Sunday, April 30, 2006

BLACKWELL PLAYS DOWN DEFEAT'S IMPACT
By Graham Chase, PA Sport
Sporting Life

Leeds boss Kevin Blackwell insisted the 2-0 defeat by Preston has no bearing on his team's meeting with them in the Championship play-offs.
Goals from Brian Stock and Brett Ormerod either side of half-time at Deepdale ensured the home side finish in fourth and Leeds, who have won once in 10, settle for fifth.
The sides will meet again in the first leg of the play-off semi-finals at Elland Road on Friday before the return game at Deepdale on Monday week.
Blackwell said: "I put a team out to be competitive and it was so I'm pleased with what I got out of it.
"There were a lot of changes but it was for a purpose. It's about just playing the (semi-final) game. The occasion will have to be dealt with in a separate way.
"With eight changes, I don't think Billy (Davies) or I will read too much into the result."
Blackwell admits he is relieved to have the season out of the way to prepare specifically for the play-offs and added: "Now knowing who we've got, all four teams can now focus on the game.
"Training becomes a lot more specific so I'm pleased it's out of the way."
Leeds' wall should take a share of the blame for the opening goal, with Stock finding it easy to curl a shot inside the right post just before half-time to register his first goal since joining from Bournemouth in January.
The game seemed to be ebbing away until Ormerod bundled over the line with 14 minutes left after his header was pushed onto the bar by goalkeeper Neil Sullivan, while Preston boss Billy Davies also took the chance to give David Nugent a brief run-out following a broken metatarsal in March.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

JUST PLAY!
By PAUL DEWS
Yorkshire Evening Post
FORGET the maths! That will be Leeds United boss Kevin Blackwell's message to his players when they bring the curtain down on their league campaign at Preston tomorrow.
United head for Deepdale knowing a draw or a win will assure them a fourth place finish in the Championship and almost certainly guarantee a play-off semi-final showdown against the same opponents.But Watford and Crystal Palace are also in the play-off mix and tomorrow's results will finally decide who plays who, and when.
Leeds boss Blackwell said: "The odds are that we'll play Preston again, but there are so many different permutations.
"If we win and Watford lose we could finish third. If we win and Palace win, they could finish fifth, and if we lose and Palace win we could finish fifth or even sixth.
"As it stands we could play any one of the three sides in there, and finish anywhere in the top six. But whatever happens, happens – we can't affect what happens elsewhere. We'll probably keep an eye on the other scores and see how things pan out, but all we can really do is look after ourselves."
Because of the fluid nature of the play-off picture and the likelihood that Leeds will play Preston again over two legs, Blackwell is loathe to give too much away tomorrow at Deepdale.
"I think both of us will be looking to keep our powder dry," said Blackwell. "I want to see a solid performance and see us come through unscathed. It is strange because the odds would say that we're likely to play the same team again twice in the space of four days next week. It's incredible that you go through a full season and this is how it ends up – with three games in just over a week. It's a freak."

Saturday, April 22, 2006

BLACKWELL PRAISE FOR STONE
By Ross Heppenstall, PA Sport
Sporting Life
Leeds boss Kevin Blackwell paid tribute to Steve Stone for bouncing back from a career-threatening injury to make his long-awaited debut in the 1-0 win over Crewe.
David Healy's 74th-minute header secured Leeds their first win in nine games at the expense of Dario Gradi's relegated side.
But the real boost for Blackwell ahead of their crucial forthcoming Coca-Cola Championship play-off encounters was the second-half appearance of former England winger Stone.
The 34-year-old arrived at Elland Road on a free transfer from Portsmouth last summer but sustained an Achilles injury during his first training session.
The injury took far longer to heal than Stone could have possibly expected but he is now edging towards full fitness.
And having entered the fray shortly after the hour mark, as a replacement for Liam Miller, Blackwell hailed Stone's a painstaking road to recovery.
Blackwell said: "He came on and straight away he showed the quality he's got. Stoney is nowhere near as fit as he needs to be but he's intelligent and he gets round the pitch so well.
"It's a good time for him to be showing us he can perform with the play-offs coming up.
"Stoney has worked his socks off in the gym and comes in every morning to the gym at nine o'clock in the morning and stays until six to seven o'clock at night.
"The biggest factor about Stoney is his professionalism and desire to get fit because it has been a career-threatening injury - and many people would have called it quits after the career he's had.
"But his desire is so infectious that his introduction did give the lads a lift."
Leeds made hard work of overcoming a dogged Crewe outfit and their profligacy again threatened to cost them dear.
But the breakthrough arrived with 16 minutes remaining when Northern Ireland striker Healy nodded home Gary Kelly's right-wing cross.
A ninth straight game without victory beckoned for Blackwell's men but they deserved the points which ensured they sit fourth ahead of next Sunday's clash at fifth-placed Preston.
Blackwell said: "You do sometimes wonder where the next win is going to come from but today we deserved it.
"It didn't seem as though the ball was going to drop but David Healy has popped up with an opportunist goal.
"We've been third or fourth since October 7, so I want the lads to finish as high as they can.
"If it goes to extra-time or penalties in the second leg of the play-off semi-final, then I'd much rather do that on our own ground than someone else's."

