Leeds United put a young and inexperienced Swindon side to the sword yesterday as they looked to put a disappointing week in the East Midlands behind them.
Last week, the Whites failed to record a win in their trips to both Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire and the negativity amongst supporters began to rear its ugly head. Nottinghamshire-based Mansfield Town proved too much for Leeds in a shock 2-0 win and Hockaday’s men had two penalty calls to thank in their 2-2 draw with last season’s League Two champions Chesterfield Town.
The next match on the list for Leeds, Swindon Town, looked to be another tough opponent for the Yorkshire side. However, for all their faults shown in the previous two friendlies Hockaday’s men were able to put the performance right on the night and ease some of the concerns ahead of the new season.
The match itself was far from a classic but the determination shown by the Leeds United team to get their foot on the ball and work as a unit must have been pleasing for Hockaday to see after the previous two matches, and it wasn’t long until the performance paid its rewards.
Bianchi, who was played in the number 10 role, instigated the move with a clever flick that found Doukara who played in Morison for an easy tap-in and put Leeds on their way to victory.
Swindon, not long after Leeds’ opener, found an equaliser through Michael Smith in the 31st minute, but a second-half Rudy Austin penalty earned Leeds United a deserved victory in the South West of England.
After the match, although credited as a good team performance, the emphasis was on Leeds’ star man in the game Tommaso Bianchi who showed a great range of passing and creativity and ultimately opened the door for Leeds United to win their first pre-season match against Football League opposition.
The post-match report in the Yorkshire Evening Post commented on the player's performance, writing: ‘Throughout the team, the cohesion and ability seemed unrecognisable. Bianchi’s passing was more Pirlo than Parlous.’
A statement verified by many Leeds United supporters singing the attack-minded midfielder’s praises after the game:
Sounds like Bianchi could be a baller for us this season! #LUFC— Ben McParland (@Ben_McParland) July 29, 2014
Its reassuring to hear Bianchi and Doukara have stood out tonight. #lufc.— Samuel L Jackson (@samjackson23) July 29, 2014
A few players look like they have nailed their place for millwall, Austin, Bianchi and Byram #lufc— Ryan Pinnick (@RyanPinnicklufc) July 29, 2014
Bianchi, who officially signed for Leeds on the 12th July, has a good reputation in Italy and will be keen to show off his ability in the Championship in 10-days time.
He, along with a few other of Cellino's signings, are earmarked as 'dark horses' for the upcoming Championship campaign and if he can keep that level of ability up against Championship opposition then he may well be Leeds United's talisman for next season.
What do you make of Bianchi?