Saturday, January 30, 2010 30/1/10
Professional display sees off Colchester...
UNITED 2 (Beckford 38 pen, 55), COLCHESTER 0
Manager Simon Grayson welcomed two new signings into his starting line-up, Gary McSheffrey and Shane Lowry both making their debuts as United looked to end a run of three league games without a win.
Lowry came in at left-back in place of an ill Andrew Hughes while McSheffrey started on the left in place of Bradley Johnson, who dropped to the bench. Grayson was also without injured duo Paddy Kisnorbo and Neil Kilkenny.
Having suffered a 3-0 defeat at Swindon in midweek, United were looking to get back on track and in a tentative opening period Jermaine Beckfordalmost found an opening towards goal.
Colchester also started with plenty of confidence and the visitors were shouting for a penalty when Philip Ifil took a tumble under pressure fromLubo Michalik after a Marc Tierney cross.
On 21 minutes, McSheffrey had a hand in the first real opening of the afternoon when Micky Doyle tested Ben Williams with a low, skidding shot. McSheffrey and Beckford was also both denied by offside flags when well-placed to try their luck.
Casper Ankergren made his first save of the afternoon when he got down well to an Ifil free-kick while at the other Robert Snodgrass was crowded out in the box and Michalik headed into the arms of Williams.
Colchester were defending with a rigid line and when Luciano Becchio breached that rearguard he won a penalty after being brought down. It was the boost Leeds needed and, just as he had at Tottenham last weekend, Beckford stepped up to convert from the spot to put Leeds ahead.
That advantage was almost doubled three minutes later when Lowry started a break that saw Beckford feed McSheffrey, who made a great run, but his finish was just wide.
United had looked solid during the opening period, and Grayson's men started the second period in similar fashion. Leeds also had the first opportunity when McSheffrey broke and fed Beckford whose shot was deflected wide. McSheffrey also went close from the corner when his powerful strike from the edge of the box was deflected over the top by Beckford.
The second goal did come in the 55th minute, though. Jonny Howson showed great skill to bring the ball down and shoot from just inside the box and as the ball came back off the upright Beckford was at his poaching best to bundle the ball home from close range.
The striker thought he had bagged a hat-trick shortly after the hour, but his goal was ruled out by another offside flag.
United were forced into making a change on 71 minutes when Lowry limped out of the action due to what appeared to be crowd, following an impressive debut, but Johnson came on as his replacement.
And with eight minutes remaining, Grayson's other impressive debutant McSheffrey was replaced by Max Gradel. And the club's other new signing came within a whisker of making it 3-0 when he had a shot saved after good work by Beckford. From the resultant corner, Leigh Bromby sent a header glancing header against the bar.
There was little else in the way of drama as United went on to record a first league victory of 2010 thanks to a professional, solid performance.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 25/1/10
New signing Max Gradel says his permanent switch to Leeds is a dream come to true.
The former Leicester City winger signed a two-and-a-half year contract with Leeds on Monday and will go straight into the squad for Tuesday's trip to Swindon Town.
Max had already made 16 appearances as a loan man, but was delighted to secure a full-time switch to the club.
"It's a dream come to true," said Max. "I''m really excited to join a big club like this. I really can't believe I'm a Leeds player now.
"I just want to pull on the shirt again and help Leeds get where the club should be.
"It's a very big club with the fans and I just wanted be here and be one of the manager's players so I am very happy.
"I'm thankful to the club and the manager for believing in me and for wanting me to come. The manager has done everything he can to get me here.
"The fans have been brilliant as well. I like to play and I'm glad they like that."
The club announced moments before the kick-off of Saturday's FA Cup tie at Tottenham that a fee had been agreed with Leicester subject to the player passing a medical.
Max was a spectator on Saturday and because he wasn't available for the original game he won't be eligible to play in the Elland Road replay on Wednesday week.
"I watched the game on TV and before they announced a fee was agreed," said Max.
"I felt like a Leeds player even though I wasn't there and I thought they put in a lot of effort to get what was a great result.
"I found out today I won't be able to play in the replay, but I hope we can get as far as we can because I'd like to be involved in the next round."
While Max has featured prominently so far this season for Leeds, the majority of his appearances have come as a substitute.
The winger is now targeting a starting place in Simon Grayson's line-up as he looks to help his new club win promotion.
"I haven't started a lot of games this season and I wasn't fit when I first came here," he explained.
"When you're on loan the manager wants to play his players, but I'm one of his now and I'm a lot fitter so hopefully I will start more games.
"Every game is very important now because it feels like Charlton and Norwich are catching us up so we have to win games.
"I want to do everything I can to help us get promoted. We want to finish as champions because of the work we have put in."

BBC 24/1/10
Leeds United sign Max Gradel from Leicester City
Leeds United have completed the signing of Max Gradel from Leicester City.
The Ivorian winger has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal at Elland Road after a three-month loan spell at the club that saw him score three goals.
The 22-year-old had made just one substitute appearance for the Foxes this season and handed in a transfer request last week.
Leeds boss Simon Grayson told BBC Radio Leeds:"He is a joy to work with, enthusiastic and always with a smile."
Gradel became an instant hit with Leeds fans with some explosive performances as substitute after moving to Elland Road on an original one-month deal in October.
"He's a good player and has brought a lot to this club," added Grayson.
"When he's started games he's scored goals and set them up, and when he comes off the bench he is always lively.
"The crowd have taken to him from day one and he is probably the only player I've signed that after seeing him for just 10 minutes everyone wants me to sign him up full time."

Observer 24/1/10
Jermaine Beckford marks the end of Leeds United's goldfish years
With their striker the star of this year's FA Cup, the Elland Road club have finally shed their traumatic history
Leeds are a club much copied. They built a debt mountain long before Portsmouth, Newcastle or West Ham, pioneering the suicidal wage bill and lunatic transfer budget for others to emulate. After the reckoning has come the rise, as if they exist these days to provide hope for clubs who endure near-death experiences.
But there is more to them than that, as they demonstrated by confronting Tottenham's aristocratic pretensions face on and earning a replay through Jermaine Beckford's penalty in added time, his second contribution in a thrilling tie. Their fans are as truculent as ever and the old fighting spirit of the 1970s has returned to erase the gauchness of the Peter Ridsdale years. The League One promotion race is their real battleground, but the FA Cup has quickened the pace of self-recovery. Beckford, who has scored against Manchester United and Spurs in successive rounds, has used the competition as a personal finishing school.
The third-round victory over United at Old Trafford was the real attention-grabber, but this is close behind. Those who occasionally look farther down the list of 92 professional clubs than the Premier League's top four already knew Leeds were calling the shots in League One. But the victory over England's champions altered the dynamic in a partly unhelpful way. Until Beckford outran Wes Brown to hustle United out, Leeds could play the Phoenix role, plotting a way back up through the divisions. By the time they reached north London, though, Norwich were on their tails at the top of the table and the nation was tuning in expecting another prime-time upset.
That was seldom on the cards here, but how Spurs will dread the rematch at Elland Road. Two of the top six defences in the English game have now failed to cope with Beckford, a former Chelsea trainee who dropped all the way to Wealdstone to restart a stalled career. In modern football no one expects a young striker to be able to fall so far off the chart and still make a name for himself as Beckford has. This is a big torch to carry. It lights the way for hundreds of other youngsters discarded by Premier League academies. If he carries on this way, he can look higher than Newcastle United, his most likely destination in this transfer window before he elected to stick with Leeds for the rest of this campaign.
Beckford is the individual billboard star of this year's FA Cup and Leeds are the big romantic tale in a competition that squeals for our attention in a schedule crammed with Premier League and Champions League drama.
The Yorkshire revival is back on course. A draw and two defeats since the Old Trafford ram-raid had broken a sequence of 17 games unbeaten. Coincidence? A fair extrapolation is that the third-round win interfered with the team's ascent. Cup runs often work as a distraction for clubs bent on promotion. Mischievously, some of us wondered whether Simon Grayson's men motored to White Hart Lane thinking the best result would be a hiding.
If so they hid it well, as an early Tottenham onslaught subsided, and the 4,500 travelling fans proclaimed a first-half counter-surge after a torrid opening chapter. "We're not famous any more," sang the Leeds throng, subverting a chant many opposing crowds have tried to tickle them with since they plunged from a Champions League semi-final in 2001 to a league housing Yeovil and Leyton Orient.
Unlike United, Spurs saw the upstarts coming. Forewarned, by the Manchester miracle, Tottenham were in threat-elimination mode. Leeds assumed the Alamo pose. Grace under pressure was impossible. Patrick Kisnorbo's head, bandaged from the start, was emblematic of their defiance.
After 25 minutes of north London bullying, though, Leeds decided it was time to explore the other half of the pitch, and Beckford twice forced gymnastic reactions from Heurelho Gomes. No longer in command, Tottenham's millionaires knew they would have to grapple. Premier League players are meant to be softer nowadays, but they all carry memories of when football was always feisty (in their pre-professional years) and Harry Redknapp's team welcomed the chance to play old-school Cup football. Jermaine Jenas might as well have been reading a book when Leeds first equalised, but otherwise Spurs applied themselves valiantly. Even Roman Pavlyuchenko, he of the languid air, recognised the urgency of Tottenham's position, restoring his team's lead. But still to come was Beckford's meatily executed penalty.
In an interview with the Yorkshire Post last week, Ken Bates recalled being wheeled out as the new chairman five years ago by Gerald Krasner, who asked: "Do you want to shake hands for the photographers?" Bates replied: "Not now I've seen the books."
Leeds were losing £120,000 a week and were practically wearing the taxman like a rash. "The finances were completely out of control," Bates recalled on Friday. Now, the average gate is 25,000 and the club filed a £4.5million profit last season.
The assumption that Leeds will glide straight through the Championship next season is flawed, because they have achieved the current rebirth without risking a repeat of the luxury goldfish years. Run prudently, they will encounter one of football's deepest mysteries: how do teams escape a division where a kind of communism applies? Most teams are equal, and most can beat any other on any Saturday.
But that's another mission. First Leeds needed to regain their self-respect, their identity. The twinkly team of the David O'Leary years has retreated into a kind of infamy. This one is an older diagram of machismo, with touches of prettiness. You look at Leeds now and no longer see a history of trauma. You see a replay and Beckford writing his name across the sky.

