Saturday, December 15, 2007

Leedsunited.com 15/12/07
JUST REWARDS
WALSALL 1 (Mooney 75), LEEDS UNITED 1 (Westlake 90)
United boss Dennis Wise was forced into making one change from the side which thrashed Huddersfield last weekend, with Leon Constantine making his first league start in place of the suspended Tresor Kandol.
Walsall included former United striker Michael Ricketts in their starting line-up.
Once again Wise's men trotted out in front of a full-house, and it was the home fans who were almost celebrating after just eight minutes.
Mark Bradley's attempted long-distance chip of Casper Ankergren came back off the bar, but former Birmingham marksman Tommy Mooney was in an offside position when he rifled home the rebound.
United's early opportunities came courtesy of David Prutton and Jonathan Douglas, with both firing over the top from distance.
Douglas also had a free-kick blocked after Ian Westlake was fouled on the edge of the area.
But the home side were also a threat going forward and Frazer Richardson had to react well to clear a Bradley cross. Ankergren also saved a Scott Dann header, following a free-kick.
At the other end, a piledriver from Andrew Hughes was deflected to safety and Walsall had to scramble clear a Douglas corner.
United had upped the tempo and, with Hughes and Westlake working hard on the left, were enjoying a good spell of pressure as the game passed the half-hour mark.
Walsall went close again, though, on 39 minutes when Ankergren was adjudged to have got his fingertips to a Mooney effort. The Dane disputed the decision to award a corner.
As United moved quickly downfield, it was Walsall's turn to dispute a corner when Clayton Ince failed to hold a Douglas delivery and the referee awarded a corner.
The half-time break brought some respite for both sides, and "Champions of Europe" was given a noisy airing by the 2,891 visiting supporters, many braving the freezing conditions and waving shirts in the air.
Leeds started the second half brightly, and Westlake sent a fizzing volley over the bar after a great ball from Radostin Kishishev. The lively Frazer Richardson then dragged a shot narrowly wide as United continued to press.
But it was Ankergren who made the first save of the half when he beat away a fierce shot from Edrissa Sonko shortly before the hour.
With 20 minutes remaining, Wise introduced Tore Andre Flo in place of Constantine as the manager sought to find the all-important goal.
But the goal came at the wrong end on 75 minutes when Tommy Mooney got the final touch of a goalmouth scramble, following a Walsall corner. Mooney seized after an untidy scramble inside the six-yard box.
Wise immediately made two substitutions with Jonny Howson and Alan Thompson joining the fray.
Jermaine Beckford tested Walsall goalkeeper Ince 10 minutes from time as United surged forward in search of a leveller. And Thompson fired over the top after Walsall failed to clear a long punt from Ankergren.
A tactical switch saw Douglas drop back to centre-back for the final five minutes, Matt Heath adding more power to the frontline.
And United were rewarded for a determined effort when the deserved equaliser came in the final minute after Westlake appeared to get the decisive touch on a Thompson free-kick
The drama wasn't over, though, and in the second minute of stoppage time, Irish international Douglas was stretchered from the pitch in great pain with what appeared to be a severe injury to his left leg.
United played out the final moments with 10 men, and ensured a well deserved point.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Yorkshire Post 10/12/07
Ken Bates plans two hotels at Elland Road
LEEDS United chairman Ken Bates plans to transform the club's Elland Road ground with an ambitious scheme that includes two hotels, a shopping centre and a health club.
The hotels, a budget proposition and a four-star offering, would be built in an L shape on the site currently occupied by a souvenir shop.
The development would also include food outlets and a Leeds United museum.
Details of the plan were announced by Mr Bates in the match programme for United's derby game against Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
He said the hotels would strengthen the club's conference and banqueting (C&B) business, and added: "I believe that the income from an enlarged C&B market would enable us to buy a quality player every year!"
So far no start date for the development has been announced.Mr Bates says his plans complement those of Leeds City Council, which owns much of the land surrounding the ground. In September, the council floated the idea of building a new railway station as part of wider plans for a leisure development.
The council's own plans for the area include proposals for an entertainment arena, casino, hotel, health club, police headquarters, cafes, bars and parking for about 2,700 cars.
The east coast railway line borders the site and the idea of building a station at Elland Road has been discussed several times over the last 20 years.
Council leader Andrew Carter said when the latest plan was unveiled: "All members would like to see a halt but it would be dependent on the developments that take place and the value of those developments.
"In the past the line has not had sufficient capacity and there has been no money to build the facility. However, we have to fight for it because it would benefit the city in general."
The Elland Road ground was sold to Manchester businessman Jacob Adler by a previous United board in late 2004, with Leeds taking a 25-year lease on the site. It was sold on to British Virgin Islands-based Teak Commercial Limited in 2005.
Mr Bates has said he intends to buy back Elland Road "in the fullness of time".

Harry lets target out of the bag
By Phil Hay
Dave Bassett let the cat out the bag on Monday morning when he announced that Leeds United planned to sit at the top of League One on New Year's Day.
Dennis Wise reacted by joking that his assistant was blessed with "a big gob", but Bassett's comments revealed the swing from caution to optimism which has taken place at Elland Road.His admission was followed up later in the week by Frazer Richardson's assertion that Leeds would win automatic promotion this season, and even Wise found himself drawn into a discussion over how far his squad can go by May. After four months which have laid the most perfect of platforms, United appear ready to show their hand.
"It was a target I put to them," said Wise of the January 1 aim.
"Are they capable? We'll see. You have to challenge them and keep them on their toes."
United's credentials were widely examined last month, the result of their first spell of struggle in an otherwise excellent season, but a 3-0 victory over Port Vale on Tuesday negated their 1-0 defeat at Cheltenham and sent Wise's players into yesterday's West Yorkshire derby against Huddersfield Town with a renewed sense of purpose.
United have 12 more points to compete for before the turn of the year, and a five-point margin separated the club from the top of the division ahead of this weekend's fixtures.
The season started with Wise plotting his side's recovery from their Football League penalty, but United's rapid climb up the league has revised the expectations of many supporters who feared whether another tussle with relegation was on the cards. Wise, however, insisted he had not been surprised by the speed of Leeds' ascent.
"We're slightly in front of what I expected," he said.
"It's nice, but there's still a target. Whether or not we drop below, we've still got a target that we want to achieve.
"But I'm not going to get carried away. We're in a fantastic spot but when you get carried away, things like Cheltenham happen.
"We've had stages this year. We had to get out of the bottom four first, then there was the next group (to catch).
"Then there was getting into the play-offs, and now there's the final group – the final hurdle of getting into an automatic spot and staying there."
The criticism that came United's way last month irked Wise, and frustrated his assistant Bassett who became an easy if unjustified target for criticism from a number of United supporters who suggested the club's form was linked to Bassett's arrival in place of Gustavo Poyet.
Bassett rejected the claim – calling it a "cheap shot" – and Wise moved to support him this week after the 3-0 victory over Vale returned normality to the club.
Wise said: "Everyone jumped on the bandwagon after we lost a couple of games.
"They have to realise that in the cup games I changed the team and if I'm being honest it was my fault. I haven't concentrated fully on the cups, or as much as I should have done.
"But you have to look at the long-term, and what we're trying to achieve this year.
"I looked at the big picture, not just the cups. We didn't have fantastic results but we've got one thing to concentrate on now.
"People just have to judge us in the league. In the league we've been fantastic.
"That's where our full concentration has been. In the cups, we've changed the team quite a bit.
"People like to write certain things about us having such a bad spell but that's the way it is and you have to face up to it."
Wise, meanwhile, has been promised money to work with in the January transfer window after holding talks with chairman Ken Bates this week.United's manager has no plans to make sweeping changes to his squad next month, but United's improving financial position will allow him to target key areas of his team ahead of the League One run-in.
"I've got some money," said Wise.
"It's always nice to bring people in, but it has to be the right people. If it's right then I'll do it.
"If it's not then sometimes you don't want to upset the applecart.
"I'm happy with what I've got but if I get any injuries then obviously I'll need to tweak it."

Yorkshire Post 10/12/07
Leeds United 4 Huddersfield Town 0
By Richard Sutcliffe
At Elland Road
MATT HEATH may not want either Tresor Kandol or Jermaine Beckford on his side when the Leeds United squad is divided into two teams during training.
But the defender knows just how fortunate United are to have the strike pair spearheading the club's seemingly relentless assault on the League One title. Once again, Beckford and Kandol proved too hot to handle as Leeds powered to a 15th victory of the season to move within two points of Swansea City at the summit. The pair, who are best friends off the field, have developed an almost telepathic understanding and their styles complement each other to such an extent that a combined tally of 21 league goals is more than many clubs have managed in total this term.
Huddersfield, with 18, are one of those who cannot match the Leeds duo's tally and Heath appreciates just how important the pair are to the club's quest for success. He said: "It is great to have them both on our side because we can usually rely on them to get a goal here or there.
"It is nice that a few others are popping up with goals as well because Tres and Becks won't score every week, even though they are at the minute.
"To be honest, they are terrible in training. They never score in the games we play on a Friday. I never want them on my team because they are rubbish.
"But come Saturday they do the business.
"Hopefully, we can get promotion because they can then prove themselves in the Championship, too."
Kandol may not have scored, but there was little doubt of the key role he played in Leeds's ninth home win in 10 outings with the former Barnet striker running tirelessly throughout.
His aerial prowess also unsettled the Terriers defence, while he also proved to be no slouch with the ball at his feet, either. It was Kandol's ability to retain possession when under intense pressure before playing an intelligent pass that created the decisive second goal of the game on 50 minutes when Beckford finished in typically predatory style.
Town striker Andy Booth, a veteran of more than 500 games, saw enough of the pair to know they will take some stopping this term.
He said: "Leeds deserved to win but it was a lot closer than 4-0. It was tight in the first half and could have gone either way The second goal was the most important one.
"There was not a lot between the two sides but they got the four goals. They took their chances.
"The front two are very good. Leeds are well organised and both lads run the channels and are very strong. Plus, they score goals. I was very impressed with them both.
"The two front lads are probably a cut above the division."
There was little doubt Leeds deserved the points but the margin of victory was harsh on a Town side who, for 45 minutes at least, played the more constructive football. With Michael Collins and Ronnie Wallwork bossing the centre of midfield and Malvin Kamara's pace unsettling Andrew Hughes at left-back, it was the visitors who fashioned the better chances during the first half.
Huddersfield should have gone ahead after just two minutes when Kamara sped past Hughes before drilling a cross into the path of Booth. The veteran's first touch was poor and Hughes managed to block, but he only managed to divert the ball into the path of Wallwork who should have done better than shoot wide from 10 yards.
Collins almost got the better of Heath after the defender stumbled 10 minutes later, while Town were also left to rue two wasted opportunities by on-loan Phil Jevons towards the end of the half. In contrast, Leeds struggled for much of the opening half and fashioned only one chance. Crucially, however, they made it count when Jonathan Douglas drilled a 20-yard shot along the soaking turf and past the out-stretched hand of rookie goalkeeper Alex Smithies.
Going in at the break behind was rough on the visitors but as soon as Leeds had doubled their lead five minutes after the restart, the game was effectively over. Kandol showed great tenacity to win the ball before playing David Prutton away down the left. He looked up before drilling a cross towards the front post where Beckford nipped in front of Smithies to flick the ball into an unguarded net.
United were now firmly in control and they extended their advantage on 69 minutes when a wonderful overhead pass by Beckford allowed Ian Westlake to spring the offside trap. He raced into the area and picked out Douglas, who brought a wonderful save from Smithies.
Unfortunately for the teenage debutant, the ball merely rebounded to Beckford who tapped it into an empty net.
Leeds were not finished yet and with just three minutes remaining, Tore Andre Flo added a fourth goal with Smithies again unfortunate after managing to block a goalbound effort from Westlake.