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Sheffield United 1 Leeds United 1: Warnock sent off as Blackwell spat resumes
By Dan Murphy
Published: 19 April 2006
Independent

It was billed for months as the game that would finally decide which of these Yorkshire rivals would be automatically promoted to the Premiership. When last night's derby finally arrived there was nothing left for either side to play for - but that did stop not Neil Warnock, the Sheffield United manager, from rather ruining his own promotion party by being sent to the stands by the referee, Graham Poll, after an argument with his former assistant and opposite number Kevin Blackwell. Shaking off the grasp of a policeman, he eventually stormed down the tunnel and only re-emerged for a lap of honour with his team to celebrate the sixth promotion of his career.
Warnock, 57, who has previously complained about inexperienced referees taking charge of important Championship matches this season, was incensed by a Gary Kelly challenge that sparked more animosity between him and Blackwell. The two have barely exchanged a civil word since the latter left Sheffield to take up a coaching position at Leeds.
"I really didn't think what I said warranted me being sent off," Warnock said. "I just made a comment about one of the Leeds players to Kevin but the fourth official, Mr Robinson, seems to have a vendetta against me. I don't blame the referee at all. It's disappointing because it overshadows a fantastic atmosphere and a really exciting evening."
Sheffield United had taken the lead early on when David Unsworth's corner flicked off Bakke's head at the near post, wrong-footing Neil Sullivan.
The Leeds equaliser arrived after Healy was allowed to move unchallenged to the edge of the area, from where he curled a left-foot shot into the far corner.
Both sides had strong penalty appeals declined by Poll, who will presumably be delighted to get back to the Premiership after managing to incur the wrath of both sets of supporters.
"There was some passion in it, that's for sure," Blackwell said. "There was no way we were going to let Sheffield make a showboat game out of it and we haven't lost in four games against the top two now this season."
Sheffield United (4-3-3): Kenny; Geary, Lucketti, Short, Unsworth; Montgomery (Armstrong, 51), Jagielka, Tonge; Kabba (Dyer, 82), Akinbiyi, Webber (Ifill, 79). Substitutes not used: Morgan, Shipperley.
Leeds United (4-4-2): Sullivan; Kelly, Butler, Kilgallon, Crainey; Douglas, Bakke (Pugh, 79), Derry, Miller; Hulse, Healy (Moore, 79). Substitutes not used: Bennett (gk), Beckford, Graham.
Referee: G Poll (Hertfordshire).
It was billed for months as the game that would finally decide which of these Yorkshire rivals would be automatically promoted to the Premiership. When last night's derby finally arrived there was nothing left for either side to play for - but that did stop not Neil Warnock, the Sheffield United manager, from rather ruining his own promotion party by being sent to the stands by the referee, Graham Poll, after an argument with his former assistant and opposite number Kevin Blackwell. Shaking off the grasp of a policeman, he eventually stormed down the tunnel and only re-emerged for a lap of honour with his team to celebrate the sixth promotion of his career.
Warnock, 57, who has previously complained about inexperienced referees taking charge of important Championship matches this season, was incensed by a Gary Kelly challenge that sparked more animosity between him and Blackwell. The two have barely exchanged a civil word since the latter left Sheffield to take up a coaching position at Leeds.
"I really didn't think what I said warranted me being sent off," Warnock said. "I just made a comment about one of the Leeds players to Kevin but the fourth official, Mr Robinson, seems to have a vendetta against me. I don't blame the referee at all. It's disappointing because it overshadows a fantastic atmosphere and a really exciting evening."
Sheffield United had taken the lead early on when David Unsworth's corner flicked off Bakke's head at the near post, wrong-footing Neil Sullivan.
The Leeds equaliser arrived after Healy was allowed to move unchallenged to the edge of the area, from where he curled a left-foot shot into the far corner.
Both sides had strong penalty appeals declined by Poll, who will presumably be delighted to get back to the Premiership after managing to incur the wrath of both sets of supporters.
"There was some passion in it, that's for sure," Blackwell said. "There was no way we were going to let Sheffield make a showboat game out of it and we haven't lost in four games against the top two now this season."

