(Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)
Given the last seven abysmal weeks during which Leeds United fans have endured due to the clubs form since Neil Warnock arrived, it is little wonder that the novelty of his appointment is waning.
It's long been said that he won't make a proper impact until he has put together his own squad with a whole pre-season under their belts and his time at the club has highlighted just how much these players massively overachieved under Simon Grayson.
The defeat against Derby at Elland Road was the tenth at home this season and Warnock has yet to officially win on home turf and while the win over Doncaster Rovers was in large part down to Warnock, it was officially Neil Redfearn's victory.
As Warnock said in his usual post-match 'this is how it is' talk, he asked the fans to grin and bear the rest of the season. Gee thanks Neil, here was me thinking I'd be able to escape the fact that the club is taking two backwards steps for every one it takes forward.
Losing to Derby was no great surprise; given our form and the fact that the players seem to have great difficulty picking up results at home this season, when Michael Brown picked up the clubs third red card in as many games, the battle had been lost, again. With all due respect to Michael Brown, after the incident(s) at Reading on Good Friday, giving the referee an excuse to brandish a red card is moronic at best. Even Warnock and his ref-bashing ways were strangely silent as he no complaints about the studs-up challenge.
Warnock's continued public comments about the season being over and constant references to the fact that most of the current players will be out the door in summer is, on the one hand, a breath of fresh air, or honesty but there is little doubt that since he took over, confidence has hit rock bottom.
The improvement in temperament, desire and passion which the squad were bursting with after the Doncaster and Southampton games has dissipated beyond all recognition.
Warnock continues to be scathing towards his players every week, instead of challenging the players to prove Grayson, Ken Bates and Shaun Harvey wrong by showing their worth, they've given up and are resigned to their fate. Don't get me wrong, it is a two way street but the players do seem to be giving their all in most of the matches they've played under Warnock.
Which begs the question, why isn't Warnock experimenting further with the (few) tools at his disposal? For instance, Andy Lonergran continues to prove he is not the confident, quality keeper to bolster the back line, so why not give, say Alex Cairns a go?
Why continue with a slightly psychotic, ageing loanee full back in Paul Robinson and play one of the kids, like Charlie Taylor? Why persist with the ever useless Danny Pugh instead of giving The Robbie Rogers a chance? He's much easier on the eye as well.
Why not throw caution to the wind and go for it? Clearly he has made up his mind about most the first team, but come on Neil, play around a bit! Even with Billy! Ok I went too far.
That said, how capable is Warnock of that? Under Grayson, we played some proper football, with flowing passing moves interspersed with flashes of great talent; now the same players are forced into hoofball tactics which would be great, if any of the back five were capable of hitting a target man and Ross McCormack and Luciano Becchio were allowed to play within 20meters of each other.
The fact is while Mr.Warnock doesn't really give a toss about the last four matches, there are thousands of loyal fans who are paying money to go to these matches to support the team. It's not even fun any more, especially at Elland Road, it's more of a chore. At least with away games, new grounds have limited novelty and the added pre-match booze which take the edge of the result but we deserve more than what we're getting Neil, from you and the players.
Expectations about promotion next year are still extremely high despite the train wreck that has been this season and Warnock has it all to do. He alluded to his average after the game today and how it's taking a bit of a pummelling, so instead of wishing the season away, why not try and boost it? And your ego while you're there.
It doesn't matter what shite the team churns out every week, don't worry Neil, we'll be there, bearing it. Wouldn't count on the 'grinning' though.