Telegraph 10/12/07
Leeds' display is worthy of Billy Bremner By Richard Holdsworth
More than 32,000 fans congregated at Elland Road to watch Leeds take on Huddersfield in a raucous derby on a cold, wet December day.
It was the kind of scene Leeds United's Billy Bremner would have loved. A minute's applause before kick-off commemorated the 10th anniversary of the death of the Leeds legend, who would have enjoyed the ensuing result even more.
A glut of goals rather than solid defensive displays has been the foundation for Leeds' recent success and a 3-0 midweek win over Port Vale had moved Dennis Wise's side up to fifth in League One before this impressive win maintained their promotion push. They are now just two points behind leaders Swansea.
On a day when the fiercely competitive Bremner - once described as '10 stone of barbed wire' - was lovingly remembered, it was perhaps fitting that midfield ball-winner Jonathan Douglas should score the opening goal.
A mainstay of Wise's starting line-up, the midfielder holds Bremner's No 4 shirt and plays in a similarly tenacious manner. No wonder Wise has made the 26-year-old his club captain. The low drive he unleashed in the 24th minute put paid to Huddersfield's early pressure and probably dented the confidence of rookie goalkeeper Alex Smithies.
To be fair, there was little the debutant could have done to keep out his shot, particularly given the way the ball appeared to skid off the wet surface.
Leeds fell into an irresistible rhythm and a more relaxed second-half display followed, yielding a further three goals, Ian Westlake's delightful cross quickly setting up Jermaine Beckford, who underlined his growing reputation as a striker by netting his second 20 minutes later. Tore Andre Flo came off the bench and score the fourth with his first touch late on.
"It was lovely to see 'Dougie' get the first goal, I like sentimental things like that," Wise said.
"It took us 24 minutes to get a shot in, which I was a bit puzzled about because I told them to test the young lad in goal, but overall I thought we were a lot better than them."

Daily Mail 9/12/07
Leeds boss Wise slams 'idiot' after Bremner statue vandalised
Leeds manager Dennis Wise was furious that the Billy Bremner statue outside the ground was spraypainted before his side's 4-0 victory over local rivals Huddersfield.
The victory was a fitting tribute to former Leeds and Scotland captain Bremner, who died 10 years ago this week.
"You don't disrespect a player of that calibre," he said.
"It is disappointing that some idiot decides to do something like that. People like that should be kept away from football."

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Yorkshire Evening Post 8/12/07
Leeds United reign on Billy's day
By Phil Hay
Leeds United 4 Huddersfield Town 0
IT was Billy Bremner's day at Elland Road yesterday, and it therefore stood to reason that it should be Leeds United's as well.
On the weekend of the 10th anniversary of Bremner's passing, a capacity crowd acknowledged the legend born in Scotland but bred in the heart of Leeds in the way that modern day football knows best, with a simple and heartfelt round of applause.
The tribute honoured a man of unique talent and personality, and one who is virtually peerless around Elland Road. The city of Leeds vowed never to forget, and has held rigidly to that promise.
It was, however, with an impeccable sense of occasion that yesterday's West Yorkshire derby against Huddersfield Town was settled in United's favour with the help of a midfielder carrying Bremner's iconic number four on his back.
A first-half goal from Jonathan Douglas – the modern-day holder of Bremner's famous shirt – set Leeds on the path to a commanding victory in the first league fixture between the clubs for two decades, and gave Elland Road the result that the bulk of a crowd of 32,501 had turned out to see.
The outcome would have mattered to Bremner. These days, Dennis Wise takes just as much pride in the success of the club. By the time Tore Andre Flo rounded off the victory in the 87th minute, Wise's name was also resounding around Elland Road. The past and present of Leeds United were thus satisfied.
A 4-0 scoreline at the end of a derby can be construed as a massacre, and Huddersfield's players were desperate to make their escape at the final whistle.
But as United ran away with the game during the second half, it was easy to forget the contribution that Town had made to the start of a breathless encounter, and how different the outcome might have been had their best chance not been squandered in the second minute. Leeds scored when it mattered; Huddersfield, repeatedly, had no reply.
United's preparation was unquestionably better than the build-up experienced by Andy Ritchie. Huddersfield were dragged to Southend on Wednesday evening, and travelled home nursing the damage of a 4-1 defeat and the red cards shown to goalkeeper Matt Glennon and experienced defender Frank Sinclair, a former Chelsea team-mate of Wise.
Ritchie accepted Sinclair's dismissal but had anticipated overturning Glennon's on appeal, only to be disappointed by the Football Association's decision to uphold his red card on Friday.
With both players automatically suspended yesterday, it left 17-year-old keeper Alex Smithies to fill Huddersfield's most serious void at Elland Road, the early pinnacle of a career which began in earnest with his first senior appearance as Glennon's replacement at Roots Hall.
The only relevant concern for Wise was Jermaine Beckford, who injured his shin in Tuesday's 3-0 victory over Port Vale but was passed fit after completing a light training session 48 hours before kick off.
Beckford struck his 11th goal of the season against Vale but, if Smithies was seen as a potentially weak link by Wise, United's ponderous start did not threaten to break it or to tease a Carson-esque error from Huddersfield's trainee.
The hosts took until the 24th minute to direct a meaningful shot at Smithies' goal, but the fact that the effort brought United's opening goal put the youngster in extreme peril. Chided by United's supporters yet largely blameless it was, in the end, a cruel stage on which to make a full debut.
Smithies could not have been blamed for failing to stop the low, sweeping and beautifully accurate strike from Douglas which curved into the net at his right-hand post, but a Huddersfield team who had appeared quietly confident while the game was goalless suddenly looked in danger of over-exposure.
That United had stumbled through the first quarter of the match, struggling as they did with Town's pace and slick passing in attack, will have offered no consolation to Ritchie, whose side should have taken the lead in the second minute.
Malvin Kamara out-ran Andrew Hughes on the right wing, stretching Leeds' defence, and a series of rebounds directed the ball to Ronnie Wallwork whose side-footed effort past the post was as casual as it was wasteful.Had Wallwork beaten Casper Ankergren, United – for all the spirit of Bremner – would not have relished the scenario of trailing before their capacity crowd. They were, before Douglas' contribution, comfortably second best.
But Leeds have rarely failed to protect themselves when handed the lead this season, and the match began to follow what has become a familiar course at Elland Road.
Huddersfield pressed repeatedly, laying on a volley for Phil Jevons which dropped wide of a scrambling Ankergren in the 33rd minute, but they were susceptible to the type of opportunity created by Leeds in the next passage of play.A flicked header from Tresor Kandol utilised the pace of Beckford, whose rising shot from inside the box whistled beyond Huddersfield's goal at pace. Leeds' sharp finishing had guided them out of trouble against Vale earlier in the week, and their performance seemed to rely again on their penchant for goals.
That clinical habit revealed itself again five minutes into the second half. Douglas dug out possession in midfield and provoked an attack which left David Prutton unmarked on the left wing. His low cross found Smithies absent from his near post, and Beckford slid in to guide his 12th league goal into a vacant net. His strike left Huddersfield to salvage what pride remained on offer, which amounted to little.
Ankergren's flap at a cross in the 62nd minute almost gifted a chance to Michael Collins but the bounce of the ball aided Leeds, but Town's spirit was broken seven minutes later.Beckford's overhead kick played in Ian Westlake, who unselfishly squared a pass to Prutton inside the box. The winger's fierce strike was brilliantly parried by Smithies, but Beckford poached the rebound a yard from the line.
With the result confirmed, Flo – who is moulding himself into the perfect substitute – stepped off the bench to score with his first chance in the 87th minute, set-up by Smithies' excellent parry from Westlake's shot.
Bowed and beaten, Huddersfield held up their hands. It is what United might call the Bremner effect.