Monday, April 17, 2006

WE'RE UNITED AGAIN
Boss Blackwell hails his troops
Yorkshire Evening Post
By PAUL DEWS
LEEDS UNITED boss Kevin Blackwell hailed a great "team effort" on and off the field after his side took a massive stride towards the end-of-the-season play-offs.
Blackwell's troops were only denied victory against champions Reading at Elland Road on Saturday by a controversial late equaliser – but the United fans responded to the manager's calls for unity and he was delighted with the togetherness on display.
"I was pleased and proud of the players on Saturday," said Blackwell. "And I was thankful to the fans for their support. It makes such a difference when we are all together like that. It really does. It's a massive difference from this time last week. We may not have won, but we didn't lose and look a hard side to beat. Reading are the best side in this league by a country mile and they played their strongest team because they felt it would be a good test for next season. If it wasn't for the linesman we would have fared better result-wise, but I said thank you to the lads afterwards. We're back."
Rob Hulse ended United's near seven-hour goal drought when he fired Leeds ahead against the champions – but Stephen Hunt grabbed a fortuitous leveller to secure the visitors a 1-1 draw.
The final result was enough to secure Sheffield United's promotion to the Premiership and ensure Leeds' only route out of the Championship is via the play-offs – the Blades entertain United tomorrow night now knowing they cannot be caught – but Blackwell was quick to hail the confidence- boosting performance against Reading.
"We showed people on Saturday that we are back," insisted the Leeds boss. "We've had ups and downs. We haven't got carried away by the ups and we haven't got carried away by the downs. We are starting to get in good shape and that was everybody back together again. We were four minutes away from a fabulous result, but I'd like to thank everyone for what they did on Saturday. The only disappointment was their goal. It was an injury to a bit of pride. Reading striker Dave Kitson was stood in an offside position when the cross was delivered for the late equaliser, but referee Mark Halsey said he wasn't interfering with play, despite the fact he got the penultimate touch on the ball, inside the six-yard box.
"The linesman let us down," said Blackwell. "I felt there was an offside in there – I don't know how he's not interfering with play when he is the eyeline of my goalkeeper and my centre-back, but there you go. I'm not going to complain because we played against the runaway champions, we matched them in every department, and had them hanging on."
One surprise on Saturday was the return of Eirik Bakke – the Norwegian made his fourth start of the season after the late withdrawal of Robbie Blake (flu). Blackwell was critical of Bakke after his last outing – away at Leicester in February – but the Leeds boss has thrown the gauntlet down to his Norwegian international to spearhead United's bid for play-off glory.
"I've asked questions of Eirik," said Blackwell. "I want things from him that are right and he showed that on Saturday."He's box-to-box, he got tackles in, he defended, he looked good on the ball and I was delighted with him. If he keeps playing like that he'll make it difficult for others. I want to see good energy and putting people under pressure, and forcing errors. I've thrown the gauntlet down to Eirik. I told him why he wasn't in, but he can be a threat and on Saturday he was back. Eirik is a top-class player capable of top-class performances – that's what I want from him."

