Three Premier League points! It’s a long time since we’ve been able to say that. Sixteen years in fact. But we’re able to say it again it now after the 4-3 win against Fulham yesterday.
It’s refreshing to get a win on the board so early and the players will be able to relax a little bit because there’s always that fear that you want those first three points in the bag sooner rather than later. You could sense there was a bit of anxiety, but it has been a really positive start to life in the Premier League, especially when you consider we were unlucky not to get a result against Liverpool last weekend.
Just like Liverpool, it was a brilliant game again. Helder Costa was my man of the match. He takes up clever positions and scored a couple of goals. He did exactly what we want from him. I think we’ve seen it in flashes last season, and consistency is massive, but he was terrific yesterday and that was good to see.
Patrick Bamford deserves a hell of a lot of credit as well. People were wondering if he could do it at this level but he’s scored two in two, is working the line very well, played a huge role in Costa’s second goal with a great pull-back, and he’s leading by example. I know it’s a tough role what Bamford has but if he can do that and score goals it will be outstanding. I thought Patrick spoke well after the game and with authority, and he’s made a real early impression on the Premier League for me. I watched Rodrigo again and he needs to learn from Patrick and see what he’s doing for the team, and prove that he can do that. I thought we improved massively when Tyler Roberts replaced Rodrigo at half-time, and for me, he’s got a lot of work ahead of him has Rodrigo.
The big talking point for me was the penalty because I don’t believe that would have been awarded in the Championship. I don’t think there was any kind of contact from Koch on Bryan, but the Premier League is a very different beast to the Championship with VAR and what you’d get away with last season, you won’t this. Don’t stick out your arm or your leg, stay on your feet…you’ve got to be uber-disciplined in this league otherwise decisions like that will go against you.
At 4-1 we should have put the game to bed, but we didn’t. Better teams will punish us in patches like that and we need to be proactive. We’ve conceded seven in two games and will need to tighten up, and not be as open. I actually thought Fulham controlled parts of the game, but with the quality Leeds have…we will score goals, but we have to keep them out.
There’s still a lot of work to be done and under Bielsa we know it will be done. I know it’s entertaining, but we can’t win 4-3 every week, we need a clean sheet in there. I know I would say that being an ex-defender though. In the meantime, let’s enjoy that first win and look forward to next weekend’s Yorkshire derby at Bramall Lane.