Yorkshire Evening Post 8/12/07
A waiting game
By Phil Hay
The Football Association today admitted it is in the dark over Leeds United's plan to fight their 15-point penalty through independent arbitration.
The governing body has received notice from Elland Road that Leeds intend to force an independent review of the Football League penalty. But officials at Soho Square are still waiting to learn the exact details of United's complaint – and for confirmation of who the complaint will be lodged against. Leeds have fought the 15-point penalty ever since their first appeal to the Football League was rejected in August, and the FA have twice turned down direct requests from United for the punishment to be overturned. The club are entitled to request independent arbitration under FA rules, but a spokesman for Soho Square said: "We haven't been told who their case is specifically against or been given a clear explanation of what their complaint is. This can't move forward until that happens." Confirmation of the details of United's complaint would see a three-man panel set up to rule on the matter, including one member selected by Leeds, one by the FA and an independent chairman agreed by both sides. The FA would normally take responsibility for selecting the chairman if the opposing parties fail to reach an agreement, but if the governing body is itself the subject of United's complaint – as it is likely to be – the final member of the panel would be elected by the Sports Dispute Resolution Panel, a London-based body which operates independently of the FA.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Yorkshire Post 30/11/07
Shepherd eyes investment in Leeds United
By Richard Sutcliffe
EXCLUSIVE: Freddy Shepherd wants to buy a one-third share in Leeds United, the Yorkshire Post can reveal.
The former Newcastle United chairman is understood to have been in talks with the Elland Road hierarchy for a couple of months over acquiring a minority shareholding.
It is by no means a done deal, however, with several other would-be investors believed to have been in touch with chairman Ken Bates since the club exited administration during the summer.
Under the proposal by Shepherd, Bates would remain in control with the deal taking the form of an investment as opposed to an outright takeover. This would fit in with the 75-year-old's intention to remain as chairman.
Bates has made no secret of his desire to attract investors to the club and is known to have had lunch with Shepherd in September.
He has been at pains to point out that the club is not for sale and used his programme notes for the recent FA Cup game against Hereford United to reiterate his intention to restore United to former glories.
He wrote: "There are plenty of would-be investors sniffing round Leeds United. It could be tempting to take the money and run.
"Let me assure you, that possibility is not even in the mind of (my wife) Suzannah and myself. We are here to build not just Yorkshire's No 1 club, but one which will compete and take on the so-called greats including Chelsea with (Roman) Abramovich's millions.
"Rumours surfaced earlier this season that Shepherd, who banked £37m by selling his shares in Newcastle to businessman Mike Ashley, could be interested in Leeds.
The speculation originated in the North East where the two men, who became friends when in charge of Chelsea and Newcastle respectively, were spotted having lunch together.
It was claimed by sources in the city that Shepherd wanted to buy the Leeds club outright, but the Yorkshire Post understands this not to be the case.
Shepherd, who has also been linked with Sheffield Wednesday in recent weeks, did reveal earlier this month how he hoped to be back in the game by January and claimed that "half-a-dozen clubs" had tried to interest him in either investing or mounting a full take-over.
He then added: "Football is a drug, and a powerful drug. From January I think something could happen.
"I am a northern guy, so obviously I am more interested in northern clubs.
"When news of the initial meeting between Bates and Shepherd emerged, the Leeds chairman said: "Freddy is a good friend of mine and has been for years.
"I went up to see him, and we finished up having lunch.
"Inevitably the subject of football came out, and he is still a bit sore about what happened at Newcastle.
"He would like to get back in and I would like an investor, so the two fit in."
Should Shepherd invest in Leeds, it will continue a rollercoaster year for the club whose very future was in doubt not so long ago after slipping into administration amid debts of £35m.
A bitter fight for control raged on for much of the summer before Bates emerged triumphant by buying the club back from the administrator.United's troubles were not over, however, with the Football League refusing to return the club's share due to what they considered to be a failure to foll
ow their insolvency policy.
It meant a nervous wait for supporters before the League finally handed back the share in early August after hitting Leeds with a 15-point penalty. Appeals to the League and Football Association to review the deduction were subsequently turned down and a club statement this week confirmed they plan to take the fight to arbitration unless the FA agree to go to the High Court for a judicial review.
The fear was that the penalty would lead to a relegation battle but, instead, it has had a galvanising effect with supporters, management and players having been bound together in a determination to give a metaphorical V-sign to the League.
Results have been so impressive on the field that United now sit fifth in League One after claiming a phenomenal 41 points from 17 games. Without the points penalty, Leeds would be 10 clear at the top of the table.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Leeds United: Let High Court rule on points penalty
By Phil Hay
LEEDS United have challenged the Football Association to allow the High Court to decide on the club's challenge against their 15-point deduction.
United dispatched a letter to Soho Square yesterday requesting a legal review of their case after expressing fresh concerns about the independence of senior officials at the FA.The demand was in the wake of the FA's promise of a "root and branch" review of the workings of the governing body after the sacking of England coach Steve McClaren on Thursday.
United chairman Ken Bates has made two previous applications to the FA, one directly to chairman Geoff Thompson, pleading for an assessment of the process which saw Leeds deducted 15 points by the Football League in August.
An independent commission rejected United's original grievance, and Bates claims his second approach to Thompson – highlighting perceived inconsistencies in the FA's first decision – was turned away by Simon Johnson, the Director of Corporate Affairs at Soho Square.
Johnson is though to be the same man responsible for confirming the failure of United's initial application.
Leeds also have long held concerns about the presence of Football League chairman Lord Brian Mawhinney on the FA board. Mawhinney sat alongside Thompson and FA chief executive Brian Barwick as McClaren's dismissal was confirmed this week.
Bates told the YEP: "We expect the FA to represent all parties equally. With this grievance we think they've failed to do so. Therefore we've asked that they allow the High Court to make a judgement.
"If the FA are happy with their procedure and the Football League's then they should be happy to agree to our request."

Yorkshire Post 23/11/07
Bates intends to stick around
By Ian Appleyard
LEEDS United chairman Ken Bates insists that he has no intention of selling his stake in the League One club.
Amid reports that former Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd is on the brink of a return to football with a 'northern club', Bates has underlined his determination to take Leeds back into the Premier League.
"There are plenty of would-be investors sniffing round Leeds United," he admitted. "It could be tempting to take the money and run.
"Let me assure you, that possibility is not even in the mind of (my wife) Suzannah and myself. "We are here to build not just Yorkshire's number one club, but one which will compete and take on the so-called greats, including Chelsea with Abramovich's millions," he stressed.
Bates has mades no secret of the fact that Shepherd could be an 'ideal partner' and the pair have a good friendship thanks to their work in football. Rumours that Shepherd, who banked over £37m by selling his shares in Newcastle, could be interested in Leeds first surfaced two months ago when he was spotted having lunch with Bates in the north east.
At the time, the Leeds chairman said: "We had lunch and agreed to keep in touch. He would like to get back in and I would like an investor so the two fit in."

Yorkshire Evening Post 23/11/07
No left back signing for Leeds United
By Phil Hay
Dennis Wise offered his squad at Leeds United a quiet vote of confidence last night by allowing the Football League's emergency loan deadline to pass without incident.
The market closed at 5pm yesterday afternoon, restricting any further transfers until January 1, but Wise stepped back from the negotiating table after deciding to put faith in the capabilities of the players.
The market closed at 5pm yesterday afternoon, restricting any further transfers until January 1, but Wise stepped back from the negotiating table after deciding to put faith in the capabilities of the players already recruited to Elland Road. Leeds had seriously considered the option of signing a new left-back after sending Jamie Clapham back to Wolverhampton Wanderers at the end of his three-month loan, but the lack of a suitable alternative did not come as a serious disappointment to United's boss. Academy product Ben Parker filled the position against Hereford United on Tuesday evening, and both Andrew Hughes and Radostin Kishishev are capable of switching from midfield if Wise requires a more experienced candidate on the left side of defence.
The settled situation is a calm contrast to last season, when Leeds recruited Tresor Kandol and Ugo Ehiogu in the lead up to the loan deadline while allowing Paul Butler and Neil Sullivan to exit Elland Road, and assistant manager Dave Bassett insisted United possessed the strength in depth to see them safely through to the January transfer window.
Bassett said: "Dennis was considering a couple of options but the squad is looking good as it is. We've just had a little spell where a few players were picking up injuries and suspensions at the same time, and that's when you wonder if it might be a good idea to add another couple.
"But as I said when I came here, if it isn't broken you don't fix it. Most of the lads who were out are coming back now and the team's done superbly well in the league this season."
Kishishev and Mark De Vries - both loanees from Leicester City - were ineligible for Tuesday's FA Cup first-round replay against Hereford, but the pair will return to contention for Sunday's league game against Cheltenham Town. As many as four other senior players - Alan Thompson, David Prutton, Jonathan Douglas and Manuel Rui Marques - could also return from illness, suspension or injury at Whaddon Road, and striker Tore Andre Flo appears to be on schedule to complete his recovery from another bout of foot surgery before Christmas.
The easing of Wise's selection problems have been tempered slightly by the loss of Casper Ankergren to a minor knee problem, but United's boss countered claims that his squad had shown signs of frailty during the past month.
Wise said: "You have to look at the players who are coming back. "Tore Andre Flo will be back very shortly, and Alan Thompson. David Prutton was missing (against Hereford), Jonathan Douglas was missing and Rui Marques was missing. When I get them back it will be totally different.
"If you look at those names and add them to the group, my squad's fine."
A run of six games in 17 days has contributed to United's loss of players, but their defeat to Hereford provided the unexpected blessing of nine days without a fixture after their clash with Cheltenham on Sunday. A sell-out crowd will greet United at Whaddon Road - the first time a league match at Cheltenham's stadium has sold out in advance - and striker Leon Constantine stressed the importance of a conclusive reaction after Leeds' midweek defeat.
The Elland Road club responded to their elimination from the Johnstone's Paint Trophy by Bury last week with a 2-1 victory over Swindon Town, and Cheltenham have won only two league games all season, pushing them towards the bottom of League One. Keith Downing's side will be relieved of bottom spot by the impending 10-point deduction hanging over Kevin Blackwell's Luton Town, who entered administration yesterday afternoon.
Constantine said: "We're going to have to show a reaction come Sunday. "We don't like losing games. To be honest, I don't like losing when we play in training. The mentality of the lads is really good and nobody came off the pitch (after the Hereford defeat) thinking we did ourselves any justice.
"The one positive is that the last two defeats have come in the cups and not the league, but with the way things have been going this season there's no reason why we shouldn't have done well in the cups. It's disappointing. You get used to winning and used to that buzz.
"We've got to pick ourselves up because Cheltenham's not going to be an easy game." Constantine supported Wise's claim that two cup defeats in the space of a week would not influence United's league form, saying: "I don't think you can read too much into it.
"There's no hiding the fact that the main aim is to climb the league. As long as we can keep on track with that then we're doing okay. But we don't want to let any complacency in."