Sunday, April 16, 2006

BLACKWELL CONGRATULATES BLADES
By Ross Heppenstall, PA Sport
Sporting Life
Kevin Blackwell paid tribute to Sheffield United after Leeds' 1-1 draw with Reading confirmed the Bramall Lane club's return to the Barclays Premiership.
Leeds were required to win against the Coca-Cola Championship title winners to keep alive their faint hopes of pipping the Blades to a second-placed finish.
But a solitary point ensured Neil Warnock's men cannot now be caught in the race for automatic promotion. The draw, which saw Reading substitute Stephen Hunt cancel out Rob Hulse's 46th-minute opener, left Leeds fans bitterly disappointed but sparked wild celebrations down the M1 in Sheffield.
The Blades, who have been perched in second spot for the vast majority of the season, return to the top-flight after a 12-year exile.
And Blackwell, whose side play United at Bramall Lane on Tuesday, said: "I just want to congratulate Sheffield United on a fantastic achievement.
"Neil and the boys deserve all the credit. To get promoted over the course of the season is no mean achievement but we've pushed them all the way.
"Many of you thought that it was a two-horse race at Christmas but we pulled them in and really worked hard to try to rein them in.
"With the lead they had it should have probably been all over a couple of months ago but we made sure it was a wide-open race.
"But now that they're up, I just want to congratulate them and I'll have a drink with Neil when we go down there on Tuesday."
Leeds will travel to their Yorkshire rivals having failed to win in seven matches, but Blackwell took encouragement from his side's performance against the champions.
The Elland Road manager had not seen his side score for 408 minutes until Hulse's predatory strike shortly after the restart, but Hunt's late bundled equaliser extended Leeds' winless run.
Blackwell, who revealed a mystery virus is sweeping through his squad, added: "We're in a situation where we need to get some form going into the play-offs, especially getting a goal after so long without one.
"And the players showed today they can compete with the best of them and we now have to try to join Reading and Sheffield United in the Premiership."
Blackwell also received strong vocal backing from the Elland Road crowd after this week admitting he considered quitting in the wake of receiving hate mail from fans following the side's loss of form.
The abuse from a minority of supporters has, according to reports, included threats of physical violence and the 47-year-old fears for the safety of his family.
But fans soon began to chant Blackwell's name when the match kicked off.
The Leeds boss said: "It's unfortunate what happened last week. Many of the fans demand Premier League football but we can't let frustration get in our way.
"A little bit of frustration blew over last week but I thought the fans were fantastic today."We sit here with three play-off games to get us into the Premiership and we'll start preparing now."

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Hunt has Leeds bound for play-offs
Sheffield United's promotion to the Premiership was confirmed after Leeds were held 1-1 by Championship champions Reading at Elland Road.
Kevin Blackwell's side were required to secure maximum points against the champions to keep alive their faint hopes of pipping the Blades to a second-placed finish.
But a solitary point ensured Neil Warnock's men cannot now be caught in the race for automatic promotion.
The draw, which saw Reading substitute Stephen Hunt cancel out Rob Hulse's 46th- minute opener, left Leeds fans bitterly disappointed but sparked wild celebrations 34 miles down the M1 in Sheffield.
Warnock's men, who have been perched in second spot for the vast majority of the season, are worthy winners of a return to the top-flight after a 12-year exile.
They suffered a wobble in recent weeks but Leeds failed to capitalise and ultimately it was the Blades who held their nerve to complete a momentous promotion.
Leeds travel to Sheffield to face the Blades on Tuesday night and Sheffield-born Blades boss Warnock could not have scripted the promotion party any better himself.
Leeds boss Blackwell had not seen his side score for 408 minutes until Hulse's predatory strike shortly after the restart - but Hunt bundled home a late equaliser to leave Leeds winless in seven matches.
Blackwell admitted this week he considered quitting Elland Road after receiving hate mail from fans following the side's loss of form in the race for automatic promotion.
The abuse from a minority of supporters has, according to reports, included threats of physical violence and the 47-year-old fears for the safety of his family, but fans soon began to chant his name.
And on the pitch, Blackwell's men players began reasonably well against the champions.
Midfielder Shaun Derry found space to shoot low from around 12 yards after six minutes but his effort lacked power and Royals goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann saved comfortably.
David Healy then fired over with an ambitious long-range effort before Reading began to gain a foothold on proceedings.
A defensive mix-up from Leeds allowed Royals winger Bobby Convey to burst into the 18-yard box and fire narrowly wide after 19 minutes.
Hulse led the line superbly and midway through the opening period he provided a neat lay-off to Jonathan Douglas on the edge of the box.
The on-loan Blackburn midfielder struck the ball low and hard but again Hahnemann had no difficulty dealing with the effort.
But the hosts should have opened the scoring on the half-hour mark when Hulse connected with Stephen Crainey's left-wing cross only to send a glancing header wide.
The miss epitomised Leeds' profligacy in front of goal but their drought finally ended two minutes after the restart.
The industrious Derry found space down the left flank and produced a low cross which Hulse tucked away at the near post for his 13th goal of the season. The goal completely lifted the crowd but Reading continued to threaten and were rewarded with five minutes remaining when Hunt bundled home Ivar Ingimarsson's header from Brynjar Gunnarsson's cross.

