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Showing posts from March, 2006
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Blackwell Demands More Courage leedsunited.com United boss Kevin Blackwell was critical of his side after they could only earn a point in a 0-0 draw with Stoke. Blackwell pointed the finger at his forwards in particular after Leeds missed what he felt was a great opportunity to recover lost ground in the automatic promotion chase. The Whites boss, who started with David Healy and Rob Hulse upfront, could not complain about the work-rate of his side but expected them to cause Stoke more problems. "We have had loads of play again but I am asking the strikers to be more assertive in the last third," he said. "It's as simple as that and in my opinion the front two have ducked it on Saturday and I've told them that. "Stoke dropped deep and made it difficult for us. They are a big physical side who are hard to break down and that proved to be the case. In the first half we had spells of good pressure but it's the bain of every manager when crosses are deliv
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BLACKWELL KEEPS PRESSURE ON PLAYERS By Jamie Gardner, PA Sport Sporting Life Kevin Blackwell reminded his misfiring Leeds players that none of them is assured a starting berth after what he described as a "frustrating" goalless draw against Stoke at Elland Road. Leeds had plenty of the ball but only came close when Rob Hulse's 90th-minute header hit the post, and Sheffield United's victory over Southampton means the Whites trail their Yorkshire rivals by six points in the race for automatic promotion. "Everyone has got to realise that no job is safe at the club - people need to step up to the plate for us now," said Blackwell. "But nothing is ever predictable, we've got a good result when you look at the other results around us (Watford in third and Crystal Palace in fifth both lost) yet it doesn't feel like that. "All we can do is keep going and stay focused on ourselves. There will be some twists and turns before the end of the season,
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Whites Lose More Ground: United 0 Stoke 0 leedsunited.com Leeds lost further ground in the promotion chase with a 0-0 draw at home to Stoke, adding to what has been a frustrating and potentially damaging week for the Whites. Pre-Match United boss Kevin Blackwell made one change to the side that lost 1-0 to Crystal Palace in midweek, with Matthew Kilgallon stepping out and Shaun Gregan returning after his two match suspension. Despite not having the same impact in the Palace game as he normally does as a substitute, David Healy kept his place upfront with Rob Hulse, leaving Robbie Blake on the substitutes bench. Jermaine Beckford was rewarded for his bright showing against Palace with another go on the bench, but there was no place for latest loan signing Danny Graham. Stoke captain Michael Duberry made his first return to the club since his departure from Elland Road last season. The Match Leeds dominated the start but Stoke had the first shot on target after eight minutes when P
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McAnuff keeps the spring in Palace's step Louise Taylor Elland Road Wednesday March 22, 2006 The Guardian Just as some footballers construct careers around an ability to make late, incisive dashes into the penalty area, Iain Dowie is developing the coveted managerial knack of building promotion campaigns on springtime surges up the table. Two years ago Dowie's Palace won a Premiership place after over taking almost all comers on the blindside as they morphed from relegation candidates to near invincibles, and his current team may well be poised to repeat that feat. Suddenly firmly in the play-off frame, fifth-placed Palace certainly dented Kevin Blackwell's automatic promotion hopes, ensuring Leeds remain fourth behind both Sheffield United and Watford in an intriguing race towards the promised land. "We've had two defeats in 17 games so we're just going to keep going and see where we end up," said Dowie. "It's going to be a very interesting en
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Premier League tribunal seen as massive test case By Henry Winter (Filed: 21/03/2006) Telegraph A tribunal will soon rule on Chelsea's controversial wooing of two Leeds United youngsters, a pursuit that has stirred so much anger that some within the Premier League would like the champions to be punished with the deduction of points. Others want seven-figure compensation levels established to reimburse Leeds, who have invested time, cash, patience and endless coaching skills in the pair. "If compensation is not significant than people in youth-development structures will worry," said one leading academy director. Michael Woods and Tom Taiwo, the two teenagers at the centre of what all agree is a massive test case, were being nurtured by Neil Thompson, director of a Leeds academy that has produced Paul Robinson, Alan Smith, Jonathan Woodgate, Harry Kewell, James Milner and Aaron Lennon. Then Chelsea called. Money talked, talent walked and Woods and Taiwo are continuing t