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Daily Mail 9/11/07
Casper to the rescue for Leeds
By RAY MATTS
The clock was turned back 35 years at Hereford's Edgar Street ground last night.
The compact stadium next to the cattle market was full to the rafters for an FA Cup tie, a big name club from the North were in town and local legends Ronnie Radford and Ricky George were on the tips of tongues.
The talk was of giant-killing. That may now have to wait until the replay at Elland Road on Tuesday week.
The opposition were more fallen giants than the mighty Newcastle outfit in 1972, but Leeds had a big enough reputation to send a shiver of expectancy down the spines of fans of the League Two minnows.
The fact that the Yorkshire club are now just one rung above them in the league gave Graham Turner's in-form side the belief that they could cause an upset and Hereford tried manfully enough in the first half to deliver the goal which they suspected would put Leeds on tenterhooks.
The likes of seven-goal Trevor Benjamin and six-goal Theo Robinson, on loan from Watford, needed little encouragement to flex their attacking muscle against Leeds, who are still in the process of rehabilitation after their fall from Premier League grace and into debt.
Benjamin looked as strong as the Hereford bull that was paraded around the pitch before the game, and displayed the mobility and determination that kept Leeds central defenders Mat Heath and Rui Marques at full stretch.
It was touch and go whether the referee would award a penalty in the opening minutes as Benjamin was manhandled by Heath but Tony Bates allowed play to continue.
Robinson then produced a forceful cross-shot straight into the arms of goalkeeper Casper Ankergren. It was Hereford who were forcing most of the attacking pace but Leeds eventually began to take a greater part in the game both in midfield and attack.
They were helped to some extent by the fact that the Edgar Street pitch contains far more grass and was in a much better condition than on the memorable occasion in 1972 when Hereford, then a non-League team, pulled off one of the biggest sensations in the competition.
Even manager Turner made the point. 'Today pitches are so much better and rarely do we see a game played in a quagmire or snow and ice,' he said. 'You have to have big hearts and endeavour but for underdogs to succeed these days you have to be as fit as the opposition and have a slice of luck along the way.'
There was little of that going Hereford's way in the first half but at least they had the satisfaction of keeping Leeds in check.
The only real opportunity they had before the break was a misplaced pass by United's Clint Eastern which was picked up by Frenchman Seb Carole whose long-range shot was a rasping effort which was well handled by goalkeeper Wayne Browne.
Hereford heaped on the pressure at the start of the second half and Benjamin was desperately unlucky when he rose to a left-wing corner to deliver a glancing header which brushed the upright on its way out of play.
That seemed to inspire the home club to greater heights and in the neatest move of the match, Benjamin sent Robinson nipping past the Leeds back line with a through ball which he steered just wide of the post.
There was a blow for Hereford in the 60th minute when they lost the services of their skipper, Karl Broadhurst.
He was carried off with an injury sustained as he made a lunging interception on Jermaine Beckford.
Although Hereford substituted danger man Benjamin in the 74th minute with Steve Guinan, the home side continued to menace and in the 81st minute it required a brilliant reflex save by Ankergren to keep Leeds level. He reacted tremendously to tip a close-range header by Lionel Ainsworth over his crossbar. It kept Leeds in the Cup.

Yorkshire Evening Post 9/11/07
United suffering from travel sickness
By Richard Byram
Leeds United boss Dennis Wise was a relieved man after seeing his tired troops hold out for a battling 0-0 draw in the FA Cup first round against Hereford United at Edgar Street last night.
Wise admitted he was relieved to get a second crack at the League Two promotion-chasers who were denied victory thanks to Casper Ankergren's brilliant save to keep out Lionel Ainsworth's header with 10 minutes to go.

Wise said: "I don't think we gave a good account of ourselves tonight for television and the players are a little bit disappointed.

"We are a lot better than we were tonight, but I will give them the benefit of the doubt given that we have been to Carlisle, Bournemouth and now Hereford in the space of six days."

United's back-breaking schedule has seen them clock up 1,400 miles and Wise admitted it had taken its toll.

"It has been a lot of travelling and it has been hard work for the players. Full credit to them, they tried to give it as much as possible, unfortunately tonight it was a bit below par," he said.

United were hit by the loss of full-back Frazer Richardson, who was struck down by a sickness bug prior to kick-off, while midfielder David Prutton was also forced to withdraw from the squad with a stomach bug.

Wise said: "They were a couple of changes forced on me that I could do nothing about and Andy Hughes is injured too. These things happen and that is the way it is.

"We looked tired and jaded but it is not an upset, we have to play them at our place so we will see how we go back there in a couple of weeks' time."

Wise said Hereford had given it a go in their "cup final".

"They really gave it a go. It is a cup final for them isn't it? The mighty Leeds come to Hereford and it would have been lovely for them to upset us," he added. "But they haven't and we are looking forward to the game at our place.

"Ideally we could have done without an extra game it would have been perfect if we could have got it finished tonight but we didn't so we have got another difficult game against them."

Despite the result Wise was pleased that he had been able to give a run out to several of his first-team squad who have been left side-lined either by injury or Leeds' excellent start to the League One campaign.

"It is important for players like Leon Constantine and Filipe Da Costa they haven't played for such a long time and they need to be a part of it and be involved so it was good for them to get a run out along with Paul Huntington and Ben Parker.
"Those two are young players very much in my thoughts so it is nice for them to get a game too.

"Ben has come on a lot and I am going to have a look the situation because Jamie (Clapham) has got to go back so I need someone who is capable of going in.

"Whether I bring someone in or go with Ben we will just have to wait and see at the moment."

For his part, Parker was pleased to have got another appearance under his belt for Leeds and avoided a potential cup upset into the bargain.

"We did not perform as well as we could have done but at least we are in the next round of the cup.

"From a defender's point of view it was nice to get a clean sheet and overall the draw was a fair result.

"I haven't played since the Johnstone's Paint Trophy against Darlington so I was just glad to get a game and the more the better for me."

Hereford boss Graham Turner said: "I thought we played some good stuff and created a few chances. It was a good stop from Lionel's header.

"Either side and it would have gone in but he still had to make a good save. It will be difficult going to Leeds but we have a good record away from home this season and it will be a good experience for our young players."

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Yorkshire Evening Post 31/10/07
Dave Bassett bound for Leeds United
By Phil Hay
DAVE BASSETT was today on the brink of becoming Leeds United's new assistant manager.
The 63-year-old has been identified as Leeds' first-choice replacement for Gustavo Poyet, and United were working today to reach a deal which would bring Bassett to Elland Road for the rest of this season. Dennis Wise had other alternatives available to him - notably Ray Wilkins, his managerial colleague at Millwall - but he has turned instead to the man who launched his playing career at Wimbledon back in 1985.
Ex-Wimbledon boss Bassett signed Wise from Southampton when the midfielder was 18 years of age, and a five-year stint at Plough Lane was the making of Wise, who went on to join Chelsea for £1.6million in 1990. Bassett also worked with Wise at Leicester six years ago, and the pair were reunited briefly as joint-caretakers of Southampton in 2005 following Harry Redknapp's exit from St Mary's. They are now poised to come together for a fourth time as Leeds prepare for life after Poyet, who stepped down as assistant at Elland Road to take up the position of first-team coach with Tottenham Hotspur on Monday.
United were in no urgent rush to fill the vacancy, but Wise has singled out Bassett as his favoured candidate and it seemed likely today that his long-time mentor would accept the opportunity to work with Leeds.
Bassett could be in place in time for Saturday's visit to Carlisle, but of greater concern to Wise was securing a number two before his three-match touchline ban begins ahead of United's FA Cup first-round tie at Hereford United on November 9.
Wise will also watch from the stands during the Johnstone's Paint Trophy clash with Bury and the forthcoming league match at home to his former club Swindon Town, and Poyet's departure was threatening to leave Leeds short of numbers in the dug-out next month.
Alan Thompson acted as Wise's assistant against Millwall last weekend but was not a candidate to assume the role permanently, and Bassett's arrival would add an experienced campaigner to United's ranks.
Bassett has worked with eight different clubs including Barnsley and Sheffield United, where he took charge of almost 400 matches between 1988 and 1995.
He has been absent from football management since leaving Southampton in 2005, but he now appears ready to resume his career. He would join United with the club creeping ever closer to the top of League One and only four points behind league leaders Carlisle.
Leeds have not commented on the possibility of Bassett's arrival, and it is understood that an agreement was still to be confirmed this morning.
Another potential bonus for Wise was due to be delivered this afternoon, with midfielder Shaun Derry lined up for his first competitive outing for more than 10 months during United's reserve clash with Hartlepool at Elland Road. Derry looks set to leave Leeds on loan next month after a long spell on the sidelines with a heel injury.
But a successful outing would give Wise another available midfielder within his squad.
Thompson, Andrew Hughes and Radostin Kishishev were all absent through injury during Saturday's 4-2 win over Millwall, and Wise has previously admitted that selection problems could offer Derry a way back into United's first team.
Portuguese winger Filipe Da Costa was also expected to receive a run-out during this afternoon's second-string clash.


Yorkshire Post 30/10/07
Wise ban hastens Leeds search for No 2
By Richard Sutcliffe
Chief Football Writer
An impending touchline ban for Dennis Wise means Leeds United's search for a successor to Gus Poyet is now a major priority at Elland Road.
The Uruguayan yesterday completed his switch to Tottenham Hotspur after an undisclosed compensation package had been agreed between the two clubs late on Sunday night.
Poyet's departure leaves Wise looking for a new assistant and a host of names have already been linked with the post including Dave Bassett – who has been a mentor to Wise throughout his career – and Italy Under-21 coach Gianfranco Zola. Suggestions Ray Wilkins is in the running are, however, believed to be wide of the mark.
Wise, who along with Carlisle's John Ward and Dean Wilkins of Brighton is on a three-man shortlist to be October's Manager of the Month, has made a feature of surrounding himself with personnel he can trust so United technical director Gwyn Williams could assume a more prominent coaching role.
The appointment will be a key one with Wise banished to the stands for three games next month after yesterday being found guilty of verbally abusing a referee by the Football Association.
Should Poyet's successor not have been found by the time the touchline suspension begins on Friday, November 9 when Leeds face Hereford in the FA Cup first round it will leave just goalkeeping coach Andy Beasley and Joe Allon in the dugout.
When contacted by the Yorkshire Post, former Sheffield United manager Bassett said rumours of him possibly joining Leeds's coaching staff were "news to me".
But he added: "Knowing Dennis as I do, he will be thinking very carefully about what to do next. He is not the type to rush into a decision like this.
"Losing Gus will be a blow because they were good mates. Most managerial duos are people who know each other very well and have a strong bond.
"But I am sure Dennis will be even more determined to push on. He had a difficult time last season, but, like when I was at Sheffield United in 1988, sometimes you have to take a step back to go two forward.
"Relegation hurt Dennis, but he has got Leeds flying now and it is great to see things going so well for him."
Alan Thompson stood in for Poyet on Saturday during the 4-2 win over Millwall, but the United captain is hoping to return to action in time for the tie at Edgar Street, which was yesterday selected for live transmission by Sky Television.
The 33-year-old midfielder has already ruled himself out of the running to replace Poyet on a permanent basis by insisting his priority remains playing.
Thompson said: "I do not think I will become the No 2. I might step into a coaching capacity at some stage, but I don't think I will be the assistant manager. The manager wants me to carry on playing."
As part of next month's touchline ban, Wise will also have to sit out the Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie with Bury on November 13 and the following Saturday's League One meeting with former club Swindon Town.
The charge related to alleged comments made by the Leeds chief to referee Danny McDermid during half-time in the 1-1 draw with Gillingham in September.
At a Football Association hearing, Wise was fined £5,000 and handed a ban. A spokesman said: "The Regulatory Commission invoked a previous suspended one-match touchline ban and issued a further two-match ban. In reaching its decision, the Commission took into account Wise's poor recent disciplinary record."
In a further twist, the FA have also charged McDermid with using abusive and/or insulting words towards Wise and the official has until November 13 to respond.
Along with the search for an assistant, Wise is also considering a loan move for a striker after Wayne Andrews returned to Coventry City after a month at Elland Road.
Mark De Vries, who joined Leeds on loan at the same time as Andrews, went back to Leicester City last week after suffering a broken toe in the win over Brighton.
It means Leeds have no back-up to Jermaine Beckford and Tresor Kandol due to Tore Andre Flo having undergone an operation on his foot and Leon Constantine, who is yet to make his debut, only having returned to training this month.