Friday, April 14, 2006

LEEDS CONDEMN BLACKWELL THREATS
By Mark Walker, PA Sport
Sporting Life

Leeds have jumped to the defence of Kevin Blackwell and condemned those responsible for sending the under-fire manager threatening mail.
Blackwell has seen his side's automatic promotion challenge fade in recent weeks on the back of just one win in seven matches, while they have failed to score in their last four.
Leeds were held to a goalless draw by Plymouth at Elland Road last week, but despite qualifying for the play-offs with four games still to play were booed off the field and Blackwell received disturbing mail this week.
The club statement read: "Following the statement made by Kevin Blackwell regarding a threatening letter sent to him, the club believes that this will only serve to strengthen the resolve of everyone to unite behind the club as we enter the final, but most important part of the season.
"Leeds United are delighted at the rapid progress the club have made under the management of Kevin Blackwell.
"To have qualified for the play-offs with four matches still remaining is the envy of the majority of clubs in the Championship.
"Results over the last six games have been disappointing for all concerned, especially the players and management staff.
"However, we are fourth in the table looking up, not fourth from bottom looking down.
"There is, however, no excuse or cause for the sending of threatening letters to the manager or any employee of the club.
"As a club we take a very serious view of this and condemn the action. Those who issue such threats are not true supporters of Leeds United and we disown them."
Former Sheffield United coach Blackwell, poached by Peter Reid to become his number two at Leeds in 2003, took charge at Elland Road following the sacking of Eddie Gray in May 2004 when the club were relegated from the Premiership.
Blackwell has overseen huge changes as Leeds - saddled with debts of over £100million - looked destined for years in the wilderness.
But following the arrival of chairman Ken Bates, the pair have rapidly reversed the club's fortunes on a realistic budget both on and off the pitch with promotion back to the top flight still possible.

Monday, April 10, 2006

First Objective Met
leedsunited.com

Kevin Blackwell paid tribute to his players after they secured a place in the play-offs with a point against Plymouth.
Although the result was disappointing, a second successive 0-0 draw at home, Blackwell was keen to point out the positives from the game and put it into context of the season as a whole.
Leeds have been challenging for promotion since the first few months of the campaign and whilst the grand prize of promotion has yet to be earned, he believes his side deserves to be recognised for their achievements.
He said: "I would like to congratulate the players after a hard season for achieving one of the targets we set out to do and that was to get the minimum of a play-off place.
"I have to take my hat off to them for the hard work they have done to achieve that.
"It's great to look at the league table and see Leeds right up the top there, I think everybody should be proud of that and let's all stick together. I know things are currently frustrating for fans and players alike, but let's shout them home and make sure Elland Road is a fortress because we need everybody behind us.
"The players that have fought to get us here have done us proud but things are not dropping for them at this moment."
Having now gone four games without a goal, Blackwell admits his side are struggling to put away their chances but cannot complain about their work-rate, attitude or desire.
He's hoping that his strikers' luck will turn - Rob Hulse, David Healy, Robbie Blake and Jermaine Beckford all came close - and hopefully in time to fire Leeds back into the Premiership.
"At the moment it's not just dropping for us, Rob's taken maybe another half second to make sure he's going to finish it and the lad gets a foot in, Robbie Blake's made the keeper make two great and David Healy's missed out by the width of the post, so please God we are saving the goals up for when it matters in the play-offs.
"They've given everything and you can tell the frustration they have because they are desperate to do well for all the fans, and you can understand the frustration the fans are showing but one thing about the players is that to be guaranteed a place in the play-offs with four games to go is an achievement in itself.
"I am frustrated about certain things but you have to remember how far we have come this season. When I see crowds cheer people off after losing 4-0 against Arsenal, I think these lads deserve applause when they come off even though it was 0-0.
"In the first three minutes they wasted time, and if that's how they want to play that's fine, it's up to us to break them down but it just didn't quite happen. All the little things are not happening. It's all if's and but's and we have to turn that round.
"I am proud of the players and I hope the fans are."