Telegraph 23/1/10
Leeds United on the march with the wily Simon Grayson
The fairytale of the FA Cup run continues, the story of Leeds United’s stirring revival under Simon Grayson gains another remarkable chapter.
By Henry Winter
Saturday was a famous draw, a result rooted in Leeds players’ never-say-die attitude under Grayson, whose deployment of the outstanding Robert Snodgrass in the hole proved a tactical masterstroke.
No wonder Leeds fans never stopped chanting. Grayson has got the whole club marching on together, his reputation as one of the game’s most promising managers again enhanced by the Cup.
Having masterminded the shock of the third round, the knockout blow landed on the distinguished chin of Manchester United, Grayson had once again set another Premier League side an unexpected challenge.
“Are you watching Manchester?’’ chanted the 5,000 Leeds supporters, many of them stripped to the waist.
Once again, Leeds’ mood had been excellent, brimming with defiance and belief. Despite recent travails in League One, Grayson is proving a master at motivation, a trait seen in his successful time reviving Blackpool’s fortunes.
Leeds may be short of technique in certain areas, but they lack nothing in effort. The bandage around Patrick Kisnorbo’s head is an emblem of their commitment to the cause. Their refusal to give up was another magical moment in this Cup season.
From first minute to the last second of added time, Leeds gave everything. During the opening storm whipped up by Jermain Defoe, Kisnorbo and the rest of Grayson’s players stood firm.
The team spirit, the bond of togetherness that Grayson has in his dressing room, was clear in the way Kisnorbo threw himself in the way of a thunderous Defoe shot and then Snodgrass blocked a Niko Kranjcar strike.
The hunger was unmistakable in the way Bradley Johnson snapped away at the cultured heels of Kranjcar, muscling the ball off the Croatian midfielder just after the half-hour mark.
The determination of Grayson’s players was exhibited in the reflexes of Casper Ankergren, who summoned up the ghost of Hull City’s Boaz Myhill, haunting Spurs with a series of saves from Defoe’s penalty and two Gareth Bale free-kicks.
Talk about Casper the Unfriendly Ghost. Leeds’ fans loved it, taunting Spurs with a chant of “you’re just a small town in Arsenal’’.
Once again, Grayson’s tactics had been intelligent. Having relied on a 4-4-2 system to win at Old Trafford, Leeds manager used a 4-4-1-1 system here that confused Spurs.
“There’s only one Simon Grayson,’’ chorused the visiting hordes. Without taking his eyes off the game, Grayson gave them an appreciative wave. Leeds fans love the way that Grayson, a schoolboy fan, has given the club its respect back. Wembley may be a distant dream but the Championship isn’t.
Grayson is certainly not afraid of making big decisions, dropping Luciano Becchio and moving Snodgrass from the right flank and into the hole.
Snodgrass, scheming in the no-man’s land between midfield and attack, caused Spurs problems. After forcing Gomes into an athletic save, Snodgrass lifted the ball through to Beckford, who struck a powerful right-footed shot that Gomes parried.
Spurs urgently needed somebody to cut the strings being so expertly pulled by Snodgrass. Redknapp’s centre-halves, Michael Dawson and S├ębastien Bassong, did not know whether to stick or twist, to stay close to Beckford or step out to stifle Snodgrass.
Jermaine Jenas, the one slightly defensive player in Spurs midfield, did drop back but Snodgrass was influential all evening. Seven minutes in to the second period, the Scot was surrounded by three Spurs players but still won a vital corner, flicking the ball off Danny Rose.
Snodgrass’ curling corner, and painful hesitation in Spurs defence, allowed Beckford to equalise Peter Crouch’s earlier effort.
Redknapp had to solve the Snodgrass conundrum. Paying Grayson and Leeds a real compliment, the Spurs manager sent on that pedigree dog of war, Wilson Palacios, with instructions to deprive Snodgrass of room.
After 62 minutes, Palacios was fortunate that Alan Wiley, the referee, ignored the midfielder’s foul on Snodgrass. Clear penalty. Not given.
Grayson, standing in the technical area, spotted the infringement, grimaced when Wiley waved play on but refused to moan, quickly rallying his players.
Watching Grayson on the touchline, hearing him drive Leeds on, it is easy to understand why players loved playing for him, why Beckford has withdrawn his transfer request.
Greater riches are on offer elsewhere, like at Everton, but Leeds are worth sticking with.
They are clearly going places under Grayson which is why they could have sold out Saturday’s allocation three times over, why local radio now streams commentaries on the web because of the global interest in Grayson’s team.
To seize the initiative back from Grayson, Redknapp sent on Roman Pavlyuchenko, who promptly scored, but there was late drama when Beckford swept in the equaliser from the spot.
“We’re Leeds, and we’re proud of you,’’ sang the visitors. No wonder. Grayson has got Leeds on the march.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Times 24/1/10
Tottenham pay the penalty against Leeds
Tottenham 2 Leeds 2
David Walsh
MUCH about this cup tie evoked the game of our childhoods, the tumultuous atmosphere, fiercely competitive tackling, the sense that only the cup can produce the ultimate one-off match. The football, too, was terrific and the suspense sustained to the death when Leeds’ outstanding player, Jermaine Beckford, won a penalty, picked himself off the ground and swept the kick high into the Spurs net.
It was Beckford’s second goal of the match and after his winner against Manchester United three weeks ago, his third against Premier League opposition in two games. There are Premier League strikers who take half a season to do that but Beckford is ready to play at a higher level. He will stay at Leeds until the summer and then the question is whether he plays in the Championship with them or accepts an offer to play in the Premier League.
What is certain is that Leeds are too good a side for League One. They had looked good in winning at Old Trafford three weeks ago but they were better yesterday and fully deserve to be still in the cup. Spurs did not play badly and through a blistering opening 20 minutes they threatened to steamroller Leeds.
Somebody asked Harry Redknapp if that wasn’t the moment to win the game but he saw it as being simpler than that. “We should have settled it with a minute to go,” he said. “We’re 2-1 up, if we keep the ball it is game over.” Teams do what they have always done. Spurs attack, they always have, and after Roman Pavlyuchenko put them 2-1 up in the 75th minute, the last thing on their mind was pulling up the drawbridge.
Instead they were flying into Leeds’ half chasing a third, full-backs overlapping, midfielders sprinting forward and it was so Spurs.
And Leeds, too, tend to be what they’ve always been. Before the game, an army of fans marched along the Seven Sisters Road chanting “Yorkshire, Yorkshire” and it was remarkable one word defined them. “We’ve got the desire to make sure we don’t lose games, that’s in the locker of this team,” said Simon Grayson, the manager.
Two-one down, Grayson’s team didn’t stop believing and with Beckford there was always a chance. He is quick and not lacking in confidence. There wasn’t much on when he received the ball in those dying seconds but he turned it into something, beating Dawson on the outside and tempting the centre-back into a reckless tackle. Dawson will wonder what got into him.
It is not the misjudged tackle we shall recall but the attack and counter-attack of a game that fizzed from end to end. Spurs began with a swagger and Jermain Defoe played with the impish assurance that is generally the prelude to goals. Casper Ankergren had to back-pedal to claw away an exquisite lob from Defoe in the seventh minute and then, a minute later, Spurs had a spot-kick when Michael Doyle was penalised after a collision with Danny Rose. It seemed a harsh decision and perhaps Defoe thought so, too, because his tamely struck penalty was well saved by Ankergren. Soon Patrick Kisnorbo was making fine blocks to stop Defoe atoning for that miss and Ankergren made a good save from a Gareth Bale free kick. Leeds got lucky in the 23rd minute when Jason Crowe’s desperate tackle on Defoe did not result in a penalty and sending off.
The storm abated after that, Neil Kilkenny, Doyle, Robert Snodgrass and Bradley Johnson began to play in Leeds’ midfield and chances came their way. Beckford drove the clearest one wide and Heurelho Gomes made good saves from the striker and Snodgrass. Peter Crouch put Spurs in front three minutes before half-time but Leeds, who could have scored a minute later, got an equaliser though a close-in Beckford effort eight minutes into the second half.
The tackles became sharper, Redknapp sent on Wilson Palacios to boost his midfield but Leeds refused to lie down. Somebody dared to suggest to Redknapp that a replay was probably something he didn't want. It touched a nerve. “No,” said the manager matter-of-factly, “I look forward to it. I really thought it would be a good idea with a minute to go. I thought, ‘Give them a goal because I’d like to go to Elland Road on a Tuesday night. I haven’t been there for a few years’.” All comes to those who give away a penalty in the last minute.
Star man: Jermaine Beckford (Leeds)
Yellow cards: Tottenham: Hutton. Leeds: Bromby, Doyle, Crowe, Kisnorbo, Kilkenny, Johnson
Referee: A Wiley Attendance: 35,750
TOTTENHAM: Gomes 7; Hutton 6, Bassong 5, Dawson 4, Bale 6; Kranjcar 6 (Keane 71), Modric 6, Jenas 6, Rose 5 (Palacios 56, 6); Defoe 7, Crouch 6 (Pavlyuchenko 71)
LEEDS: Ankergren 7; Crowe 6, Kisnorbo 7, Bromby 6, Hughes 6; Howson 6, Doyle 7 (Becchio 80), Kilkenny 7, Johnson 6 (White 88); Snodgrass 7, Beckford 9