Leedsunited.com 229/10/07
BOSS BANNED
At a Football Association Regulatory Commission hearing, United manager Dennis Wise was fined £5,000 and given a three-match touchline ban.
The boss was charged with using abusive and/or insulting words towards referee Danny McDermid at half-time of the game against Gillingham on September 29.
An FA statement added: "The Commission invoked a previous suspended one match touchline ban and issued a further two-match ban. In reaching its decision, the Commission took into account Wise's poor recent disciplinary record."
The touchline ban becomes effective from Thursday November 8 and will cover the games against Hereford (FAC), Bury (JPT), and Swindon Town's league visit to Elland Road.
The FA has also charged referee Danny McDermid with using abusive and/or insulting words towards the United boss.
The incident is alleged to have occurred following the 1-1 draw at Gillingham. McDermid has until November 13 to respond to the charge.

Yorkshire Evening Post 2/10/07
Match report: Life after Gus is nothing to fear for Leeds United
Leeds United 4 Millwall 2
By Phil Hay
Leeds United's post-match huddle has become symbolic of the collective mood which is breeding inside Elland Road this season.
In the aftermath of what threatened to be their biggest victory of the campaign on Saturday – and what should, in the circumstances, be seen as their most satisfying – the habitual gathering lacked its usual euphoria. It appeared as if something, or someone, was missing.
The absentee was Gustavo Poyet, who it seems has taken his seat in United's dugout for the final time as the their assistant manager. The Uruguayan was still to confirm his departure to Tottenham Hotspur this morning, but the crisis at White Hart Lane is such that Spurs' offer to Poyet will be beyond his refusal. Dennis Wise knows, as he must have known on Friday, that their professional partnership is at an end.
It is not a scenario that Wise would have envisaged this time last week, nor a development that aids the order and continuity that he has established at Elland Road.
But United are that type of club, and if Wise has not learned already to predict the unpredictable then he never will. Poyet's departure seems like a problem. Wise, in reality, has dealt with far worse. The instruction to his players in the minutes before kick-off on Saturday will have been to avoid missing a step.Poyet was purposefully absent from both the touchline and from Elland Road, a decision intended to minimise the attention on the doubt surrounding his position, and United's response was masterful. As they sat on a 4-0 lead with half-an-hour remaining, it was worth remembering that the whole of a club should always be greater than the sum of its individual parts.
With or without Poyet Leeds are now in a position to decimate League One. Saturday's win moved Wise's players into the play-off positions for the first time this season, and next weekend's visit to leaders Carlisle United is another opportunity to creep towards the summit of the table. It is likely that, by the end of November, they will be there or thereabouts.United are not infinitely superior to the rest of the division, but the gulf created by both results and momentum is tangible. Wise's line-up was below full-strength on Saturday, and the speculation surrounding Poyet did not lend itself to calm preparation. The fact that Radostin Kishishev had strained his hamstring in Leeds' final training session on Friday complicated an awkward situation.
It may, on reflection, have been the best opportunity so far for an opposing team to damage United's unbeaten league record, but Millwall were throttled by three goals inside six minutes soon after half-time. In the most difficult of circumstances, the victory provided enormous satisfaction; Poyet, it must be said, was barely missed.
Millwall competed gamely for the first half-hour, but once David Prutton opened the scoring with a screaming finish in the 37th minute, the result was a formality.
The visitors imploded in a manner which does not bode well for the remainder of their season, and caretaker manager Richard Shaw will have a hard job of making the position his on a permanent basis if future results follow suit.
Two late replies softened the scoreline, but Leeds were coasting to the finishing line by the time Ahmet Brkovic reduced their lead to two goals with 14 minutes remaining. As if to demonstrate how reluctant he was to dwell on Poyet's departure, Wise's reaction in the dressing room afterwards was to criticise his players for their late concessions.
United's manager pays close attention to detail, but when Jonathan Douglas established their four-goal advantage in the 60th minute, United's performance was beginning to border on perfection.
The Republic of Ireland international delivered his most effective display of the season and was rewarded with two opportunist, but clinical, goals in the space of only three minutes.
Douglas struck once with a shot on the turn and again with a low free-kick, taking advantage as Millwall's composure deserted them. Had Leeds not settled for their commanding lead and allowed Shaw's side back into the game, the visitors would have endured a horrible run to the final whistle. Still, highlighting United's failure to protect a clean sheet seemed like picking fault for the sake of it.
Without Alan Thompson and Andrew Hughes, and then deprived of Kishishev, Wise had turned to Ian Westlake to fill the vacancy alongside Douglas in the centre of midfield, and an unfamiliar partnership underpinned a comfortable victory once Millwall's threat had been extinguished.
The visitors had the ball in the net in the third minute after Will Hoskins finished off a quick exchange involving Gary Alexander, but Leeds were bailed out by an offside flag, and once Danny Senda had guided a measured lob a foot beyond Casper Ankergren's post, United began to exert themselves.
Jermaine Beckford pulled a left-foot shot wide of Millwall's goal, and Tresor Kandol failed to trouble goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley with a free header from Frazer Richardson's cross which was begging to be finished. Prutton, however, proved more exact with the searing strike which brought the opening goal after 36 minutes.
Sebastien Carole lost Senda on the left wing with a clever piece of skill and whipped the ball into Millwall's box. Shaw's weak header fell to the feet of Prutton, who took a touch to control the ball before driving a rising shot from 10 yards into the top corner of Pidgeley's net.
Millwall's keeper came under immediate pressure and was forced to beat away a shot from Douglas at the foot of his right-hand post five minutes before the break, but having excelled himself once Pidgeley was guilty of gifting Leeds their second goal in the 53rd minute.
The former Chelsea trainee drilled a straightforward clearance against Kandol, and was helpless to prevent Beckford from running the rebound into an empty net. The floodgates opened quickly, and two rapid finishes from Douglas put the result beyond doubt with an hour on the clock.
Millwall's willingness to struggle on spoke highly of their attitude, and Hoskins reduced the lead with an easy finish in the 65th minute after Jay Simpson's run had opened up Wise's defence. Brkovic then guided home a glorious glancing header which dipped into the net at Ankergren's far post, but the goal served to shake Leeds from their temporary slumber and ensure a quiet finish.
After the week that was, Wise would not have welcomed another nasty surprise.

Leeds United fury over Gus exit
Gus Poyet today confirmed his exit from Leeds United after agreeing to become Tottenham Hotspur's new first-team coach.
United opened the way for Poyet's move to London by agreeing compensation with Spurs last night, and the Uruguayan accepted Tottenham's offer this morning after holding talks with the Premiership club. But Leeds have been incensed by Spurs' approach for their assistant manager, and the way in which their attempt to lure him to White Hart Lane has been handled. Poyet will work under manager Juande Ramos, whose switch from Sevilla to Tottenham was completed on Saturday, and the move has taken him back to the club where he finished his playing career. Spurs have also named Marcos Alvarez, who worked with Ramos at Sevilla, as an additional first-team coach. Ray Wilkins – Dennis Wise's former managerial colleague at Millwall – appears a natural successor to Poyet. He is available and would be an experienced and knowledgeable replacement.
Leeds were first made aware of Spurs' intentions by a fax sent to Elland Road's general fax number at 11.39pm on Thursday evening, hours after news of Poyet's probable departure had begun circulating. The development prompted suspicions at Leeds that Tottenham had mounted an illegal approach for their assistant. Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is believed to have waited until Saturday night before contacting United personally, when it is understood he spoke with Leeds chief executive Shaun Harvey.
The two clubs were still haggling over compensation yesterday afternoon, and an undisclosed figure was finally agreed late last night.
Poyet was absent from Saturday's game between Leeds and Millwall but sent text messages to a number of United's players beforehand wishing them luck. He had missed Friday's training session at Thorp Arch after indicating that he intended to listen to Tottenham's offer.
But United chairman Ken Bates, who was first made aware of Spurs' interest by television reports, dismissed claims that Poyet's relationship with Leeds manager Dennis Wise had broken down as a result of his interest in a return to London.
Bates said: "All these reports about them falling out are complete rubbish.
"Gus is the innocent party in all this. The reason he wasn't at Elland Road (on Saturday) was because we knew it would turn into a media circus and distract everyone from the game."
Poyet's departure seemed likely from the moment United announced that he would not be in the dugout for the club's 13th league game of the season. United produced a convincing performance in his absence and moved up to sixth place in League One with a 4-2 victory over Millwall, but Wise is now beginning his search for a new assistant.
Alan Thompson has ruled himself out of the running for the position after stepping into Poyet's shoes temporarily at the weekend. Thompson was already certain to miss the clash with Millwall through injury and was invited to operate as Wise's assistant, but United's captain is still seen as a central member of the playing squad at Elland Road and does not appear ready to switch to the touchline on a permanent basis. The 33-year-old said: "I don't think I'll become the number two.
"I might step into a coaching capacity at some stage but I don't think I'll be the assistant manager. The manager wants me to carry on playing.
"Gus has great experience and he's a great coach but things move on. We've got good players here and it's not about what goes on on the touchline. It's about what goes on over the white line.
"He will be missed but I would think he'd be replaceable."
Fellow midfielder David Prutton admitted Poyet's loss would be keenly felt by the squad at Elland Road, but insisted none of his team-mates should be surprised to see the Uruguayan moving on. "With prospects and opportunities springing up, it's always going to be a game of change," said Prutton. "It's a reflection of the way football is. "It's not the best because he's a nice fella and he has a lot of input in the team. I've not got a bad word to say about him – he's spot on.
"But things always change and I'm sure we've got plans for how to deal with it."