Sunday, April 09, 2006

New broom sweeps clean
- new pages uploaded at mightyleeds.co.uk

I've just uploaded a MAJOR UPDATE to the review of the 1908-09 season.

Leeds City make a great start under new manager Frank Scott-Walford, hammering Cup holders Wolves and Second Division leaders Birmingham, before FA Cup excitement and another disappointing end in the League

Read the full story at http://www.mightyleeds.co.uk/seasons/190809.htm

Saturday, April 08, 2006

BLACKWELL WON'T THROW IN THE TOWEL
By Ross Heppenstall, PA Sport

Sporting Life


Leeds boss Kevin Blackwell refused to accept his side's automatic promotion hopes are over after they slumped to a goalless draw against Plymouth at Elland Road.
Second-placed Sheffield United beat Hull 3-2 at Bramall Lane to move nine points above misfiring Leeds with only four games remaining.
Leeds secured a play-off spot but this was the fourth game running without a goal for Blackwell's men and extends their winless streak to six matches.
However, Blackwell defiantly declared: "I can't give up on second because it's still possible and there are four games left - we still have a chance of automatic promotion.
"The lads worked their socks off today and I want to praise them because they've assured themselves of a play-off place with four games to go.
"It's a great achievement for Leeds to be third at this stage of the season - and the lads got booed off - but I can understand the fans' frustrations."
Despite having fielded an adventurous three-pronged attack of Rob Hulse, Robbie Blake and David Healy, Leeds again failed to sparkle.
The closest they came to scoring was Healy's 36th-minute shot which crashed against the post, but they largely struggled to penetrate a resolute Plymouth rearguard.
But Blackwell insisted: "We dominated Plymouth from start to finish, and they tried to waste time from the first minute to the last.
"We have created a lot more today than we have in recent games, and David Healy has been unfortunate after hitting the post and then seeing the ball come out.
"Even at the end their keeper made a great save and Rob Hulse had a great chance. It's just one of those things."
Pilgrims boss Tony Pulis believed his side should have been awarded a penalty in the closing stages when Leeds midfielder Liam Miller brought down David Norris.
Television replays showed the offence was marginally outside the penalty area, but Pulis said: "I thought it was a stonewall penalty at the end when Miller fouled Norris.
"It was two yards inside the box and that's happened to us three times in three weeks now. It happened against Wolves and Preston as well.
"It was scrappy in the first half but we stepped it up after the break and created some good opportunities.
"Neil Sullivan made the save of the game from Leon Clarke. But obviously I'm biased - I see everything through green eyes - and I'm delighted we came here and put on a performance."

