Ian Hart: Leeds will be another mouth-watering Amex encounter

A mouth-watering Friday night Amex encounter sees the mighty Leeds United take on the Albion in effectively another promotion six-pointer.

Friday, 9th December 2016, 7:15 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 2:06 pm
Albion winger Kazenga LuaLua. Picture by Angela Brinkhurst

It’s fair to say that with all the off-the- field politics at Elland Road, to get Leeds to fourth place in the Championship Gary Monk has done a tremendous job.

Some might say they are punching above their weight but that’s probably a little disrespectful as there’s no doubt they are potentially one of the biggest clubs in the division.

Friday night is certainly not a foregone conclusion for the Albion. They missed the chance to go top on Saturday by failing to win at Cardiff, although having watched the disallowed Glenn Murray goal a number of times, I think we can probably think ourselves a little hard done by.

But as many a pundit has said, these things even themselves out over the course of the season, although having witnessed various Albion trials and tribulations over the years, I’m not sure that’s strictly true.

Another packed house at the Amex will hopefully see an Albion win and put the Seagulls top of the pile, for at least 24 hours.

Without wishing to get totally ahead of ourselves, it’s the upcoming opening of the transfer window that has a number of Albion fans talking.

First and foremost, departures from the Amex throughout January will only be confined to the fringe players, cliché or not, we really will know Tony Bloom’s intentions for the Albion when the window closes.

Just who Chris Hughton adds to the roster remains to be seen, another striker would be on a lot of fans’ wish lists, while the future of Kazenga LuaLua is another hugely debated issue among supporters.

For me, he has been a huge disappointment.

There’s no doubting his ability, however, he clearly is a player who excites but also infuriates – a case in point as he got a needless sending-off in the Checkatrade Trophy at AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday night.

Albion history tells us players can turn it round, Johnny Crumplin and Robert Codnor cases in point, but the clock is ticking for LuaLua, so the next few weeks will tell us whether he can still cut it in a blue and white shirt.

With Albion playing on Friday, it gives local football fans the opportunity to take in a double-header with a first round FA Trophy away day for Worthing at Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday.

It wasn’t long ago that Gus Poyet’s Albion were taking the Daggers on in League One action, and while the Essex club’s fortunes have taken a bit of downturn, it’s again testament to the fact of how far Worthing have come in a very short time.

It is an intriguing tie in which I know the young, exciting Worthing side will give a good account of themselves. And, who knows, perhaps there’s the prospect of a replay on Tuesday in front of a large crowd at Woodside Road?

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