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sunday Times 28/10/07
Leeds take it easy
Leeds 4 Millwall 2
Richard Rae at Elland Road
Gus Poyet may be leaving - the Uruguyan is expected to accept the post of assistant to Juande Ramos at Spurs tomorrow - but Leeds march on. Dennis Wise cut an isolated figure without his long-standing side-kick, but the United boss celebrated a year in charge by overseeing his team’s 11th win in 13 games; incredibly, given the 15-point handicap under which they began the season, it took them into a playoff position.
Yet Millwall almost punctured the bubble of anniversary good-will within five minutes of the start. Will Hoskins and Gary Alexander exchanged passes in the penalty area before Hoskins lifted the ball over Casper Ankergren and into the United net, only to see the linesman flagging for offside.
Jamie O’Hara headed Ahmet Brkovic’s cross over the bar, and Brkovic himself saw a deflected shot spin wide of the post as the visitors, initially, looked the more dangerous team.
As the half drew on, however, Leeds began to find an attacking rhythm of their own. Jermaine Beckford twice shot wide, Seb Carole fired straight at Millwall keeper Lenny Pidgeley and Tresor Kandol headed past a post.
Shortly before the break they went ahead. Carole beat Danny Senda down the left and though his cross was half-cleared, the ball arrived at the feet of David Prutton, who curled a right-footed shot beyond Pidgeley.
Hoskins almost embarrassed Ankergren at his near post shortly after the restart, but it was Pidgeley who was the goalkeeper left blushing when his attempted clearance thumped against Beckford. The forward collected the rebound and slid the ball into an empty net.
Jonathan Douglas, allowed time to turn and shoot inside the area, made the game safe with a third; two minutes later, he drove a free kick through a feeble wall to make it four.
Humiliation beckoned for Millwall, but Leeds perceptibly relaxed. Hoskins pinched one back with a deflected shot, Brkovic another with a header to start the nerves jangling, but Leeds tightened up again and should have scored at least one more before the whistle.
Wise chose not to appear for the postmatch press conference, leaving his “acting” assistant Alan Thompson to field the questions about Poyet. He did his job solidly, revealing Poyet had texted all the players and staff to wish them luck before the game.
“I think the boys were all a bit flat and down yesterday when Dennis said Gus was possibly going,” said Thompson. “He’s been a big part of what’s happening here and he’ll be missed.
“But in the end it’s about what goes on over the white line and we have good players here.”
For Millwall, assistant manager Colin West said: “I thought the players battled well after the mad 10 minutes at the start of the second half.”
There is a sense of inevitability about Leeds’s rise now. Up by Easter, if not before.
Star man: Jonathan Douglas (Leeds)
Player ratings. Leeds United: Ankergren 6, Richardson 7, Heath 7, Rui Marques 7, Clapham 6, Prutton 7, Douglas 8, Westlake 6, Carole 7 (Weston 77min, 5), Beckford 7 (Da Costa 89min), Kandol 7
Millwall: Pidgeley 5, Senda 5, Robinson 5, Shaw 5, Frampton 6, Brkovic 5, Fuseini 4 (Simpson 61min, 5), Dunne 6, O’Hara 5, Hoskins 6, Alexander 5

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Leedsunited.com 27/10/07
TOP SIX!
United boss Dennis Wise was dealt an injury blow ahead of the game when loan signing Radostin Kishishev suffered a muscle strain during the final moments of Friday's training session, and was ruled out. Ian Westlake joined Jonathan Douglas at the centre of the midfield.
Wise was also joined by skipper Alan Thompson in the dug-out with assistant boss Gus Poyet not attending the game, following media speculation linking him with Tottenham Hotspur.
It was the visitors who actually had the ball in the net, though, with a disallowed effort in the third minute. Will Hoskins finished off a neat passing move, but the former Rotherham striker had strayed into an offside position.
Hoskins also skied a header over the top after Ahmet Brkovic delivered a cross from the right.
But the United response was immediate and Jermaine Beckford sent a shot inches wide after escaping the clutches of a Millwall defender.
Beckford also did well to win a corner after a Tresor Kandol ball found Seb Carole, and after Millwall failed to clear their lines, United's Frenchman tested Lenny Pidgeley with a strike from the edge of the box.
On 25 minutes, Frazer Richardson fashioned a chance when his cross found Kandol, but the striker's header was off target.
Shortly after the half-hour, Beckford curled a shot wide from outside the area as United looked to force an opening.
That opening did come on 36 minutes, though, when David Prutton fired United ahead with a sweet strike from the edge of the box. Millwall failed to deal with a Carole cross and Prutton picked his spot to perfection to leave Pidgeley well beaten.
Four minutes later, Pidgeley had to be at full stretch to beat away an effort from Douglas and moments later, it was Prutton who tried his luck with a shot from distance.
Douglas also sent a free-kick over the top at the start of the second period after Kandol was brought down on the edge of the box.
The second goal did come moments later though. Kandol charged down a Pidgeley clearance and the ball fell to Beckford who almost walked the ball into the net.
And it was 3-0 on 57 minutes when Douglas scored his first of the season when he converted from close range following a corner.
Amazingly, Douglas scored his second of the season less than two minutes later when he slammed home a low free-kick after Beckford was fouled on the edge of the box.
Millwall's confidence had clearly gone following the first goal, and United were dominating what had become a one-sided contest.
But the visitors did bag a consolation goal on 65 minutes when Hoskins converted after a quick break.
The goal proceeded to lift a Millwall side who had looked well beaten, and Ahmet Brkovic scored a second for the Lions when he headed home a cross from the left.
The warning shots sparked life into United again and Kandol was denied by Pidgeley in the final minute after a delightful pass from Curtis Weston.
But there was little other drama as United moved up to sixth in the table after stretching the unbeaten run to 13 games.
Yorkshire Evening Post 26/10/07
Poyet: 'I haven't spoken to anyone'
By Phil Hay
Gus Poyet has spoken out as Tottenham Hotspur were today preparing to move for the Leeds United assistant manager.
The Uruguayan is Spurs' first choice to fill the role of assistant manager at White Hart Lane following the sacking of boss Martin Jol and first-team coach Chris Hughton.
The former Uruguay international, who played for Tottenham between 2001 and 2004, is quoted on BBC Sport saying: "Everybody is calling me and sending me texts about it but I don't know anything. I haven't spoken to anyone.
"I don't know if something has gone on between the clubs. I don't have a clue." Jol and Hughton were dismissed last night and Tottenham were today working to secure Sevilla coach Juande Ramos and United's Poyet as their replacement management team.
United were still waiting for an official approach this morning but club chief executive Shaun Harvey said: "Despite the widespread speculation, Leeds United can confirm that we have neither received an approach from Tottenham for Poyet, nor a request from him to be released from his contract with Leeds.
"Any approach from Tottenham for our assistant manager would not be welcome."
Tottenham have been placed under the immediate command of Clive Allen, their development coach, but Spurs' interest in Ramos is well known. The 53-year-old is under contract at Sevilla until the end of the season, but it is understood that he could step into his new position with Tottenham as early as next week.
Leeds, however, seem determined to fight any attempt to lure Poyet from Elland Road.
He and boss Dennis Wise were installed as United's management team in October of last year, and they completed 12 months in the job on Wednesday. Chairman Ken Bates threw his weight behind the pair after Leeds were relegated from the Championship in April, and United have started this season with 10 victories and two draws from 12 games, quickly freeing the club from their 15-point penalty.
Poyet and Wise have operated as a close partnership during their time with Leeds, and speaking yesterday, Wise told the YEP: "We're good friends and we understand each other very well. We're on the same wavelength."