Saturday, April 01, 2006

BLACKWELL WON'T GIVE UP YET
By Chris Wilson, PA Sport
Sporting Life

Leeds boss Kevin Blackwell acknowledged his team's prospects of automatic promotion from the Coca-Cola Championship are looking bleak after the 1-0 defeat at Hull.
Blackwell's team are now without a league win in five attempts after Jon Parkin's powerful downward header on 76 minutes earned Peter Taylor's men local bragging rights from an engaging Yorkshire derby.
The visitors have also failed to find the back of the net in their last three games - a statistic their manager believes is the pivotal factor behind their recent slump.
"It's tight at the top at the moment and it's just one of those things," said Blackwell.
"We've lost form in the last third of the field but that can come back as quickly as it goes."
Sheffield United's hold on second place is looking more secure and Blackwell admitted it is now difficult to see Leeds catching the Blades.
"It is now a severe hurdle but we can't give it up because it is still a surmountable figure," said Blackwell.
"If we are going to do it we are going to have to do it the hard way."
Leeds could have no complaints about the scoreline at the KC Stadium as their hosts possessed the greater attacking verve and defensive stability all afternoon.
And had it not been for Neil Sullivan, who made a string of top-drawer saves, Blackwell's team would have lost by a greater margin.
But in the end, Parkin's header from Stuart Green's perfect cross was sufficient to sentence the former Premiership giants to a confidence-draining defeat against their local rivals.
"I've not said a lot to the players," added the Leeds boss.
"They are obviously disappointed because the prize is so great.
"There are times to be strong and harsh and there are times to stand back and assess it.
"I've got a lot of assessing to do between now and next week. I can't fault the effort and when we knocked the ball around we looked a good side.
"But for all the good positions we got ourselves into we kept either firing blanks or lacking imagination."
While Leeds seemingly destined for the play-offs, Hull are set fair for another season in the Championship after securing three points which go a long way to allaying their relegation fears.
"We've given ourselves a right chance and I can't see us not getting two or three more points with only five games to go," said Tigers boss Peter Taylor.
"I think we deserved to win. It was a cracking local derby - a local derby for us anyway - between two very committed teams.
"I think the players knew with the coverage how much this game means to our supporters. It also means a lot to us and I thought the tempo right from the start was first class.
"We were very committed and we had to be against a team like Leeds."
Hull 1 Leeds 0
By Chris Wilson, PA Sport
Sporting Life

Faltering Leeds are seemingly destined for the Coca-Cola Championship play-offs after this defeat at Hull.
Kevin Blackwell's men needed three points from the Yorkshire derby to keep the heat on second-placed Sheffield United, who are now heavily odds-on to secure automatic promotion to the Barclays Premiership.
But this was a performance that will give their supporters sleepless nights for weeks to come after Jon Parkin's thumping header earned the Tigers three points which almost guarantees their survival in the Championship.
Peter Taylor's team showed more defensive organisation and greater potency in the final third of the field all afternoon but ultimately had Parkin to thank for earning them this fully-deserved victory.
Fondly nicknamed 'The Beast' by City supporters, the former Macclesfield forward terrorised Leeds' fragile defence all game and it came as no surprise when he put the gloss on a terrific individual performance with the winning goal 14 minutes before the final whistle.
By contrast to the rest of the contest, Leeds, who are now without a win in five league games, started brightly and nearly got off to a flyer after three minutes when Rob Hulse outmuscled Damien Delaney and lured the Hull centre-back into a clumsy challenge just outside the 18-yard box.
Eddie Lewis took the resulting free-kick which required a fine save from Boaz Myhill, who showed noteworthy dexterity to claw the ball away for a corner at the foot of his right post.
Hull soon recovered from their lackadaisical start and thought they had taken the lead four minutes later when Leeds failed to clear their lines and Parkin rammed home the loose ball with a powerful left-foot volley from an acute angle.
However, referee Eddie Alderton's assistant adjudged the striker to have been in an offside position and awarded a free-kick to Blackwell's men.
More dodgy Leeds defending then allowed Kevin Ellison to let rip with a dipping low drive which Neil Sullivan clung onto at the first attempt - albeit via Paul Butler's helpful deflection.
Hull continued to catch the eye and twice dissected the Leeds defence through Stuart Green and Parkin, who both found Sullivan on top of his game.
Leeds showed a modicum of improvement as the game wore on but, in similar vein to recent matches, found goalscoring chances hard to come by in a second half which was handicapped by a hailstorm of biblical proportions shortly after the restart.
The adverse playing conditions did not put Taylor's men off their stride and they again went close when Green's free-kick found Leon Cort, whose downward header amidst a sea of statuesque white shirts needed another excellent stop from Sullivan.
Leeds' goalkeeper could do nothing about Hull's winner, however, which arrived on the back of a sustained spell of pressure on United's flimsy rearguard.
Green was afforded far too much space on the right flank and steered the ball towards Parkin, who sent Leeds back to West Yorkshire - and back to the drawing-board - with a fierce header past Sullivan after 76 minutes.