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Telegraph 23/1/10
Tottenham Hotspur 2 Leeds United 2: match report
By Duncan White at White Hart Lane
Leeds United obviously learnt something when they won up at Old Trafford. When the board was held up with five minutes of stoppage time on it the away fans began chanting ‘Fergie time’.
It was more in hope than expectation but, to cries of Yorkshire delight, in the final minutes of those five, referee Alan Wiley awarded a penalty for Michael Dawson’s sliding tackle on Jermain Beckford which Leeds United’s lethal striker converted with conviction.
Dawson had timed a tackle on Beckford in the box perfectly moments before but this time he seemed to clip the striker first before getting the ball. It was a big call and one met with disbelief by Dawson. Beckford held his nerve to force the replay.
Tottenham Hotspur were the better side for much of this game, missed a host of chances, including a Jermain Defoe penalty, and, thanks to substitute Roman Pavlyuchenko, seemed to have the winner. Leeds, though, refused to roll over.
Harry Redknapp did not send his very strongest side out, though. The surprise starter in the Spurs line-up was Danny Rose, the 19-year-old England Under 21 winger.
Rose started out in Leeds’ academy but was bought by Spurs two years ago for £1million. It took all of seven minutes for him to hurt his former club, flicking the ball away from the onrushing Michael Doyle in the box. Penalty.
Casper Ankergren, the lanky Danish keeper, had already tipped over an audacious Jermain Defoe lob two minutes earlier and once again he prevented the Spurs striker opening the scoring. Defoe’s penalty was low and to Ankergren’s left and the Leeds keeper got down well to push it behind.
That wasn’t the last of his work. The Leeds players were clearly pumped up for this game and Spurs bought a lot of fouls cheaply around the box.
Gareth Bale twice drew saves out of Ankergren with his sharply curving free-kicks and Niko Kranjcar caused panic with his low effort, both Defoe and Michael Dawson being denied at close range after Ankergren’s initial spill.
As Spurs continued to miss chance after chance - they should have had a second penalty when Jason Crowe felled Defoe - Leeds sensed their opportunity.
Simon Grayson had deployed the tricky Robert Snodgrass in the hole behind Beckford and he repeatedly got into useful positions, making things awkward for the Spurs back four.
Beckford had been quiet in the first half hour but, typically, he sprang into to lithe and lethal life with two swift attacks. First he left Dawson for dead, dragging a left-foot shot just wide, and then he pounced on a clever Jonathan Howson pass, drawing an excellent save out of Heurelho Gomes.
Leeds’ finally caved with four minutes to go before the break. Bale got past Howson down the Spurs left and then alertly picked out Kranjcar with his drag back.
The Croat’s low shot lacked power but Ankergren, seemingly unsighted, could only block with his feet. Peter Crouch tapped in the rebound.
Spurs really should have been home and dry by half time. Jermaine Jenas, who had worked himself into a great position, sliced his left-footed effort high over the bar, just before the break.
Seconds into the second half, and not content with having let Leeds off the hook, Jenas hit an ill judged back-pass that almost gifted them an equaliser. Beckford was onto it in a flash but his touch was too heavy.
That wasn’t it, either. With 53 minutes gone, Snodgrass sent in a corner that Jenas tried to steer back to Gomes. He didn’t get enough purchase on the ball, though, and it dropped short, where Beckford was waiting. It wasn’t a straightforward finish, though, - he still had to contort his body, whipping it round to tuck the ball under Gomes. The rambunctious away end went into rapture.
Leeds pressed on. The outstanding Snodgrass played a clever one-two with Neil Kilkenny on the edge of the Spurs box only to slip just before hitting his shot, with Wilson Palacios, on as a substitute for Rose, sliding in desperately.
Redknapp responded to his team’s fading enthusiasm by sending on both Robbie Keane and Roman Pavlyuchenko for the last 20 minutes. Four minutes later and Spurs had regained the lead.
It was fluid move, the best of the game. Bale paid a crisp pass into the path of Palacios as the Honduran sprinted up the left channel and he in turn squared across the edge of the box.
Pavlyuchenko dummied over the ball and ran into the box, where Defoe picked him out. The Russian striker finished first-time.
That was that, you thought. But there was plenty of drama still to come.

Sporting Life 23/1/10
Leeds have agreed a fee with Leicester to sign Max Gradel on a permanent basis.
The winger recently returned to the Walkers Stadium after making the final appearance of his loan spell in the defeat at Exeter.
But the 22-year-old, who made a total of 16 appearances for United, is now set for a move to Elland Road subject to completing a medical with the club.

Mail 20/1/10
Jermaine Beckford to Everton is nowhere near a done deal, says Leeds boss Simon Grayson
Leeds manager Simon Grayson is not convinced Jermaine Beckford will definitely be joining Everton this summer.
It has been reported that striker Beckford, who withdrew a transfer request on Sunday, had signed a pre-contract agreement with the Merseysiders with a view to becoming their player once his Leeds contract runs out at the end of the season.
But when asked to comment on the speculation Grayson said: 'Pre-contract agreements aren't binding so both parties could pull out at any time.
'If he bangs in another 20 goals, there might be bigger teams than Everton coming in for him.'
Leeds have turned down a reported £1.5million bid for Beckford from Newcastle during the current transfer window, while his stock rose after firing the winner in the Yorkshire club's shock FA Cup win at Manchester United.
The 26-year-old, who has scored 20 goals this season, has scored 74 in 135 appearances for Leeds since joining from non-league Wealdstone in January 2007.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus 19/1/10
Beckford off target in Leeds defeat
Leeds 1 Carlisle 2
Jermaine Beckford missed a hatful of chances just days after coming off the transfer list as Leeds lost the first leg of their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Northern Area semi-final to a Graham Kavanagh-inspired Carlisle.
Just four days before their FA Cup fourth-round tie at Tottenham, Leeds lacked the cutting edge they will need if they are to cause another upset after knocking out Manchester United. And Jermaine Beckford, the goal hero at Old Trafford, was the biggest culprit.
Manager Simon Grayson demoted the out-of-touch Luciano Becchio to the bench and promoted American striker Mike Grella to partner Beckford, who came off the transfer list at the weekend. Leigh Bromby moved into central defence in place of Patrick Kisnorbo, Jason Crowe came in at right back and Jonny Howson replaced Michael Doyle in midfield.
As expected, Carlisle included former Leeds men Ian Harte and Tom Taiwo.
Beckford should have opened the scoring after only six minutes but from Bradley Johnson’s pass, and with only keeper Lenny Pidgeley to beat, he fired wide of the left post.
However, Carlisle went close three times in a four-minute spell, with the Leeds defence rocking. Matty Robson’s driven cross was met by Kevan Hurst who seemed certain to score but Andrew Hughes cleared off the line.
Adam Clayton had a powerful drive deflected just wide and when Robson’s angled shot was parried at full stretch by Casper Ankergren, Leigh Bromby completed the goalmouth clearance.
Carlisle’s reward arrived in the 21st minute. Evan Horwood’s high cross from the left was headed down by Richard Keogh for Republic of Ireland international Graham Kavanagh to control with his chest before smacking home an unstoppable right-foot effort from ten yards.
Beckford should have equalised in the 29th minute but could only send a gentle lob into the keeper’s hands and, after shooting against the far post nine minutes later, he fluffed yet another chance from a pass by Robert Snodgrass.
Ankergren made two excellent first-half saves from Kavanagh and Clayton and Carlisle held a one-goal advantage at the break.
Crowe, who had struggled defensively, got Leeds back on terms in the 56th minute, arriving at the far post to head home a cross from the left by Hughes and grab his first goal for the club.
With Leeds much improved, Crowe almost scored again soon afterwards, volleying close with Hughes again the provider, but Carlisle’s lead was restored six minutes from time when Harte’s free-kick from the right saw substitute Joe Anyinsah head a soft goal from six yards. 19/1/10
UNITED 1 (Crowe 56), CARLISLE 2 (Kavanagh 21, Anyinsah 84)

After picking up one point from the last six, Simon Grayson's League One leaders turned their attentions towards the Johnstone's Paint Trophy and the first leg of the Northern Area Final against Carlisle United.
With a place at Wembley up for grabs, Grayson tinkered slightly with his team, Jason Crowe, Jonny Howson, and Mike Grella all being drafted into the starting line-up.
Carlisle were the last side to win at Elland Road in a league game, but it was Leeds who started brightly and after Leigh Bromby headed an early free-kick over the top, Jermaine Beckord came within a whisker of opening the scoring following a great ball from Bradley Johnson.
But it took a great goal-line clearance from Andrew Hughes to deny Carlisle on 12 minutes after the United defender scrambled back to block a shot. Moments later, Bromby showed real quality to deny Scott Dobie after Casper Ankergren had done well to parry at Robson shot across the face of goal.
It was United who fashioned out the next chance in an entertaining opening, Beckford having a shot pushed for a corner following good work by Robert Snodgrass.
A goal was clearly coming, and it fell to Carlisle in stunning fashion on 21 minutes. A cross from the left was headed down to Graham Kavanagh and the veteran midfielder, just inside the box, allowed the ball to bounce before slamming home an unstoppable shot to give the visitors the lead.
United responded courtesy of the lively Beckford, who was denied by Lenny Pidgeley in the Carlisle goal. Beckford was denied again by a good block before Johnson had an effort deflected for a corner.
Leeds came even closer on 35 minutes when Richard Naylor was twice thwarted and Mike Grella forced Pidgeley into making a great save, following an overhead kick. United also had two shouts for handball waved away during a concerted spell of pressure.
Leeds were dominant by now, and as the game edged towards half-time, Beckford was denied by an upright after latching onto another incisive pass.
But Ankergren was called upon to make a good block on 38 minutes when Adam Clayton tried his luck from distance.
With 45 minutes of the first leg remaining, United looked to start the second half well in a bid to get back on level terms in the contest.
And Leeds were quickly level, courtesy of a Jason Crowe header. Andrew Hughes was the provider with a cross from the left and as Carlisle goalkeeper Pidgeley came racing off his line, Crowe was waiting to pounce with a well-placed header at the far post.
Moments later, Crowe found himself with another opportunity at the far post, but this time he lifted his shot over the top. And it was Leeds who continued to look the most threatening of the two sides, with Beckford again going close.
On 70 minutes, Pidgeley came off his line well to deny Howson after a great ball from Snodgrass, and moments later from another cross, ths time from the left, Johnson fired just wide of the upright.
Carlisle had rarely had a sniff in the second half with Leeds dominating, but the visitors did have a half-chance when, after being presented with a header following a half-cleared corner, Kevan Hurst nodded wide.
But six minutes from time, the visitors bagged got themselves back in front. Former United defender Ian Harte sent over a free-kick and substitute Joe Anyinsah escaped the United defence to head home.
The goal was ill-deserved, and United came within a whisker of restoring parity in the second minute of stoppage time. First, Luciano Becchio had a header well saved and, following up, Howson saw his effort hacked off the line by a Carlisle defender.And that proved to be the last opportunity of the first leg as Carlisle became the first side since Liverpool to win at Elland Road. It was Carlisle's third win in four visits to Leeds and the Cumbrians will hold a slender advantage going into the second leg at Brunton Park early next month.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New pages uploaded at

2008/09 Season – End of the honeymoon/Bouncing back with Grayson

Time runs out for Gary McAllister when a poor run of form in November and December leads to the dreaded vote of confidence from Ken Bates. A former Elland Road player is appointed manager and revives a flagging season.