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Coventry 1 Leeds 1: Cool head Healy saves Leeds Sunday Times John Aizlewood at Ricoh Arena READING may be out of sight and already measuring their Premiership suits, but with Sheffield United spluttering like a distressed Trabant, the Championship promotion race has suddenly become interesting again. Yesterday’s tussle was as absorbing as it promised with Leeds having lost just once this calendar year. Meanwhile Coventry City were in in such a rich vein of form that despite having started December in 21st place, a play-off position was not a wholly fanciful notion until David Healy’s penalty gave Leeds their second late equaliser in two games. “Nobody could deny we deserved something from that,” said manager Kevin Blackwell. “We just keep going and going and going. That’s why we’re 12 months ahead of where we thought we’d be.” Coventry manager Micky Adams was far from disappointed with his team’s performance, particularly during the first half. “That’s as well as we can play,” he not
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BLACKWELL: LEEDS WORTHY OF POINT Sporting Life Leeds boss Kevin Blackwell insisted his side fully deserved to claim the point which kept their automatic promotion hopes alive thanks to a late penalty against Coventry at the Ricoh Arena. Northern Ireland international David Healy struck from the spot in the 88th minute after Sky Blues full-back Andrew Whing was judged to have handled a cross from Eddie Lewis to claim a 1-1 draw. The late goal cancelled out Gary McSheffrey's first-half strike - his 50th goal for the club - and denied Coventry their seventh successive home league victory. Although they left it late, Blackwell said it was no more than his west Yorkshire side deserved. He said: "I think that anyone who watched the game today cannot say that we deserved a least a point from it. "Coventry defended stoutly and their keeper made several good saves and you can't help but wonder if it is going to be your day but credit to the lads they kept going." The po
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RISING STAR JOINS LEEDS United win race to sign ace Beckford Yorkshire Evening Post EXCLUSIVE By PAUL DEWS THE 'most wanted man in non-league football' was today set to put pen to paper with Leeds United. Wealdstone striker Jermaine Beckford has agreed terms with Leeds and was undergoing a medical at the club's Thorp Arch training base. The 23-year-old is the leading goalscorer in the senior divisions of the non-league pyramid with 35 goals this season and has attracted a host of interest from clubs. Charlton, Sunderland, Crystal Palace, QPR, Brentford, Oldham, Yeovil, Peterborough, Wycombe Wanderers and Barnet have all checked out the player's progress while Premiership heavyweights Chelsea had also dropped in on Wealdstone for a close look at the striker. But Leeds have won the race for his signature and were immediately fending off loan enquiries for his services. Delighted manager Kevin Blackwell said: "Jermaine is a raw talent and we think he has a big future
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Lewis Rescue Act: United 2 Norwich 2 leedsunited.com A glorious free-kick from Eddie Lewis rescued a valuable point for Leeds at home to Norwich - but it was a game they should have made sure of the win in the first half. Pre-Match United boss Kevin Blackwell stuck with the same side that beat Crystal Palace the previous week, and who would blame him for keeping a winning side intact. That meant Rob Hulse and Robbie Blake were given the opportunity to build on their 11 goals this season, whilst another striker on the same amount, David Healy, was forced to make do with a place on the bench alongside another international, Eirik Bakke. Also on the bench was the welcome sight of Matthew Kilgallon, the defender having recovered from a knee ligament injury and now being forced to bide his time before getting another chance to establish himself. The Match Norwich had the first real chance of the game after six minutes, a half clearance from skipper Paul Butler fell for Huckerby and he
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IS WARNOCK LOSING PLOT? By PAUL DEWS Yorkshire Evening Post LEEDS UNITED boss Kevin Blackwell today laughed off an astonishing verbal attack from Sheffield United counterpart Neil Warnock. In an apparent bid to turn the focus away from his own side's faltering run, Warnock has accused Blackwell of instigating a bout of mind games as the race for promotion hots up. Leeds entertain Norwich tomorrow while Sheffield United, who have won just one of their last six games, travel to Coventry and the pressure is clearly mounting for the under-fire Blades. And Warnock, pictured right, who is determined to deflect suggestions that his Sheffield United side are feeling the heat, has done his best to divert attentions away from his own players by launching an attack on Blackwell. Warnock said: "I don't want to know what Kevin Blackwell or anyone else has to say now, but I will leave the talking to him because he is doing enough for both of us. The mind games are at work everywhere. &
