Leeds United 1 Brentford 1: Grayson frustrated at Whites display

ROBERT SNODGRASS believes the infectious enthusiasm of fellow Scot Paul Dickov is just what Leeds United need to spark them to the form of 2009.

They have gathered just 12 points from their 11 league games in 2010 and from a team looking champions-elect, they are now glancing anxiously over their shoulders at the teams who are vying to knock them from the second automatic promotion place.

Perhaps Snodgrass was a shade too downbeat after a third draw in a four-game unbeaten run and manager Simon Grayson said he would be more concerned if the team were not dominating games.

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But Snodgrass was critical in his analysis, stating: "This is a massive two points dropped because Brentford were not in the game at all and it's just silly errors that cost us the win. I don't think we can be proud of ourselves coming away with just one point from that game. We are bitterly disappointed.

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"I wouldn't say the pressure is building because you saw how we came out of the blocks but it's just massively frustrating.

"I thought we were destined for three points with the way we played. They got a goal out of nothing which they did not deserve and it gave them a lift and made it an uphill battle for us. We nearly got three points but we need to take our chances.

"We have just let others back into it and have nobody to blame but ourselves. It's not falling for us the way it was early in the season. We need to dig deep and show true signs of champions and see who comes out on top at the end.

"Every game between now to the end of the season is major and we need to win at Tranmere on Tuesday and get away from the pack behind us. We cannae think about anybody else. We have to focus on our own position and realise we are still in a good position."

On a brighter note, Snodgrass is delighted to welcome free agent and fellow Glaswegian Dickov into the Elland Road fold.

The 37-year-old former Scotland striker has signed until the end of the season and made his debut as a late substitute.

"He's magic and a great lad as well," said Snodgrass, narrowly avoiding being reversed into by the mischievous Dickov as he drove from the stadium. "He is probably just what we need around the place when things are not going as well as they have.

"He's a lively character and good with young lads and gives you the belief to keep believing that you can take on your man and deliver a good cross. That goes for Jermaine (Beckford) and Luciano (Becchio) as well as he can only help their games up front with the experience he has got."

Beckford finally ended his five-week goal drought by tapping in Leeds' 73rd-minute equaliser after Snodgrass had crossed the ball to the far post where Gary McSheffrey coolly laid it back across the six-yard area.

And 25-goal striker Beckford then sent Snodgrass through on a diagonal run which should have produced the winner. However, the 23-year-old attempted to cut back onto his favoured left foot, allowing left-back Ryan Dickson, who has been linked with a summer move to Leeds, to snuff out the threat.

"It was my own fault even though the ball was moving everywhere. I should have got a shot off at least – I can't blame the pitch," was Snodgrass's candid assessment.

However, Leeds had spurned numerous other chances as they stretched the Bees through the wing play of Snodgrass and loanee McSheffrey, having his best game in a Leeds shirt.

The closest they came in the first half was when a Wojciech Szczesny went full length to palm away a free-kick from Snodgrass and when Beckford took a nudge in the back and consequently saw his fierce header flash inches over the bar from a cross by Snodgrass.

The Bees had only threatened with the rare break, Casper Ankergren racing out to block from Sam Wood, before they stung Leeds in the 59th minute.

Leon Legge headed a corner over to the far post where Charlie MacDonald smashed in a shot which Ankergren blocked only to see the rebound thud off Ben Strevens into the net.

Leeds, without injured defenders Richard Naylor and Shane Lowry, made a double substitution with Dickov and Bradley Johnson replacing Becchio and left-back Aidan White but it was central defender Lubomir Michalik, who had replaced midweek illness victim Andrew Hughes early in the second half, who went closest to grabbing the winner with a late header against the post.

Leeds United: Ankergren, Hughes (Michalik 52), Bromby, Kisnorbo, White (Johnson, 79); Snodgrass, Howson, Doyle, McSheffrey; Beckford, Becchio (Dickov, 79). Unused substitutes: Martin, Kilkenny, Kandol, Gradel.

Brentford: Szczesny, Phillips (Foster 85), Legge, Smith, Dickson; Wood, Diagouraga, O'Connor, Weston (Bean 80); Strevens (Cort 80). Unused substitutes: Price, Saunders, hunt, Ainsworth.

Referee: O Langford (W Midlands).

MATCH FOCUS

Hero: Robert Snodgrass

Although the Scot, operating from the right flank and pictured holding off Leon Legge, could and perhaps should have been the match-winner, his desire and commitment needs to be replicated throughout the team.

Villain: Ben Strevens

A villain for Leeds and an unwitting hero for the Bees as Leeds goalkeeper Casper Ankergren could only watch in horror as his save rebounded off the striker and into the net for the opening goal..

Key moment

78th minute: Beckford sends Snodgrass through but he delays shooting and Ryan Dickson gets back to challenge.

Ref watch

Oliver Langford: Snodgrass will be relieved that he only brandished a yellow for his early challenge on Dickson.

Verdict

Leeds are certainly faltering in their title challenge but they had Brentford on the rack for most of the game although their passing left a lot to be desired.

Next game

Tranmere Rovers v Leeds United, League One, tomorrow, 7.45pm.

Quote of the day

We have just let others back into it and have nobody to blame but ourselves. It's not falling for us the way it was early in the season.

– Leeds United's Robert Snodgrass.

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