Read the full story at 17/1/10
Leeds United are pleased to confirm that striker Jermaine Beckford will be staying on at Elland Road for the remaining duration of his contract.
Conversations have been ongoing with the player and his representative since a transfer request was handed in on December 30.
The subsequent public knowledge of his transfer request has not been helpful in terms of stability, but having spoken with Jermaine all parties have decided it is in everyone's best interests that he stays until the end of the season and continues to help the club's bid for promotion.
This is despite several financial offers that have been made to the club.
Leeds United manager Simon Grayson said: "What we have achieved over the past 12 months has been a team effort by everyone and I'm delighted we have resolved this situation to assist us achieve what we are aiming to achieve.
"The whole squad has done terrifically over the season so far and the most important thing is that we continue what we have been doing.
"Promotion is our main aim, but we are still in two cup competitions and have plenty of football to come over the next few months.
"I'm keen to draw a line under the situation and now we can all move on together.
"I never wanted Jermaine to leave and we have turned down offers for him. We could have cashed in, knowing what could happen at the end of the season, but the chairman has backed me all the way, and it demonstrates what we are looking to achieve."Jermaine has always given 100 per cent and hopefully his goals will play a big part for us over the next few months." 17/1/10
Leeds United striker Jermaine Beckford has pledged his immediate future to helping fire the club back to the Coca-Cola Championship.
The club confirmed on Sunday that Jermaine would remain until the end of the season, and Becks is determined to continue to play a major part in the promotion bid.
"After a lot of thinking over the last few days I have decided to withdraw my transfer request and commit my immediate future to Leeds United," he said.
"It was never a comfortable decision to ask for a transfer in the first place, but after the game against Manchester United and the unbelievable reaction from the Leeds United supporters in the Wycombe match I have decided I want to finish what I have been striving to do for the last two seasons - and that is to help promote Leeds United out of a division which the club doesn't belong.
"Every time I put on the Leeds United shirt I give 100 per cent and can assure the fans, the manager and everyone connected with the club that I will continue to do that."
Becks is the club's leading goalscorer with 20 goals so far this season. In 135 appearances since joining from Wealdstone, Jermaine has scored 74 goals.

Thursday, January 14, 2010 14/1/10
Leeds United manager Simon Grayson is weighing up his options regarding the future of loan man Max Gradel.
The Leicester City winger joined United on loan in October, but the maximum 93-day continuous period expires after the weekend game against Exeter City is up.
The player is due to return to the Coca-Cola Championship club on Sunday, but the Leeds boss is keen to extend his stay at Elland Road.
"Wer'e talking to Leicester," confirmed the manager.
"The weekend is his last game because he has spent the maximum time here.
"Anything after would have to be either a loan until the end of the season or Max joining on a permanent basis.
"As it stands, we're looking at things and weighing things up." 14/1/10
Leeds United manager Simon Grayson is more than happy to have the final say on the future of Jermaine Beckford - but he insists nothing has moved on despite the persistent speculation.
The striker has been the subject of plenty of media speculation and United chairman Ken Bates has said the final decision will fall to the manager.
"It's a decision the chairman has said we will make as a group, but ultimately it will fall to me," said the boss.
"The finances will be dictated by what we are offered and we will decide if that's right and then from a footballing point of view it will be my decision.
"I think the chairman's fair in giving me the responsibility and I will make the right decision in whether he stays or goes.
"There's loads of different scenarios and things that can evolve from it, but at the moment Jermaine is a Leeds player and nobody has met our valuation and I'm sure he will continue to do his best.
"Nothing has changed over the past few days, people can speculate all they want, but we've had no other bids in, and the situation will take care of itself.
"If he's still here on February 1 we will look forward to the rest of the season with Jermaine Beckford, but things can change pretty sharpish, and we'll see what happens." 13/1/10
A trio of young players have been allowed to leave Leeds United to further their careers elsewhere.
Defender Jonny Webb and midfielder Josh Falkingham have come to the end of their short-term contracts and are now free agents.
Webb made one first team appearance for the club, at Northampton in the FA Cup last season, while Falkingham didn't feature in the first team.
Midfielder Ollie Hotchkiss has also had his contract terminated by mutual consent.
Ollie has been on loan at Mansfield and could now sign for the Stags on a permanent basis. 13/1/10
Striker Enoch Showunmi has had his Leeds United contract cancelled by mutual consent.
The termination frees the former Bristol City marksman up to continue his career elsewhere. It is expected that Enoch will join Scottish Premier League side Falkirk.
Showunmi has scored six goals in 28 appearances since joining from Ashton Gate during the summer of 2008.
Twelve of those appearances have come this season, but he has not started a game since he scored the decisive goal in our Carling Cup victory at Darlington back in August.
Enoch missed much of last season after suffering from a blood clot on his lung and he was ruled out of action from December onwards.
The striker returned to action this season and while first team opportunities proved limited he was a prolific scorer in the reserve side.
United manager Simon Grayson said: "Enoch needs to play regular football and hopefully this will enable him to do so.
"He was very unfortunate last season, but opportunities have been limited for him this season, and hopefully now he will get the opportunity to play.
"We wish Enoch all the best for the future."

Daily Mail 9/1/10
Leeds United were marching on together then along came Wycombe to stop them in their tracks...
Michael Walker
Leeds United were the stars of the FA Cup third round when they knocked out Manchester United. Six days later, they stumbled to a 1-1 League One draw against Wycombe.
The fat man buying the ‘Scumbusters 1 Scum 0’ T-shirt outside Elland Road caught the mood by flattering himself: ‘Got extra large?’ he asked.
Fortunately for him they had all shapes and sizes. ‘Theatre of Screams’ was one, ‘Shrek II’ with Wayne Rooney as a befuddled Shrek was another.
Six days on from Old Trafford, it was clear everyone connected to Leeds United had been busy being happy. The roads were cleared of snow to allow in 24,000 begging a question of other clubs’ weather attitude and the pre-match match being screened on the club’s TVs was, funnily enough, Manchester United 0 Leeds 1.
In the club shop, Elvis was belting out Viva Las Vegas over £5 Leeds egg-cups, while in the match programme chairman Ken Bates referred to ‘our old adversaries Stretford United’.
Bates went on to reveal that former Chelsea star Paul Elliott calls him ‘Honky’ - it was he who made the FA Cup fourth-round draw that takes Leeds to Tottenham - and added of the third round: ‘The important aspect of our defeat of Man United was that it was watched on TV in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.
‘Further afield it went to Asia, Africa, the Middle East, South America, North America and Australia. The whole world saw our win and internationally the world knows that Leeds are on their way back...’
Then they were outplayed by Wycombe Wanderers.
It turns out Bates is correct. Leeds are on their way back, but they are not back yet. Superficially Old Trafford and the League One table suggest that Leeds’ future is acquiring a rosy glow.
But the lead over second-placed Norwich is now six points, though Leeds have a game in hand and have yet to go to Carrow Road. Charlton, third, have also to be visited as do Huddersfield, Swindon and Southampton, all enjoying prosperous seasons.
The second half of the season may not be as straightforward as the first. Then there is Jermaine Beckford.
Marching On Together? Beckford made himself part of Leeds United history eight days ago, but privately he had informed Leeds he had another interpretation of history in mind. Four years and 74 goals after arriving from Wealdstone, Beckford wants out, with Newcastle leading the chase.
There was no backlash on Saturday.
Manager Simon Grayson named Beckford in the team and when his name was read out there was a smattering of boos, but no wailing. There was even a song sung in honour of Beckford’s FA Cup winner.
Part of this reaction stems from Leeds fans’ knowledge of Beckford as a miss-and-hit striker who has started only one Championship game in his career.
If the club can get £2million for the 26-year-old five months before his contract expires and invest it in a forward who will help push them to promotion, then supporters will settle for that.
‘Who the **** are Newcastle?’ chanted the Kop at one stage and the irritation is with their northern rivals as much as the player. Higher up the food chain, Wolves and Bolton are said to be monitoring the situation.
Newcastle are confident that Beckford will be on his way to St James’ Park. Leeds go to Exeter City on Saturday, so one way or another Beckford should be at a park named after St James.
Asked whether it felt like a done deal between Beckford and Newcastle, Grayson replied: ‘There’s no agreement between us and Newcastle, I can tell you that.
'But people do things that they’re not supposed to do. I’d be naive to think representatives of players do not speak to other football clubs, that Jermaine’s agent isn’t speaking to other clubs.
‘But we’ll dictate whether he stays or goes. He can stay at least until the end of the season, he’s under contract until then.
‘You can only walk out on a football club when your contract ends or if you’re given permission by the club. Until someone meets our valuation, then he’ll be our player.’
Beckford did little in this game, but he did not get injured. Leeds, unbeaten at home in the league since this day last year, took a fourth-minute lead when Wycombe goalkeeper Scott Shearer dived under Jonny Howson’s shot.
It felt like the beginning of a thrashing. We would be able to eulogise Leeds as the vanguard of an overdue Yorkshire revival.
But no. Wycombe’s long-under-rated Tom Doherty took over.
Jon Paul Pittman, plucked from non-league like Beckford, hit a post. So did Scott Davies. Leeds keeper Casper Ankergren made a smart save from Stuart Beavon.Eventually, in the 64th minute, Pittman fired in a low equaliser. Second-bottom Wycombe remain second-bottom. Leeds remain top. And pretty content.

