It’s back to business tomorrow for Leeds United.
The trip to Southampton offers up a real opportunity for us to build on the win against Watford last time out, and open up some daylight between us and the bottom four.
Southampton haven’t won a game yet this season in the Premier League, and their four points so far have come from draws.
There seems to be some suggestions that Ralph Hasenhuttl may be coming under a bit of pressure down there which offers us the chance to play on that and the frustrations of the home crowd.
You talk about good games to come back to and this is definitely one of them. We also have Wolves and Norwich on the horizon so it’s potentially a period where we can get some points in the bank before a tough run of games at the back end of the year.
Kalvin Phillips’ availability is obviously the big concern and if he doesn’t make it, it will be interesting to see who drops into that role. It’s an area we have really struggled in without Kalvin and whoever comes in has a big task.
Pascal Stuijk is one of those who has stepped up in the past but for me he’s better served at centre-half alongside Diego Llorente and Liam Cooper tomorrow. I’ve not been a huge fan of Mateusz Klich in there either – Jamie Shackleton is another possibility – but however you look at it, the options are limited if Kalvin isn’t fit.
Raphinha is another with a question mark over him. It was great to see him play for Brazil, but given the travelling involved and the timescales, I think it would be a surprise to see him play tomorrow. If he does start, there’s no way he will play the full 90 minutes. Marcelo might gamble, stick him in, and see how he goes. Or bring him off the bench to try and change the game. There’s Dan James and Jack Harrison on the flanks, but we all know that Raphinha is the one player who can conjure something out of nothing.
We’re also still without Patrick Bamford. I think Rodrigo has done well filling in for Pat, but he isn’t a goalscorer like him, and when you go to places like this, it’s sometimes all about having that player who can nick you a goal if things are tight.
Either way, I think we should have enough in our locker to get something down there and start to move away from that group of teams and into the group above.