konstantopoulos (Middlesbrough). Like fine wine - or retsina in his case - the big Greek keeper is improving with age, even at 37. Following on from an excellent 2014-15, he made some key saves at Portman Road.
2: Mitchell Lund (Doncaster Rovers). Outstanding. Scored a rare goal and set up two others - it doesn’t get much better than that for a wing-back. Justified his selection with a fine display full of persistence and endeavour in place of Felipe Mattioni.
3: Ben Chilwell (Huddersfield Town). Named in the side for the second week running, produced another encouraging display at Birmingham and made a key block to deny Jon Toral. Fitting in rather nicely.
4: Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough). Rock-solid for the umpteenth time this season. Boro’s defensive enforcer par excellence and handled Ipswich’s Daryl Murphy well. Another named in our select XI for the second week running.
5: Sam Hutchinson (Sheffield Wednesday). Switched from midfield to centre half in the absence of Tom Lees and performed seamlessly and had the measure of Chris Martin. Even if he was booked. Again.
6: Liam Bridcutt (Leeds United). After his non-descript display on his bow at Loftus Road, the loanee came to the party bearing gifts. Excellent performance policing the area just in front of the defence. Assertive.
7: Ahmed Elmohamady (Hull City). One of Hull’s better performers at Elland Road on an afternoon when the Tigers failed to show their claws. Grabbed a goal - and a big player for Hull, for sure.
8: Dean Whitehead (Huddersfield Town). Another, who like a fine wine is getting better with age - another outstanding roll-back-the-years performance full of quality and nous at St Andrews.
9: Chris Wood (Leeds United). The big Kiwi has had his critics, but answered them with a predatory goal against Hull. Plenty of responsibility heaped upon his shoulders at the weekend - and stood tall.
10: Conor Grant (Doncaster Rovers). The Everton loanee graduated with honours at Cambridge, netting two fine goals. His fierce low strike to start things off was impressive, but it was surpassed by a wonderful curler to seal victory for Rovers.
11: Sean Scannell (Huddersfield Town). Set up Nahki Wells’ second and clearly flourishing along with several others as part of David Wagner’s brave new world.
Manager: Steve Evans (Leeds United). Made some bold selection calls in opting for a 4-1-4-1 formation and dropping Mirco Antenucci in a quest to yield a winning formula against high-flying Hull. It worked a treat, hats off to the Scot.