Thursday, January 07, 2010 7/1/10
United manager Simon Grayson says he expects Jermaine Beckford to continue perform at the highest level in a Leeds United shirt, despite the revelation that he has handed in a transfer request.
The striker handed in a transfer request on December 30 and after scoring the winner at Manchester United last weekend, Grayson is expecting his leading scorer to continue to demonstrate his ability until his future is known.
"There's too many scenarios that could happen, but while he is here, he is a Leeds United player and he will be considered for selection," said Grayson.
"If he plays on Saturday I expect him to do that and continue what he's been doing.
"You have to give him credit because there's been a lot of speculation since last summer. He was on the transfer list then he was off it, but he has got his head down and scored 20 goals already this season. We'll see his destiny.
"On Sunday he showed on a fantastic stage what he can do - the people behind him and the whole squad showed that too and I don't want that getting lost in all this - and he's scored five goals in three games now, and there's no reason why that won't continue."
The boss also expressed his disappointment that his transfer request had become public knowledge - and he insists that any decisions on the player's future will be made in the best interests of Leeds United.
"It's not ideal that it's come out," said the boss. "We didn't want to make it public knowledge because we didn't want any disruptions with what we are trying to do here.
"We wanted to keep it in-house and if we received an offer for him that we considered to be acceptable then we'd consider it. But we've said that all along.
"It was put into the public domain by whoever which is disappointing. I'm not like that. We try and do most of our business in-house and keep it under the wraps.
"Everyone is aware of the situation now, and if anything it highlights his position even more.
"The scenario from our side hasn't changed in that Jermaine will only leave the football club if we feel it is the right price for him. What's the right price? I'm not going into that, because as I've said we don't do our business in public.
"We don't have to accept the transfer request, we'll do what is right and if that means keeping him we'll do it - or if it means selling him we'll do that. We have to get the right man if he goes to keep things on track - that's why whatever I do is in the best interests of the club.
"Any approaches will be discussed by us. I'm sure the interest will be drummed up because people want to improve their squads. He is a good player, but he has a price on his head. "You do have to take into consideration from the person and representative that when they put in a transfer request it means that he wants to leave. Whatever the reasons, we'll take our stance and we'll dictate what we want to do."

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

BBC 6/1/10
Leeds striker Jermaine Beckford puts in transfer request
Leeds United striker Jermaine Beckford has handed in a transfer request, his agent has told BBC Radio 5 live.
Beckford, 26, scored his 20th goal of the seaspm as they clinched a shock 1-0 win at Manchester United in round three of the FA Cup on Sunday.
He has been linked with a move away from the League One leaders to Championships side Newcastle.
Beckford, who joined the Elland Road outfit from non-League Wealdstone in 2006, is out of contract in the summer.
Leeds manager Simon Grayson said after the FA Cup win at Old Trafford that they were not looking to sell Beckford, but that "money talks".
And he added that if they did let him go, he would not go cheaply.
Newcastle manager Chris Hughton has already spoken of his desire to take Beckford to Tyneside but says he will be patient in his pursuit of the striker.

Times 5/1/10
The curse finally lifts for Leeds United
Rick Broadbent
It may affront more reasoned sensibilities, but football is at its best when it involves a healthy dose of raw hate.
Which is why if you are from Leeds, the humbling of Manchester United is the most emotionally satisfying result since the Don Revie era.
It was not the best result because Leeds have been to the European Cup final and won league titles in the interim. But taken in splendid isolation, this was better than seeing off AC Milan in 2000, Bournemouth in 1990 or even Barcelona in 1975. It was lustrous because Leeds are not very good anymore, because suddenly we fans felt like we were not cursed, and because, as Lord Byron, pointed out: “Hatred is by far the longest pleasure.” And we hate Manchester United. We hate them because we think they are arrogant.
We hate them because people forget they did not win the league title in 25 years until they succeeded Leeds in 1993. We hate them because Sir Alex Ferguson is treated with sickly sycophancy by media pundits whereas Revie’s faults are still rehashed three decades on. We hate them for the flag shown on Sunday bearing Eric Cantona’s face and the slogan “Thanks a million”; nobody mentions that they gave us Johnny Giles, Gordon Strachan and three league championships.
We hate them for being lucky against Bayern Munich in 1999 because we weren’t in 1975. Because commentators call them “United”, as if they are the only ones. We hate them for getting good and yes, most of all, we hate them for being so loved.
The phone-in fans and message-board posters agreed about the scale of Sunday’s best. “Given where we are, the best result ever,” wrote one in cyberspace.
“In context, our greatest ever result,” added another. In the Yorkshire Evening Post, Gary Edwards, the Leeds fan who refuses to use red paint in his decorating business, said: “They can bring on anybody now — even a big team.” The fact that Leeds deserved the victory, unlike in 1981, was an added bonus and glimpse of a far-off future, but the joy was in the here and now. The joy of hearing Ferguson, for all his massive advantages, gibbering about stoppage time. The joy of apologists saying it was a second-string side, not realising that our first-choice team now play elsewhere in the Premier League.
Football neutrals will tell you hate has no place in sport, and if it takes an offensive or violent form then they are obviously right, but dislike does not really cut it. No Leeds fan thinks we have the remotest chance of winning the FA Cup, but they also know winning isn’t everything — inflicting defeat is just as good.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Yorkshire Post 4/1/10
Grayson is eager to keep hold of Cup hero Beckford
By Richard Sutcliffe at Old Trafford
SIMON GRAYSON has reiterated Leeds United's desire to hold on to FA Cup hero Jermaine Beckford.
The 26-year-old netted the only goal of an often fiery Roses contest at Old Trafford to help the League One club dump Manchester United out of the Cup in one of the biggest upsets in recent years.
Priced by one bookmaker at 12-1 to triumph at the home of their bitter rivals, Leeds made light of their third-tier status to stun the Premier League champions and Beckford's 19th-minute strike seems certain to increase the interest in a player whose contract runs out in the summer.
Leeds have, according to sources in the North East, already turned down a £1.25m bid from Newcastle United but the Championship leaders are expected to return with an increased offer in the coming days.Grayson, for his part, is determined to hold on to his star striker though he admits other factors could come into play before the transfer window slams shut at the end of this month.
He said: "We have stressed all along that there are three scenarios with Jermaine: he either signs a contract and stays or we keep him until the end of the season before he leaves on a free transfer. Or, and this is the worst-case scenario to me, we are offered a fee that is too good to turn down and he leaves. But it won't be on the cheap.
"If that does happen (Beckford leaving), we will have to have replacements lined up.
"We do not need to sell him. The club has made a decent amount of money from the tie at Old Trafford and we are on an even-keel financially.
"Sometimes, when a player has four months on his contract then the longer term view is you sell him and get two or three in to replace him.
"But that is the worst-case scenario for me. The best-case scenario is he stays until the end of the season and either signs or leaves having scored the goals to get us promoted."
Beckford's winner at Old Trafford completed an amazing turnaround in fortune for a striker who, a little over a fortnight ago, was jeered from the field by his own club's fans after reacting petulantly to being substituted during the 1-0 win over Southampton.
The Leeds striker has responded in fine style with doubles in the league victories over Hartlepool and Stockport preceding yesterday's winning strike at Old Trafford.
Grayson added: "Jermaine showed what he is all about. He worked ever so hard and he took the opportunity when it came along. He has five goals in three games and strikers are a rare commodity."
Beckford's goal meant Sir Alex Ferguson, for the first time since taking charge in 1986, saw his side knocked out in the third round. It also brought to an end a 29-year wait for victory for Leeds at the home of their bitter rivals.Grayson, a fan of the Elland Road club as a boy, was quick to dedicate yesterday's 1-0 win at Old Trafford to the supporters who have stuck with Leeds during the slide down the leagues.
He said: "It is a fantastic achievement. This club has had a lot of negativity for the past five years with relegations and administration.
"But I said when I came to the club that Leeds United had hit rock bottom and that someone would take it back forward.
"Our fans deserved this result. Not just for 9,000 of them coming to Old Trafford, I mean for the 4,000 who went to Bristol Rovers on a Tuesday night earlier this season.
"We sell our allocations everywhere we go. We also get 25,000 regularly at home. Those fans could have walked away and thought 'football is an expensive business'.
"But they didn't. The fans have followed us the length and breadth of the country. The result is for them."
On the magnitude of the result, Grayson, who revealed afterwards that Robert Snodgrass was left on the bench due to a hamstring strain suffered in the win at Stockport a week ago, added: "We had a plan to try and contain them when we didn't have the ball, while we knew we had players who could hurt them.
"I thought it was an example of what the players have been doing all season.
"We had to be at full tilt and Manchester United had to be slightly off it. We knew that and worked ever so hard to win the game.
"We had a lot of chances to try and get a second goal at 1-0. Jermaine got through and then Snodgrass hit the crossbar.
"They were great opportunities and everyone who played their part should be incredibly proud. I would like to think the majority of people here would think we deserved to win."

