Cup win can give Leeds United’s season a lift

Souleymane Doukara breaks forward for Leeds United at Brentford. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Souleymane Doukara breaks forward for Leeds United at Brentford. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

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A welcome distraction from the Championship slog arrives for Leeds United when they dip back into the Emirates FA Cup this Saturday.

An away tie at Bolton Wanderers is hardly the glamour tie the club and fans were after following the third round win over Rotherham, but it does offer a route into the last 16 of the competition, which Leeds have not reached since 2013.

In fact the Whites have only been in the fifth round once in the last 12 years so there is still plenty at stake at the Macron Stadium.

Upwards of 6,000 Leeds fans are expected to travel across the Pennines with the aim of roaring their side to a victory that could inject some much needed life into what has generally been another disappointing season.

If the side can get through the tie then play one of the big boys in a packed Elland Road stadium it would give everyone a lift.

But first they must overcome a Bolton side that has shown signs of improvement recently and will regard the FA Cup as a vital source of income as they battle crippling debts and try to avoid going into administration.

They too will be eyeing a fifth round tie with a Premiership giant so cannot be underestimated even if they currently sit at the bottom of the Championship with just three wins all season up to last weekend – and one of them coming on Saturday when they beat MK Dons 3-1.

Leeds eased any relegation nerves with a battling 1-1 draw at Brentford on Tuesday night and an unconvincing, but vital 1-0 win at home to Bristol City last Saturday that took them 12 points clear of their third from bottom opponents.

Souleymane Doukara scored the winner against Bristol and won plaudits for his display at Brentford as well as receiving the backing of head coach Steve Evans.

He said:“Doukara’s a boy who needs you to love him.

“If you tell someone they’re not very good every day then soon enough they’ll not be very good. I’m sure we’d all endorse that.

“I think he’s needed to feel a bit valued and to feel that if he worked hard a head coach would put him in; that he wouldn’t just be a last resort.

“We’ve got him on track and he’s doing well, but he has to improve and do better if he wants to be at Leeds United because our aims are to be much better than we are at present.

“He’s getting match fitter.

“This kid was discarded and told every day that he was rubbish. You don’t tell him that, because he’s not rubbish. People forget he’s a young man, who’s still learning the British game and he has a big part to play.”

While Evans is pleased with Doukara’s efforts he admitted new forwards were a priority before the current transfer window closes next week.

But any targets would be kept under wraps as was the case with Toumani Diagouraga, who arrived this week from Brentford.