At this rate Leeds might be glad to make the play-offs. Having lorded it over the entire division in the first half of the season, they have won three out of 14 League One games since the FA Cup triumph at Manchester United. Millwall, who they then led by 21 points, are now three behind in third place, goals by Steve Morison and Shaun Batt reflecting their superiority at Elland Road.
Morison, Kenny Jackett's £160,000 buy from Stevenage, struck his 17th of the season in the early stages to fire Millwall's hope of repeating last May's play-off victory over Simon Grayson's side. Batt, on loan from Peterborough, ensured their 10th win in 12 games with a stunning solo effort after appearing as a late substitute.
After Saturday's fixtures – Leeds visit champions-elect Norwich while Millwall entertain bottom-club Stockport – the teams could be level on points. Grayson insisted he remained "very confident" his players could "turn it around" but he betrayed his exasperation when he said: "Anybody who doesn't want to roll up their sleeves can disappear out of the club."
The Leeds manager's disappointment was compounded by the Achilles injury suffered in the opening minutes by Australian centre-back Patrick Kisnorbo. "It will keep him out for the rest of the season and the World Cup as well," Grayson added. "I'm gutted for the lad because his dream was to play in South Africa."
Jackett attributed Millwall's apparent hold over Leeds to their relish for the role of "underdogs". He said: "I'm not looking at what anyone else does. We just have to keep working."
No sooner had Kisnorbo departed than Millwall took the lead. Morison met Liam Trotter's low cross beyond the far post and Casper Ankergren could only fumble into the net. Leeds failed to force a save worth the name from David Forde. Batt, leaving two defenders trailing as he cut in from the left with 10 minutes remaining, beat Ankergren on his near post to seal Millwall's success.
Leeds United (4-4-2): Ankergren; Bromby, Naylor, Kisnorbo (White, 8), Hughes; Snodgrass, Howson, Doyle (Kilkenny, 63) Johnson (Gradel, 69); Becchio, Dickov. Substitutes not used: Higgs (gk), Crowe, Grella, McSheffrey.
Millwall (4-4-2): Forde; Dunne, Robinson, Ward, Craig; Hackett, Trotter, Abdou, Schofield; Harris (Batt, 74), Morison. Substitutes not used: Sullivan (gk), Frampton, Barron, Smith, Laird, Obika.
Referee: C Foy (Merseyside).Reuse content