Daily Mail 4/1/10
I'm going nowhere! Leeds boss Simon Grayson committed to the United cause
By Ian Ladyman
Leeds boss Simon Grayson has told any club casting admiring glances in his direction to forget it.
With the managerial merry-go-round about to start spinning as Bolton wait to speak with Owen Coyle, minds are already beginning to turn to who Burnley might turn to if, as expected, their Scottish boss quits for the Reebok Stadium.
Grayson is bound to figure high on that list, having impressed at Blackpool before leaving for Leeds 12 months ago, since when he has patiently built a team that look certain to gain promotion to the Coca-Cola Championship this season.
His blossoming reputation was further enhanced yesterday when Leeds recorded their first win at Old Trafford since 1981, dumping Manchester United out of the FA Cup to book a fourth-round trip to Tottenham.
However, any thought Burnley might have of offering someone familiar with the area a chance to cut his managerial teeth in the Premier League can be dismissed immediately.
'My commitment to Leeds United has never been in question,' he said. 'I left Blackpool a year ago to join the football club I supported. Leeds is a fantastic football club and I am not interested in going anywhere else.'
Yesterday's match-winner Jermaine Beckford may be toying with the idea of moving up the leagues with Newcastle, but Grayson believes he can achieve all his managerial ambitions by staying where he is. The chance of restoring a club who reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2001 to former glories was the carrot that enticed him away from Blackpool in the first place.And, at such an early stage of an enormous project, Grayson has no intention of walking away.
'Leeds do not just have an English fanbase. It is Europe and worldwide,' he said. 'But we are in League One for a reason. The only way we get back into the big time is by reaching the Championship and then the Premier League.
'Hopefully that will be the case over the next few years. Maybe one day people will look back at the 2010 team that won at Old Trafford in the FA Cup.
'It is that kind of stage players want to perform on and I certainly want to go back there in the next few years managing Leeds United in the Premier League.'
Grayson added: ‘We are immensely proud of our team and what they have done today.‘We told the players to do themselves justice and be proud of themselves. They certainly did that today. I told the players that if you could perform at Old Trafford somebody would be a hero.
‘I saw Brian Flynn last week. He reminded me that he was the last player to score a winner at Old Trafford in 1981. Jermaine Beckford will get the credit now.’
Ferguson had previously never lost an FA Cup tie to a team from a lower league. He added: ‘Leeds had a far bigger appetite for the game. You need luck and they got it. But they deserved it as they played really well.’
After being drawn against Tottenham, Grayson said: ‘It’s a good draw again. We’re up against a top Premier League team and a top manager and we’ll approach that as we have done for the Manchester United game — with the respect that they deserve.
‘But we’ve got a few league games in between and that’s our bread and butter.
‘It’s another fantastic draw and another game that could have quite easily been a Premier League fixture five or six years ago.’Meanwhile, Sir Alex Ferguson tore into his players after Manchester United’s FA Cup humbling by Leeds at Old Trafford.
Ferguson, who rounded on referee for playing only five minutes added time, criticised his failing stars after their defeat by League One opposition. He warned them all they face the axe ahead of Wednesday’s Carling Cup semi-final first leg against Manchester City.
Ferguson said: ‘I didn’t expect that. I was shocked at the performance. We never got going and the quality of passing — the whole performance — was bad.'I don’t think any of them can say they had a good day. Only Antonio Valencia did OK when we got the ball to him, but it took us about 10 minutes to do that after he came on.
‘We have a semi-final on Wednesday and a lot of these players today won’t be playing. I had the team in mind but there may be one or two changes now.’
Ferguson saw his team sunk by Beckford’s 20th-minute goal and the result was the only one of the weekend in which a lower-placed team beat one of a higher standing.
United’s exit leaves their record of 11 FA Cup wins vulnerable to being equalled by Arsenal, who have won 10.
Leeds’ reward in last night’s fourth-round draw was another trip to face Premier League opposition, Tottenham.
The United manager was critical of referee Foy over the five minutes’ added time, saying: ‘That’s an insult to the game and to the players out there.’
These comments will interest the FA, given that Ferguson was given a four-match ban with two of them suspended for 18 months after criticising the fitness of referee Alan Wiley earlier in the season.His assessment of Nemanja Vidic’s reasons for limping out of the warm-up before the game also appear to hint at a problem in his relationship with the Serbian defender.
Asked why Vidic said he couldn’t play, Ferguson said: ‘I couldn’t tell you what the situation is. I couldn’t tell you at all.’

Telegraph 3/1/10
Leeds United's FA Cup hero Jermaine Beckford free to leave for right price
Leeds United manager Simon Grayson admitted the club will consider selling FA Cup match-winner Jermaine Beckford during the transfer window, despite the 26 year-old earning legendary status by scoring the Elland Road club’s first winner at Old Trafford since 1981.
By Mark Ogden
Championship leaders Newcastle United are understood to have made a £1.25 million bid for Beckford, who was an RAC windscreen fitter prior to his arrival from non-league Wealdstone in 2006.
Beckford’s first-half winner against Premier League champions United was his 20th goal of the season, but with his contract due to run out in the summer, Grayson admits that Leeds will not stand in the player’s way if they receive a substantial offer during January.
Grayson said: “There has been speculation about Newcastle and Beckford, but my best case scenario is that Jermaine signs a new contract or gets us the goals to earn promotion and then leaves.
“We have stressed that there will be three scenarios with Jermaine. He signs a new contract, he leaves at the end of the season or we sell him and get some money which we think is too good an opportunity to turn down.
“Strikers are a precious commodity and we won’t be letting him go on the cheap. That is the scenario we are going to go down.
“He has shown today what he is all about. He has worked ever so hard for the team and he has taken his opportunity.
“Money talks with any player, but we are not looking to sell him. People can speculate about him and we knew that, as soon as the window opened, there would be talk about him.
“We have made a decent amount of money today and got back on an even keel on the financial front, so we don’t want him to leave unless it is something that suits him and the club.”
Beckford’s goal erased Brian Flynn from the Leeds record books as the last man to score a winner for the club against United at Old Trafford.
But despite Beckford’s personal achievement, Grayson insisted that his team’s victory was down to more than one player.
He said: “I told the players that, if you can perform at Old Trafford, somebody will be a hero.
“Everybody talked about Brian Flynn and he reminded me that he was the last player to score a winner at Old Trafford in 1981 when I saw him recently.
“Jermaine Beckford will get the credit now, but we are immensely proud of our team and what they have done today.
“We knew it would be difficult coming to Old Trafford, but we told the players to do themselves justice and be proud of themselves, whether they came back to the dressing room with a win, defeat or draw. They certainly did that.
“United have fantastic players, but we had a plan to contain them. We knew that we could deny them possession and that we had people who, when we had possession of the ball, could hurt them.”
From goalkeeper Casper Ankergren through to Beckford, Leeds outfought United throughout and Grayson confessed that his team were rarely troubled by Ferguson’s men.
He said: “Our keeper made some good saves, but he was not being peppered on a regular basis.
“He did what he had to do because he had players in front of him defending properly and making tackles.
“Our club has had a lot of negativity over the last five or six years with administration and relegation, so this is a result for our fans.
“Leeds is a big club. We are known in Europe and worldwide for our achievements in the 1960s and 70s, but we are in League One for a reason. “I want to be back here managing this club in the Premier League, though, and we have to go through the Championship first to do that.”

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Yorkshire Post 3/1/10
A long time coming - Leeds captain Naylor
LEEDS captain Richard Naylor hailed his side's heroic FA Cup third round win over Manchester United at Old Trafford, and the lifelong fan admitted: "It was a long time coming."
Jermaine Beckford's first-half strike gave Leeds a lead they defended throughout, sparking jubilant scenes among the massed ranks of visiting fans after five nervous injury-time minutes.
Naylor said: "We've had to wait a long time since we last won here and I'm really proud of the lads and the supporters.
"I thought we had a few chances to make it two late on. They're always going to get chances at Old Trafford, you wouldn't expect anything else but we dug in when we had to."Leeds boss Simon Grayson paid tribute to Beckford for his nerveless strike.
He said: "It was good ball from Jonathan Howson and Jermaine got in there and nine times out of 10 he finishes them off and that's what he did.
"He gave us an opportunity to go on and win the game from there and with a bit of luck that's what we did. Full credit to the players who were outstanding today but it's what they've been like all season."
Referring to Brian Flynn being the last man to score the winner for Leeds at Old Trafford in 1981, Grayson added: "I saw Flynny the other week and he reminded me he was the last player to score the winner at Old Trafford.
"I told the players before the game this was the opportunity to be a new hero. I'm sure we'll be celebrating in Leeds over the next few days and the players might have tomorrow off then start ready for the Wycombe game at the weekend."

