This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Rewind’ series, this content strand is where we rewind back to a particular moment at a club, assess the initial reaction from the fans, and then proceed to evaluate and reflect on whether fans were right to react in that way….
Leeds United travel to Loftus Road to face QPR tomorrow lunchtime hoping to win for just the second time since the 14th of December.
Marcelo Bielsa’s men have picked up just six points in their last six games but have remained within touching distance of the top of the Championship and could leapfrog West Bromwich Albion if they better the Baggies’ result.
They face a QPR side that have been free-scoring this season but have looked helpless defensively at times. Mark Warburton’s men have scored the second-most goals in the division but conceded the most–making them an interesting proposition for the traveling Whites.
Leeds have struggled in the nation’s capital in recent years and are without a victory in London since a 3-1 victory at Loftus Road in 2017.
The Whites winless run in the ‘Big Smoke’ has now extended to nine games, including a 1-0 loss at the hands of the R’s last season.
Bielsa’s men arrived at Loftus Road in February 2019 having recently dropped out of the automatic promotion places.
The Whites had picked up back-to-back victories over Swansea City and Bolton Wanderers and the prospect of a struggling QPR side on a run of seven straight league defeats will likely have been recognised as the perfect game to pile pressure on the top two.
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It was not to be, however, as Luke Freeman grabbed the decisive goal just after half time.
Leeds had chances of their own through Tyler Roberts, Patrick Bamford, and Stuart Dallas, but Joe Lumley was equal to all of those and ensure that the three points remained in West London.
Even Bielsa appeared to acknowledge how much of a body-blow the defeat was to Leeds’ chances of automatic promotion as his post-match reaction appeared to show, with many fans of the club quick to rally around him…
This is why Leeds fans love Marcelo Bielsa. It's not just a job to him. He is hurt when Leeds lose.
— Stephen Lewis (@vegansmithsfan) February 26, 2019
Every Leeds fan is behind the man whatever happens. We re group and go again Friday 👊🏻
— Louis Reynolds (@LouisReynolds_1) February 26, 2019
— Ciara 💙💛 (@CiaraWarrington) February 26, 2019
I hope all the Leeds players see this photo. Not saying they don’t have passion but they have to see how much this man puts his heart and soul into his job. How much it hurts him to not get the result.
— Helen Adams (@HelenAdams85) February 26, 2019
Hurts Bielsa as much as it does the fans. It’s the players who seemed to not care tonight
— Chris 💙💛 (@eatonc01) February 26, 2019
A picture paints a thousand words. That one there, bless him. Know how he feels every time we lose. Chin up Marcelo, we go again, Friday.
— Praying to the Aliens💙💛 (@HelenWh77714086) February 27, 2019
— stephen.fletcher (@stephen90156181) February 26, 2019
Chin up – We must go again – Keep fighting
— Bobby Joyce (@bjlufc) February 26, 2019
In the end, the QPR defeat would prove one of many key blows toward the end of the 2018/19 campaign as Leeds fell frustratingly short of promotion to the Premier League.
This weekend offers Leeds a chance to put an end to their dreadful recent record in the capital and the chance to take one more step toward ending their 16-year absence from the Premier League.
All eyes will be firmly set on Loftus Road, as the Whites look to show that this time around they have what it takes to get the job done.