Yorkshire Evening Post 26/10/07
How Dennis Wise turned tide at Elland Road
By Phil Hay
EXCLUSIVEJoe Allon is the joker in Dennis Wise's pack, and the lightest heart in a football club where darkness has been prevalent.
Recruited by Wise in March, Allon's role in the coaching staff at Leeds United has never been conclusively explained to the outside world. He is, it seems, all things to all men – capable of imparting professional advice, but adept at raising smiles in the dressing room.
It matters to Wise that the eyes and ears surrounding his squad belong to people he can trust implicitly. He also gravitates towards straight-talkers, men who call a spade by its name. Ken Bates lives by that mentality, and so too does Allon. Asked this week to define Wise's first year as United's manager, the retired striker said: "Last year you were Osama Bin Laden. Now you're Elvis."
The analogy is not wholly accurate. Wise was never as disliked as Bin Laden, and he cannot now claim to be as popular as the King. But Allon is right to argue that Wise has travelled from pole-to-pole during 12 months with Leeds. A man who United's supporters were once compelled to hate is dangerously close to being taken into the club's bosom, against their expectations and his.
Wise does not concern himself with popularity contests, primarily because he rarely has any chance of winning them. He knew when he took the job at Leeds 12 months ago that he would be welcomed to Elland Road by few open arms and many clenched fists, some directed at him and others at his chairman.
Why, then, did Wise walk out of the tranquility of Swindon and into what became football's equivalent of civil war? And why, when the heat at Elland Road became intolerable, was he so reluctant to walk away? To understand his reasons is to understand Wise, and the nature of his life in football. He may not be addicted to conflict, but he is not far off it either. Without the smell of battle to thrive on, you suspect his routine would seem a little empty.
"I was probably in a better position at Swindon," Wise says. "I was 45 minutes from my house, and it was all quite simple – I seemed to have a job there for as long as it wanted it, I got a percentage of the gate and all sorts of other things. When we got offered the job here, they offered us new contracts. They wanted us to stay even more.
"But Batesy gave me a call and asked if I would want to come to Leeds. I said of course. There were two reasons – firstly because it's a massive football club but also because of my relationship with Ken Bates. We're very close and it wasn't looking too fantastic for him.
"I knew the financial side of the club wasn't great and I knew the dressing room wasn't great. Why did I do it? Because I'll have a go. I don't shirk. I'm thick-skinned and I've taken abuse all my life, except from the people I've played for.
"Everyone I've played against hated me so I knew it would be difficult here at first. I didn't know whether the supporters would change, or how long it would take. I really wasn't sure. But I wasn't too fussed about it either.
"In pre-season, a guy who was sitting with his boy said to me: 'you're not wanted here. Go.' I suppose that seems hard to take but I'm used to it.
"I once had a situation when I was playing for Millwall and I had 5,000 West Ham fans singing 'he's five-foot-four and his wife's a whore'. I laughed. Why? Because people get carried away. They read the papers, they want to slaughter you and that's what happens in football. It doesn't bother me.
"The supporters' first thought when I came to Leeds will have been 'what is he doing here?' I needed a chance, and in the first six months I never had it. I got battered all over the place – by the papers, by the fans.
"There was a lot of arguing with players here, a lot of snide remarks and nasty things going.
"But I knew it was going to get better. You might not believe me, but I knew it couldn't get any worse. That was it. I realised that I'd dealt with it all, mentally and physically. I never cracked."
The problems in Wise's dressing room last season were an open secret. Their exact nature is more of a riddle.Wise alludes to awkward issues, but is never specific. Two of his first decisions after his arrival last October saw Paul Butler and Sean Gregan shown to the door at Thorp Arch, and the squad responsible for reaching the Championship play-off final was methodically – deliberately – dismantled.
Age was one reason. Attitude appears to have been another. United's manager does not use the word undermined, but it is clear that at times last season he believed that he was. His fight to gain the confidence of the club's supporters was raging only as intensely as the private struggle for control behind United's dressing room door. Between that and the hanging hand of administration, the outcome of the season was obvious long before Leeds threw their dice for the final time and were relegated from the Championship on April 28.
"The players here had got their own way for such a long time, or that's how I felt," Wise says. "It seemed that they were dictating what happened."There were a lot of strong personalities and they thought my days were numbered – they basically said 'let's do him'. They didn't think I'd be here a year later. But I was always going to be here.
"They did what they liked, and I had to deal with that atmosphere. It's easier for a manager to have a go at a youngster, but it's not so easy for a manager to have a go at a big-head and to put him in his place. You have to have a strong personality and to be strong mentally.
"Maybe they thought 'sod him, he'll be gone', but I knew differently. It was no good me going in the cupboard and hiding, and I wasn't going to walk away just because it was a bad time. No chance, and not in a million years.
"I listened to people who abused me like that man with his boy did in pre-season, but I got on with it. Batesy always said that this was going to be a long job, not a short one."
Ah yes. Ken Bates. The only figure at Elland Road who can provoke more discussion than his manager, but a man to whom Wise is fiercely loyal.
Their relationship was professional before it became personal, but Wise's friendship with Bates is now as important to him as the opportunity of employment.
The two stood shoulder-to-shoulder through a summer which threatened to run them both out of Elland Road, and it is difficult to imagine an acrimonious parting of ways in the future. Wise worries more about the pressure on his chairman than he does about himself. Bates equally would hope that he never reaches the stage where Wise's position becomes untenable.
The pair are not quite a permanent package, but a successful Wise is likely remain at Elland Road for as long as Bates does. Were his chairman to walk, however, Wise would probably follow. It was certainly true that Wise's fate rested solely on Bates' ability to fight his way through administration, and to ignore calls for him to respond to relegation by instigating a change of manager.
"If someone else had taken over the club in the summer, I knew I was gone," admits Wise. "The perfect situation for them would have been to get rid of me.
"They'd have thought 'the crowd hates him, everyone hates him'. And they'd have been the cult hero because people would say 'thank God you got rid of that idiot'.
"I knew what was coming to me if anyone else took over. I'd have gone away on holiday and taken it easy. But the other thing I knew was that I had a fighter behind me, and that's Batesy.
"A lot of people have given him a lot of stick but there were reasons (for United's problems) and people never see all the reasons – they never see what's inside the circle, only the outside.
"Some of them don't like him but it's nice to see that they haven't sung about him for a long time. He doesn't deserve that because he's trying to do a job. I don't know – maybe there realising about him as well now.
"I'm very loyal to him, and I can talk to him in the right way. No-one else calls him Batesy. When I first did that I was 21-year-old and a young man – a cocky young man.
"He was signing me (at Chelsea), and Andy Townsend walked in looking immaculate. I walked in in a tracksuit. He said to me 'is this it for £1.6million?' I said 'yes, but I've got a bit heart so you'll be okay'. He started laughing.
"The situation at Wimbledon was that Sam Hammam owed me some money. I never asked for a transfer to Chelsea so I should have got a signing-on fee.
"Sam pulled me outside and said he couldn't pay me the money. He said I had to put in a transfer request or they'd call the deal off.
"Me being the young naive man I was, I thought 'bloody hell' and signed the agreement. My agent went mad but I wanted to go.
"Ken asked what had happened and we explained it. He rung up Colin Hutchison (Chelsea's then chief executive) and told him to add the money to my contract because if I wanted to come to the place so badly, I deserved to get what I was owed.
"That was very nice, and very loyal. Because I called him Batesy that day – and because it was a natural thing for me to do – he lets me call him it now. No-one else does. He tells people off if they do. I can do it but they can't. We're very close."
The strength of their relationship is shown by the fact that the last 12 months haven't damaged it.
When Bates invited Wise and Gustavo Poyet over to Monaco last October to inform them that he saw them as United's future, the picture he painted was incomplete. There can have been no discussion about administration or transfer embargoes, and only a fleeting mention of relegation. Friendships are broken by much less.
But Wise would not have left Elland Road with genuine pride or any motivation had circumstances led to his dismissal in the summer. He might, he admits, have taken a year off. Yet here he is, and here are Leeds – dominating League One and beginning to ask how far their manager can take them. Wise is wondering the same."I needed to do this for my own purpose, and my own challenge," Wise says. "The first six months were a nightmare but this was about fighting something.
"This could be my last job. It really could. I'm being totally honest. I don't know if it will be but I'm enjoying myself at the moment.
"I've enjoyed it from the start in a funny way – a strange and warped kind of way. I enjoyed the battle with people, and I enjoyed the slaughtering because it makes you stronger, and you see if you can stand up to it.
"I knew I would take dogs' abuse. But if you can stand up to it then you can stand up to a lot of things. I needed to find that out."
It is not the attitude that many of his peers would have adopted. But then Elland Road has never been a refuge for coaches short of courage. The job of managing Leeds United is safest in the hands of those who stare danger in the eyes. It is like the Russian proverb says: if you're afraid of wolves, stay out of the forest.


Yorkshire Evening Post 26/10/07
Poyet in line for Spurs role
Leeds United assistant manager Gus Poyet has been linked with a return to Spurs following the departure of Martin Jol.
Juande Ramos has emerged as the leading contender to take over from Jol following the Dutchman's departure as Tottenham manager yesterday.
Former Spurs midfielder Poyet has been widely tipped to join as assistant.
Spurs announced after the UEFA Cup defeat to Getafe that Jol and assistant boss Chris Hughton were sacked following the club's dismal start to the season, although news had filtered through to fans during the match.
Jol waved to fans and there were songs criticising chairman Daniel Levy, who famously was among the Spurs officials who met Sevilla coach Ramos at the start of the season.
Ramos spoke of an offer from Spurs then vowed to stay in Spain for the rest of the season, but bookmakers have stopped taking bets on him succeeding Jol. They will have big shoes to fill after Jol managed fifth-placed finishes in the Premier League during his only full seasons at White Hart Lane. They were within touching distance of the Champions League two seasons ago but were hit by a mystery virus on the final day of the season.Heavy investment in the squad this summer - and retaining the services of Dimitar Berbatov - saw expectation rise in the boardroom.
The aim was the top four but Jol could only manage one win with more than a quarter of the season already gone.
Levy said: "For me, Martin and Chris' departure is regrettable. Our greatest wish was to see results turn in our favour and for there to be no need for change.
"They have been professional, popular and respected members of the coaching staff and there will always be a warm welcome for them both at the Lane."
Jol added:"I can understand the position of the club in light of the results. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here. Tottenham Hotspur is a special club and I want to thank the terrific staff and players."
For me the fans were always amazing with their support so I would also like to say thank you - I shall never forget them."
Development coach Clive Allen and youth team boss Alex Inglethorpe will take charge of the first team for the time being.
Two defeats in the opening week of the season put pressure on Jol - then the meeting with Ramos at the Alfonso XIII hotel emerged.
Jol appeared a "dead man walking" from then. He was not helped by Berbatov appearing moody, and the Bulgaria striker appeared to undermine his boss when he looked reluctant to warm up as a substitute against Newcastle on Monday.
Jermain Defoe was also upset after finding himself out of the matchday squad on occasions or used as an impact substitute, while Darren Bent has not settled in following his £16.5million move from Charlton.
Their defensive problems surfaced against Getafe after Defoe had opened the scoring in the 19th minute.
The Spaniards equalised immediately when Esteban Granero's free-kick from around the 40-yard mark bounced in, with Ruben de la Red claiming the slightest of touches.
Braulio Nobrega back-heeled the winner with 20 minutes remaining.
Getafe boss Michael Laudrup has been under pressure himself and felt for his counterpart.
"Football is a hard world," he said. "One year you are fantastic, the next you are the opposite.
"Given what he has done last year I don't think he will have a problem finding a new job."