Mail 3/1/10
Manchester United 0 Leeds United 1: Jermaine Beckford is the hero as Simon Grayson's side dump champions out of the FA Cup
Leeds emerged from five years of hurt to inflict some pain of their own as Jermaine Beckford's first-half goal sent old enemies Manchester United crashing out of the FA Cup.
It is six years since Leeds' loyal fans have made this particular trip - and not since 1981 have they returned across the Pennines celebrating victory. But in manager Simon Grayson they have a man with the club in his heart, and in Beckford they have a striker capable of shooting them to better things.
Those are things to cling to when your once proud club has struck financial strife so deep it sends you tumbling into League One.
And when Beckford's 20th goal of the campaign trundled past Tomasz Kuszczak, you could just sense the hosts would not be saved - not even by the five minutes of stoppage time that must have shredded a few nerves before that final glorious release.
In a sense, Sir Alex Ferguson was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Normally, a week involving two cup matches, one against a side from two levels below, at home, would offer an obvious opportunity to blood a few of his youngsters.
Yet Leeds are no ordinary League One outfit. Even if they were not surging clear at the top, fuelled by a confidence manager Simon Grayson has painstakingly built up during his time at the helm, this could never be a normal fixture.
The sight of Eddie Gray and Alex Stepney in the press box was a reminder of one era when the Roses rivals fought battles at the very top.
The presence of an injured Rio Ferdinand in the directors' box triggered more memories.
In addition, the presence of 9,000 visiting supporters created an atmosphere that crackled from the first whistle, long after minor scuffles outside had reminded everyone that there is no love lost between the two whatsoever. Leeds were primed and ready.
The home side crucially stood off, the sheer ferocity of the visitors' approach catching the less experienced members of their team by surprise.
The Yorkshire outfit were already on top when first Dimitar Berbatov, then Danny Welbeck, lost possession inside the Leeds half. Jonathan Howson spotted his opportunity and launched a long ball over the top for Beckford, who had stolen half a yard on Wes Brown.
The Manchester United defender was only playing because Nemanja Vidic had been injured in the warm-up and must have thought he had got away with it as Beckford's control took the ball away from him.
But Kuszczak was slow to react and Beckford had time to nip the ball beyond the Pole and send it rolling over the line. Grayson, a Leeds fan as a kid and a Leeds player as an adult, led the jubilant celebrations, fully aware of what this particular hostility means on both sides of the Pennines.
Their ecstasy would have only lasted five minutes if Jason Crowe had not been quick-witted enough to get back onto the goal-line as Wayne Rooney charged onto Berbatov's reverse pass.
Rooney bore down on the Leeds goal, then beat Casper Ankergren with a low shot that was heading in until Crowe scrambled it away. If anything, the second period was even more fractious as United's desperation for an equaliser - and Leeds' to stop them - increased.
Welbeck was denied by Ankergren's right leg when he let fly for the bottom corner after charging into the box. The youngster also set up Berbatov, but again Ankergren came out on top. Ferguson decided it was time for the reinforcements, which are always readily available if things are going wrong in such circumstances.
This time it was Ryan Giggs and Antonio Valencia, although the response was muted and 10 minutes later Michael Owen was on as well.
It is almost a month since Owen scored that hat-trick in Wolfsburg, since when he has not started a game.
That lack of match practice was evident as, with virtually his first touch, he scuffed his shot after getting himself in the perfect position to turn home Valencia's cut-back.
Rooney blasted over from a similar position before Leeds countered and Beckford skimmed the far post with a shot across the face of goal.
Robert Snodgrass came even closer shortly afterwards when his free-kick shook the angle of bar and post with Kuszczak beaten.
As is their nature, United pushed and pushed. But the equaliser would not come as their failure to retain possession allowed Leeds to celebrate a famous victory.

Mirror 3/1/10
Manchester United 0-1 Leeds: Jermaine Beckford the hero as Old Trafford giants are slayed
Jermaine Beckford's first half goal sent Leeds into FA Cup dreamland at Old Trafford.
The in-form striker's 20th goal of the season was enough to dump Manchester United out of the competition.
On their first visit for nearly six years, the League One side clinched their first win at the home of their bitter rivals since 1981 and it was greeted with unbridled joy by a 9,000-strong travelling army.
Sir Alex Ferguson turned to his youth brigade as Manchester United faced Leeds for the first time in nearly six years this afternoon.
Despite stating he would be using his younger players in Wednesday's Carling Cup semi-final with Manchester City, Ferguson still named Gabriel Obertan, Fabio Da Silva, Danny Welbeck and Darron Gibson in his starting line-up to face the Yorkshiremen.
Leeds were backed by a 9,000-strong travelling support but the odds were against the League One outfit registering the club's first Old Trafford victory since 1981.
The hosts suffered an early blow when Nemanja Vidic was injured in the warm-up, so Wes Brown stepped up from the substitutes' bench to partner the returning Jonny Evans in central defence.
Leeds made a spirited start and Bradley Johnson had an opportunity to pick out the in-form Jermaine Beckford but squandered it. However, he did manage to force Gary Neville into conceding a corner that Tomasz Kuszczak had to punch away under pressure.
Beckford hooked a volley over, then Anderson fouled Johnson, only for Andy Hughes to drift his free-kick straight to Kuszczak.
Beckford collected Neil Kilkenny's short pass and curled another effort towards the home goal that Kuszczak saved comfortably.
Obertan's chipped cross was too near Casper Ankergren after he had been released by Welbeck, then the Frenchman misdirected a cross to the young striker as Berbatov screamed for a cut-back.
Anderson screwed a shot wide as the Premier League champions began to exert their authority.
However, Leeds were still a threat, as they proved after 19 minutes when Welbeck lost possession inside the visitors' half and Jonathan Howson launched a long ball over the top for Beckford to chase.
The striker got half a yard on Brown and, although his first touch appeared too strong, Kuszczak was slow to react and Beckford turned the ball into the United net as the Pole raced out.
On the touchline, Leeds boss Simon Grayson was ecstatic.
However, his joy would have lasted only five minutes if Jason Crowe had not scampered back to clear off the line after Wayne Rooney had sprung the Leeds offside trap and raced forward into the visitors box before sliding a shot underneath Ankergren.
Leeds were performing heroically and Johnson floated a header wide of the far post after Crowe had charged forward on the overlap.
Rooney curled a shot wide at the other end after Obertan had won the hosts a corner.
The England star was trying to spark his team into life and he set up Welbeck for a shot that sailed narrowly wide from an acute angle.
Brown was booked for chopping down Luciano Becchio inside the Leeds half after Obertan had been caught in possession.
Ferguson could not have been impressed with his side's efforts. Gibson's square ball under no pressure summed up the half. The Irishman was way off target as he tried to find Neville.
The veteran defender still managed to reach the ball, only to see it roll out of play as he tried to control.
Brown's thundering challenge on Johnson triggered an angry reaction, with Grayson arguing with Neville at one point.
Leeds had the first attack of the second half as Howson curled over a cross that Kuszczak cut out.
Ferguson had resisted the temptation to make changes at the interval and could have been rewarded with a penalty when Welbeck was seemingly blocked off in the box by Howson, only for referee Chris Foy to wave play on.
There was even more friction now though. Howson and Gibson were picked out for a lecture for a scrap close to the home area that had started when Brown went in on the Leeds man.
Ankergren saved superbly to deny Welbeck, who had raced into the box. He then did even better to block a close-range Berbatov effort.
Gibson was booked for a late tackle on Johnson, and Naylor was also shown a yellow card when he cynically hacked down Rooney.
Brown, who was treading a very fine line, barged into the back of Beckford, although Leeds could make nothing of the free-kick.
Ferguson introduced Ryan Giggs and Antonio Valencia for Welbeck and Obertan just before the hour mark.
Leeds had been a muted attacking force for quite a while but Johnson let fly with a speculative blast that Kuszczak saved easily.
Fabio Da Silva strode onto a Rooney lay-off and curled a shot narrowly over the top.
Johnson went for goal with a 25-yard free-kick but Kuszczak gathered at the second attempt.
Michael Owen was the next man on, for Anderson, and both he and Berbatov had a chance to finish off Valencia's cut-back before Rooney blazed over.
Ankergren saved low from Rooney, who then fired over when well placed to do much better after Valencia had again created space.
Leeds were not totally reliant on defence, though, and Beckford came agonisingly close to sealing their place in the fourth round 12 minutes from time.
Robert Snodgrass came even closer shortly afterwards when his free-kick shook the angle of bar and post with Kuszczak beaten.
The pace was unrelenting and Owen thought he should have had a penalty when he went down under Hughes' challenge but Foy was unmoved.
Five additional minutes must have shredded a few nerves among the Leeds supporters. But after so many dark days, this was to be one of glory. Rooney wasted the last chance as he drove his shot wide.

