Long-distance Lewis hints at Leeds' long-term revival

Leeds United 2 Wolverhampton Wand 0
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The Independent Football

Hard as Kevin Blackwell's side worked for this second win, though, it was not one to suggest they are the finished article yet.

"A win against a good side like Wolves will always give players confidence and we're now fifth after being something like fifth from bottom this time last year," said the Leeds manager.

On another day, Wolves would have been leading at the interval despite the shock of falling behind in only the eighth minute and so much did they dominate the first half that Leeds were forced to play on the break. But goals early in either half did the trick and hinted at gradual recovery for a club apparently in their death throes last winter.

No one on either side travelled further after international duty in midweek than the Californian, Eddie Lewis. Yet the winger, one of many close-season arrivals at Elland Road, showed no adverse effects to his trip to play for the United States in Connecticut as he burst into the area to finish emphatically from 12 yards after Frazer Richardson's awareness had punished Lee Naylor's mistake.

Kenny Miller, who scored his first goal of 2005-06 for Scotland in Austria, carried Wolves' main threat and smacked a shot against Ian Bennett's bar. Colin Cameron, Carl Cort and Rohan Ricketts might have done better with their half-chances, and those misses became more costly in the 60th minute.

Rob Hulse, included in Leeds' attack only a few days after returning to training following an ankle injury, controlled on his chest from Gylfi Einarsson's header off a Paul Butler free-kick and turned to shoot left-footed past Michael Oakes.

It was the striker's seventh goal in 14 appearances for the club - good reason for the ovation he received when taken off with 16 minutes left.

Leeds grew stronger with the comfort of a cushion and finished in control, even if the attendance was another worrying sign of uncharacteristic indifference among the West Yorkshire public.

As for Wolves, the lack of a counter-attack in the final half-hour meant a tame end to a club record run of 21 League games without defeat. Glenn Hoddle signed the Aston Villa goalkeeper Stefan Postma on loan this week and has also approached Birmingham about Darren Anderton. This fade-out suggested his recruiting might not be over.

"The injuries we're getting are a worry but at least the [transfer] window is still open if we need to go out and buy," said Hoddle.

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