Leedsunited.com 2510/07
WISE MAN FOR THE JOB
Dennis Wise has been at Elland Road for 12 months but he admitted today that he found himself in a nightmare situation during the first six months after he accepted the role of Leeds United manager.
"A lot of things weren't right at this club when I came here and I knew it was going to be a big challenge for me but I have never been one to shirk a challenge," he said.
If the first six months of his first year at Elland Road were turbulent the second six have, however, been quite amazing with his side attracting bumper crowds to Elland Road after an outstanding start to the season and still unbeaten after 12 games.
"Last year was just a nightmare in every aspect really - on the field and off it," Dennis recalled. "There were so many things really but we learnt a lot from that situation and it was important for us to learn from it.
"I experienced a lot of different things that I would otherwise probably not have been involved in. In the time I have been manager here, the first six months opened my eyes to a lot of things and it has made me a better person - and probably a better manager as well because of what I have seen.
"A lot of things happened last year and I don't want to harp on about them too much because those days have gone but I do believe I am better for having experienced it and I am sure it will benefit me and the football club.
The United boss said that last season gave him a better understanding of the club. "When you first walk into a place you feel uncomfortable and you know you need to remove that feeling. That is what it was like when I came to the club - it was very uncomfortable."
Dennis said that people didn't know him and he didn't know them. "People judge you on what they have heard about you, not on what you are about really. Those who get used to you get on well with you the ones that don't unfortunately don't see eye-to-eye with you."
He said the first time he really felt comfortable at the club was at the start of pre-season training this year. "The group we had last season wasn't a good group. But we dealt with the situation, which was difficult, and we got through it.
"The easy option would have been just to say 'to heck with this, I don't fancy it. Why would I want to be here next year? But we do it because we have a job to do - to change things around.
Although Dennis regards pre-season this term as being a turning point, he readily agreed that a lively half time team talk at Tranmere on the opening day of the League campaign was a significant time.
"I did have a few words with the lads and got upset a bit that day but they needed it and the situation changed. Sometimes it is needed sometimes it isn't but there hasn't been too much of that," he added.
At his very first United press conference the manager said he wanted Leeds to have aggression, spirit, determination, togetherness and be a little more like the Leeds side of old. Has he got that now? "Yes I have," he said. "Sometimes we have gone a little bit overboard with the discipline - the mouth more than anything.
"Maybe we can tone that down a bit because that only gets us into trouble a little more. We don't want silly bookings," he said.
It is safe to say that when he was appointed manager at Leeds his was not a universally popular appointment with a lot of fans.
So why did he take the job?
"Because Leeds are a massive club and because of my relationship with Ken Bates. I know him very well and I'm very close to him and I knew that it wasn't looking too fantastic for him. The financial side of it wasn't great either and I knew the dressing room wasn't great," he added.
When he took up the reins Wise had to put up with verbal abuse from some fans and even at the start of the current season he was told my one man sitting with his boy: 'You're not wanted here'.
"II have taken criticism and verbal abuse all my career but it doesn't bother me. I'm thick skinned and I thrive on a challenge. I knew it would be difficult for me at first here. I got battered by newspapers and some of the fans but I just got on with trying to change things," he said.
"But the fans have been fantastic this season because things are going OK and now I think they realise what Gus and me or all about. When things don't go OK we will need them just as much. But full credit to the fans for this season, they have been great."
Where would Dennis like to be at the end of October next year? "In the same situation as now but in a league higher," he replied.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Yorkshire Post 24/10/07
Kishishev returns for second loan spell at Leeds
By Richard Sutcliffe
RADOSTIN KISHISHEV has returned to Leeds United on loan.
The 33-year-old Leicester City midfielder has joined Leeds on an initial one-month loan deal after falling out of favour at the Walkers Stadium.
Kishishev's return is a huge coup for Leeds manager Dennis Wise, who today celebrates one year in charge at Elland Road, with injuries troubling several of his midfielders.
Alan Thompson and Andrew Hughes are among those who are doubtful for Saturday's meeting with Millwall and Kishishev could go straight into the side.
The Bulgarian international spent the final two months on loan at Elland Road from Charlton Athletic last season and made a huge impression despite United being relegated.
United wanted to sign the midfielder in the summer, but the lure of Championship football proved too great. Martin Allen's replacement by Gary Megson has, however, left Kishishev out of favour at the Walkers Stadium.
Gus Poyet has been fined £1,500 and warned about his future conduct by the Football Association after criticising the performance of referee Andy D'Urso.
The United assistant was upset with the handling of the 3-0 Carling Cup defeat at Portsmouth in September, suggesting afterwards it would be a good idea for the Essex official not to referee Leeds again.


Yorkshire Evening Post 21/10/07
Leeds United's Kandol lights up match
Brighton 0 Leeds United 1
Football's style council lives by the proverb that it aint what you do, it's the way that you do it. But not in League One.
England's third division is a pragmatic competition, and one where quantity is reigning over quality. Leeds United's have been told to gather points this season, and to worry less about how those points are fashioned. Saturday's victory in the southern reaches of England epitomised that attitude perfectly.
United's performance against Brighton was forgettable in the extreme, and so was the game as a whole. When the club come to reflect on the season in its entirety on May 3, they will not remember the Withdean Stadium as the scene of their most convincing victory. It is also unlikely, however, that any individual result will prove more telling than United's 1-0 win.
Leeds as a club have never warmed to the Withdean Stadium. Or not, that is, until Tresor Kandol settled Saturday's game with a goal in keeping with a fixture which lack animation from the first whistle.
Both of United's previous visits to Brighton's ground - a peculiar venue which struggles to scrape above non-league standards - had ended in defeat, and Albion's proposed move to the nearby site of Falmer seemed as much in the interest of Leeds as it will be in that of the Seagulls.
The Withdean Stadium is a location where capable teams are destined to toil, and the goalless draw that United were protecting with 11 minutes remaining could not have disappointed Dennis Wise. His club's history on the south coast is such that any result in Brighton other than a defeat is something to treasure. The victory that Kandol's goal yielded, therefore, may come to be incredibly valuable.
The striker will not score an easier effort this season, nor will a chance be presented to him as charitably as it was by Albion. Kandol positioned himself sensibly in anticipation of Frazer Richardson's cross, and when the full-back's weak delivery was sliced lazily by Adam El-Abd towards his own goal, Kandol made simple job of tapping the ball into Brighton's net.
Having missed a penalty against Leyton Orient seven days previously, it was precisely the source of rejuvenation that he required. Wise had spoken earlier in the week about the importance of protecting Kandol's confidence, and Brighton's defending did his job for him. There is apparently nothing capable of knocking United or their players from their stride.
Leeds' drab display was, in truth, a reflection of the quality offered by Albion. That has been the case on several occasions this season, and if Wise has learned nothing else about League One, he at least understands that few other clubs are valuing performances over points.
is pleasing to be promoted with style, but it is just as rewarding to be promoted without. United can play with panache when the mood takes them, but the outcome of their season is most likely to depend on the results produced at their lowest ebb. Saturday's game did not appear to be offering a victory to either side when Kandol struck. The fact that United travelled home with a 10th league victory suggests their prospects of promotion are more realistic than Brighton's.
Albion were on the fringes of the play-off positions before kick-off on Saturday, and Dean Wilkins, their inexperienced manager, believed his players were mugged. If by that he meant that Albion controlled the larger part of a poor game then he was right. But the irony of Brighton's sharper passing and more sustained dominance was that the better chances fell exclusively to Leeds.
Kandol could have given United the lead after only two minutes had he not allowed a cross from David Prutton to glance weakly off his head, and in between the spells of pressure exerted by Brighton, Wise's players made the most of the limited possession which came their way.
Sebastien Carole produced the best strike of the first half in the 31st minute, a fierce volley from Kandol's knockdown which Michel Kuipers parried with one hand, and El-Abd's hesitation force his goalkeeper to pluck the ball bravely from Kandol's feet inside his box 60 seconds before the interval. El-Abd would later discover that Kuipers' ability to bail him out was not a reliable service.
Brighton had shown their own hand on a number of occasion, and Wise's defenders were rarely left in peace in the first half.
Casper Ankergren, who remained largely untroubled for all Albion's impetus, pushed away a shot from Jake Robinson which appeared in any case to be fading beyond his goal, and David Martot scuffed a wasteful strike wide after Andrew Whing's cross reached the Frenchman at the far post.
Dean Hammond then scraped Ankergren's side-netting with a low effort three minutes before the break, but the respective potency of the teams suggested a goal was more likely to come from Wise's strikers, if at all.
Wise lost Andrew Hughes to injury in the 38th minute, and his midfield were unable to prevent Brighton from exerting themselves after half-time.
Ankergren's diving block repelled a shot from Alex Revell, and Martot's volley would have beaten United's keeper easily had it not skipped a foot wide of the post. But a header from Jermaine Beckford which skimmed the crossbar on the hour reminded Albion that Leeds have thrived on an impressive goalscoring record this season.
Kandol has been at the centre of that form, and after three games without a goal, the striker was invited to claim his sixth of the season by El-Abd's costly misjudgement 11 minutes from time.
Richardson's mis-hit cross presented no danger to Albion, but El-Abd's clearance sliced towards his own goal and forced Kuipers to claw the ball away from the far corner of the net. The Dutchman's reaction was excellent but it left him exposed, and Kandol stepped forward to slip the rebound into an unguarded net.
Games like Saturday's are easily forgotten but seasons can turn on such results, and the quietly-ecstatic reaction of Wise's players and staff said as much. Winning in Brighton may be a key moment for United. How they achieved it is, in reality, neither here nor there.


Yorkshire Post 20/10/07
Brighton Albion 0 Leeds United 1
Gus Poyet readily conceded Leeds were not at their best, but was none the less happy to reflect on a job well done as United extended their unbeaten League run to 12 games.
Leeds were forced to work hard for maximum points by an improving Brighton and a late goal from Tresor Kandol sent the Seagulls to their first defeat in six games before the biggest ever crowd at their temporary home.
Congolese striker Kandol settled the issue by seizing on a defensive mistake by Adam El-Abd to score his sixth goal in 11 League games this season.
"It was not the best game for our supporters but sometimes you have to grind out results.," said United assistant manager Poyet.
"I would have loved to have seen us play better, but we got another clean sheet by being solid at the back."
Poyet felt it was vitally important for Kandol's confidence that he bounced back quickly with a goal having missed a penalty against Leyton Orient the previous week.
He added: "We have to pick Tresor out for special praise. The goal might have come from a mistake, but he was there at the right time."
Kandol steered the ball home from close range 11 minutes from time after El-Abd failed to control a cross to the near post by Frazer Richardson.
Leeds could have been in front in only the second minute had Kandol not headed over, and a powerful shot from former Brighton winger Seb Carole was saved by keeper Michel Kuipers.
The well-placed Jermaine Beckford headed a Jamie Clapham cross over before Kandol's clincher and Poyet, delighted at his team's battling qualities, emphasised their success so far is due to a collective effort.
He added: "Everyone believes in each other, confidence is quite high and this was another great three points for us.
"We had some good fortune with the goal we scored but we have a very good group of lads and the togetherness of the team is carrying us through."
Brighton manager Dean Wilkins had no doubt his side were particularly hard done by not to have taken anything from the match, and moaned: "We were mugged. I feel we were very unlucky because we were undone by one slip."
Brighton: Kuipers; Whing, Elphick, El-Abd, Richards; Savage (Elder 80), Fraser (Loft 87), Hammond, Martot; Revell, Robinson (Forster 87). Unused substitutes: Butters, Sullivan.
Leeds United: Ankergren; Richardson, Marques, Heath, Clapham; Prutton, Hughes (Westlake 37), Douglas, Carole; Beckford (De Vries 90), Kandol. Unused substitutes: Huntington, Andrews, Lucas.
Referee: P Taylor (Hertfordshire).
Leeds man of the match: Jonathan Douglas.