Sky 3/1/10
Leeds turn back time
Shock of the round helps Whites remember paradise lost
By Peter Fraser
Leeds delivered a reminder of the glory days of old, and an example of what the future could hold, as they sent old enemies Manchester United tumbling out of the third round of the FA Cup with a 1-0 victory.
The Yorkshire side's fall from the Premier League and UEFA Champions League graces at the start of the millennium has been as infamous as it was staggering, but Jermaine Beckford struck at Old Trafford to show 2010 could be a turning point.
The striker, possibly the epitome of what has been the new era at the League One table-toppers, broke the deadlock in the 19th minute of a first half which had crackled with an atmosphere from the days of Best versus Charlton, never mind the more recent past.
Perhaps inevitably for a player who has now scored 20 goals this season, the forward collected Jonny Howson's long ball, which Wes Brown had misjudged, to display a composure some argue he lacks and roll past the onrushing Tomasz Kuszczak.
Old Trafford rocked to the celebrations of 9,000 travelling fans from across The Pennines, but United nearly responded immediately through their own talismanic striker as a Wayne Rooney poke at goal was blocked on the goalline by Jason Crowe.
Leeds went in at half-time one goal in front to set up a simmering second passage as tackles clattered and the game comfortably delivered the most engrossing action of what had been a drab third round bereft of the famous cup shocks.
Substitute Michael Owen and Rooney both missed glorious chances for Premier League champions United, but Beckford was also wasteful at the other end and Leeds replacement Robert Snodgrass hit the woodwork with a free-kick as the visitors finished strongly to record a storybook win.
Sir Alex Ferguson had turned to his youth brigade as despite stating he would be using his fringe players in Wednesday's Carling Cup semi-final with Manchester City, he still named Gabriel Obertan, Fabio Da Silva, Danny Welbeck and Darron Gibson.
Simon Grayson's Leeds were well backed but the odds were against the League One champions-elect registering the club's first Old Trafford victory since 1981 in the first meeting between the two sides in almost six years.
The hosts suffered an early blow when Nemanja Vidic was injured in the warm-up, so Brown stepped up from the substitutes' bench to partner the returning Jonny Evans in central defence.
Spirited start
Leeds made a spirited start and Bradley Johnson had an opportunity to pick out the in-form Beckford but squandered it. However, he did manage to force Gary Neville into conceding a corner that Kuszczak had to punch away under pressure.
Beckford, who could leave in the transfer window, hooked a volley over, then Anderson fouled Johnson, only for Andy Hughes to drift his free-kick straight to Kuszczak.
Beckford collected Neil Kilkenny's short pass and curled another effort towards the home goal that Kuszczak saved comfortably.
Obertan's chipped cross was too near Casper Ankergren after he had been released by Welbeck, then the Frenchman misdirected a cross to the young striker as Berbatov screamed for a cut-back.
Anderson screwed a shot wide as the Premier League champions began to exert their authority.
However, Leeds were still a threat, as they proved after 19 minutes when Welbeck lost possession inside the visitors' half and Howson launched a long ball over the top for Beckford to chase.
The striker got half a yard on Brown and, although his first touch appeared too strong, Kuszczak was slow to react and Beckford turned the ball into the United net, almost in slow motion as far as the disbelieving Leeds fans will have been concerned, as the Pole raced out.
However, his joy would have lasted only five minutes if Crowe had not scampered back to clear off the line after Rooney had sprung the Leeds offside trap and raced forward before toe-poking a shot underneath Ankergren.
Leeds were performing heroically and Johnson floated a header wide of the far post after Crowe had charged forward on the overlap.
Rooney curled a shot wide at the other end after Obertan had won the hosts a corner.
The England star was trying to spark his team into life, and he set up Welbeck
for a shot that sailed narrowly wide from an acute angle, but he was the only real threat to Leeds as Dimitar Berbatov delivered another of his frustrating displays.
Brown was booked for chopping down Luciano Becchio inside the Leeds half after Obertan had been caught in possession.
Ferguson could not have been impressed with his side's efforts. Gibson's square ball under no pressure summed up the half. The Irishman was way off target as he tried to find Neville.
The veteran defender still managed to reach the ball, only to see it roll out of play as he tried to control.
Thundering challenge
Brown's thundering challenge, one from the days of old, on Johnson triggered an angry reaction, with Leeds boss Grayson arguing with Neville at one point.
Leeds had the first attack of the second half as Howson curled over a cross that Kuszczak cut out.
Ferguson had resisted the temptation to make changes at the interval and could have been rewarded with a penalty when Welbeck was seemingly blocked off in the box by Howson, only for referee Chris Foy to wave play on.
There was even more friction now though. Howson and Gibson were picked out for a lecture after a scrap close to the home area that had started when Brown went in on the Leeds man.
Ankergren saved superbly to deny Welbeck, who had raced into the box. He then did even better to block a close-range Berbatov effort.
Gibson was booked for a late tackle on Johnson, and Naylor was also shown a yellow card when he cynically hacked down Rooney.
Brown, who was treading a very fine line, barged into the back of Beckford, although Leeds could make nothing of the free-kick.
Ferguson introduced Ryan Giggs and Antonio Valencia for Welbeck and Obertan just before the hour mark.
Leeds had been a muted attacking force for quite a while but Johnson let fly with a speculative blast that Kuszczak saved easily.
Fabio Da Silva strode onto a Rooney lay-off and curled a shot narrowly over the top.
Johnson went for goal with a 25-yard free-kick but Kuszczak gathered at the second attempt.
Owen and Rooney had their chances, but Leeds remained a threat as United were susceptible to the long ball and Beckford screwed wide on the break before Snodgrass curled against the joint of post and crossbar from a free-kick.
United knew it was not to be their day in injury time as Owen was denied by Ankergren in a goalmouth scramble to leave 'marching on together' reverberating around Old Trafford.

Telegraph 3/1/10
Manchester United 0 Leeds United 1: match report
By Mark Ogden at Old Trafford
Jermaine Beckford consigned Manchester United to FA Cup humiliation by sending League One Leeds United into the fourth round with a first-half winner that signalled the Yorkshire club’s first victory at Old Trafford since 1981.
Beckford, who is expected to leave Leeds for Newcastle United this month, scored on 19 minutes to become the first Leeds player since Brian Flynn to score a winner at Old Trafford.
The defeat for United also ensured that Sir Alex Ferguson experienced a third round exit for the first time. It was United’s first defeat to lower league opposition in the FA Cup since a 2-0 defeat at Bournemouth in 1984.
United manager Ferguson had vowed to field a strong team against the Elland Road outfit, but the Scot performed a selection about-turn by naming youngsters Darron Gibson, Gabriel Obertan and Fabio da Silva in his starting line-up.
Having seen a half-strength team defeat Spurs in the Carling Cup quarter-final last month, however, Ferguson would have expected his players to repeat that performance against an opponent from the third tier.
But the Premier League champions were outfought by Leeds from the kick-off and the sheer intensity of the fixture appeared to catch many of United’s players by surprise.
Ferguson had spoken of the bitter rivalry between the two clubs in the build-up to the game and how his players could expect a raucous atmosphere with Leeds backed by 9,000 travelling fans.
The message apparently didn’t sink in, though, and Grayson’s team were the first to every ball in a ferociously fought encounter.
So United could have no complaints when Beckford put Leeds ahead on 19 minutes with what could be his last goal for the club.
Jonny Howson’s stunning 40 yard pass found Beckford 25 yards from goal and the forward escaped Wes Brown before guiding a left foot shot into the far corner past goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak.
United attempted to respond, but Leeds matched fire with fire, with captain Richard Naylor joining Brown in referee Chris Foy’s notebook.
Wayne Rooney was denied an equaliser on 25 minutes, though, when full-back Jason Crowe cleared his goalbound effort off the line.
Other than that near miss, however, United struggled to test Leeds goalkeeper Casper Ankergren and it was the visitors that looked likelier to add to the scoring.
The game threatened to boil over 48 minutes when Brown’s late tackle on Michael Doyle prompted both sets of players to confront each other on the edge of the United penalty area.
Once the game settled down, Leeds continued to take the game to United and Beckford should have made it 2-0 on 78 minutes when he sprung the offside trap before shooting wide of the far post.
And substitute Robert Snodgrass rattled the United crossbar with a 20-yard free-kick on 80 minutes.
Despite finishing the game with Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen on the pitch, though, United just could not find the goal to save the tie and avoid humiliation. 3/1/10
MAN UTD 0, LEEDS UNITED 1 (Beckford 19)
Leeds United manager Simon Grayson recalled Bradley Johnson and Jonny Howson to his starting line-up for the trip to Manchester United in place of the suspended Leigh Bromby and the injured Robert Snodgrass.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson paid Leeds the ultimate compliment by naming a strong starting line-up that included Wayne Rooney among others, although he was dealt a last-minute blow when Nemanja Vidic picked up an injury during the pre-match warm-up. Wes Brown was the late replacement.
Unsurprisingly, the game attracted a full-house with a spiky atmosphere, and with almost 9,000 Leeds fans present. It was a moment both sets of fans had waited for since Leeds' relegation from the Premiership six years ago, and the atmosphere didn't disappoint.
The home side did have one early shot - Darron Gibson firing wide - but Leeds also started with confidence and Tomasz Kuszczak had to be alert to punch clear a Bradley Johnson corner. Jermaine Beckford also turned a Jonny Howson cross over the top.
At the other end, a teasing cross from Danny Welbeck drifted across the face of goal, and Gabriel Obertan also looked to find Welbeck with a pull-back, but the England man couldn't connect.
But on 20 minutes Leeds were in dreamland. Howson played a long ball forward and Beckford stripped Brown for pace before slipping the ball beyond Kuszczak to give Leeds the lead. The goal sparked jubilant scenes among both the players and the vast travelling support.
Moments later, Luciano Becchio headed over a Neil Kilkenny cross as United threatened again.
And when Man United came forward on 25 minutes, Dimitar Berbatov releasing Rooney, Jason Crowe made a goal-line clearance to keep the score at 1-0 when an equaliser looked certain.
But Leeds were showing no fear, Johnson heading a Crowe cross wide of the mark after another good attack from Grayson's men. On 35 minutes, Brown went in the book for Man U after a foul on Becchio as the striker looked to set United on another break.
As the game headed towards half-time, there was a short stoppage as Johnson received treatment, following a challenge by Brown.
The home side started the second half on the front foot and they had appeals for a penalty waved away when Howson clashed with Welbeck. As the ball was returned forward, there was a more serious clash involving Howson, Brown, and Gibson after an over-zealous challenge on Micky Doyle saw tempers flare.
Moments later, Gibson was booked for a challenge on Johnson while Richard Naylor saw yellow for a foul on Rooney. In between, the challenges, Casper Ankergren reacted well to deny both Welbeck and Berbatov.
The double arrival of Ryan Giggs and Antonio Valencia was designed to give the home side more of a cutting edge, but as the game edged past the hour-mark, Leeds were looking dogged and resilient.
When Leeds threatened again, Johnson curled a free-kick into the arms of Kuszczak. With 21 minutes to go, Ferguson made his final change, Michael Owen coming on as the home side looked to force an equaliser. But, when the chance presented itself to a combination of Owen and Berbatov, Paddy Kisnorbo cleared as far as Rooney who blasted high over the bar.
Rooney also fired over, following a Valenica cross, on 77 minutes.
And moments later, United had a chance to wrap the game up when Beckford seized upon a Doyle pass and his finish shaved the wrong side of the upright. Next, Robert Snodgrass rattled the woodwork with a free-kick which left Kuszczak with no chance.
It was a real credit to Leeds that as the game headed towards its final stages, the home side were unable to offer too much in the way of an attacking threat, and the near 9,000 travelling fans were roaring their heroes towards what would be a famous victory.
The 9,000 even chimed with chants of "Fergie Time" when five minutes were added on at the end of the 90. There was a moment of panic in the fourth minute, United scrambled the ball clear after Ankergren made a superb save, and when it was returned Rooney fired wide following a last-gasp corner.
And that proved to be the last meaningful action as Leeds recorded a first win for 29 years at Old Trafford, and the celebrations started.