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BLACKWELL AGREES NEW DEAL Sporting Life Kevin Blackwell will start making longer-term plans for Leeds now his own future is assured after signing a new three-year contract. The former Sheffield United coach, who arrived at Elland Road as number two to Peter Reid in June 2003 before taking sole charge 12 months later, put pen to paper on the deal at a meeting with chairman Ken Bates in Monaco. Former Plymouth goalkeeper Blackwell has steered the West Yorkshire side into the Coca-Cola Championship play-offs and following a run of four wins and two draws has seen his side close the gap on second-placed Sheffield United to six points with a game in hand. Bates announced ex-goalkeepers did not make good managers shortly after taking control at Elland Road in January 2005, but the former Chelsea supremo is now convinced Blackwell is the man to take Leeds forward. "I'm delighted. I feel the club is only at the start of something good," said Blackwell, whose initial two-year co
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Blackwell Commits To Leeds leedsunited.com Leeds United have today confirmed manager Kevin Blackwell has agreed a new three-year contract at the club. Blackwell has helped turn the club around during his two years as manager, preventing the club from slipping down the divisions following relegation from the Premiership and gradually building a team over the past two seasons that is now challenging for automatic promotion. Chairman Ken Bates insists the new contract is just reward for the job Blackwell has done and is looking forward to continued success with him at the helm. “I’m a big believer that if it ain’t broke you don’t mend it,” Bates told the Yorkshire Evening Post. “Kevin wasn’t going to be allowed to go anywhere else.” The former Sheffield United assistant manager joined the club as head coach under Peter Reid in the summer of 2003 and was handed the job of manager on a full time basis in May 2004, and his success has attracted interest from both Premiership and Championsh
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Crystal Palace 1 Leeds 2: Hulse raises stakes for gritty Leeds Sunday Times Kevin Dunn at Selhurst Park LEEDS continued their chase for automatic promotion to the Premiership with a victory over Crystal Palace that extended their unbeaten run to eight games and took them to within six points of second-placed Sheffield United. Goals by Robbie Blake and Rob Hulse ensured a win that was more comfortable than the scoreline suggested. Palace scored a stoppage-time consolation goal through Jobi McAnuff but their pressure was too little too late. The hosts were six points behind Leeds at the start of play and both clubs were encouraged by Sheffield United’s failure to beat Crewe on Friday night. Palace had been enjoying a rich vein of form and were unbeaten in 10 league games at Selhurst Park and Andy Johnson again led Palace’s attack, still hoping, at this late stage to play his way into Sven-Göran Eriksson’s reckoning for the World Cup. Capped twice last year, Johnson’s season has been ha
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BLACKWELL WARNS FALTERING BLADES Sporting Life By Tom Collomosse, PA Sport Leeds boss Kevin Blackwell warned Sheffield United his team would fight them all the way for automatic promotion after their 2-1 win at Crystal Palace. This victory put Leeds - who have a game in hand on their Yorkshire rivals - six points adrift of second place in the Coca-Cola Championship. Blackwell's men deserved their win, which they earned thanks to goals in either half from Robbie Blake and Rob Hulse, while Jobi McAnuff's injury-time strike for Palace only compounded their manager Iain Dowie's frustration. "People thought the race for automatic promotion was finished a long time ago and that Reading and Sheffield United had booked their places in the Premiership - but we never agreed," Blackwell said. "Sheffield United are still in the ascendancy, but we feel we have a chance of catching them. We have to keep chasing, and we are doing as much as we can. "We have had such
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Whites Keep Up The Pressure: Palace 1 Leeds 2 leedsunited.com Goals from Robbie Blake and Rob Hulse gave United another great away win and more importantly moved them to within six points of second place with a game in hand and Sheffield United to play. It's all on! Pre-Match United boss Kevin Blackwell made just the one change to the side that beat Luton the previous week, and it meant a return to the side for Shaun Derry. Derry, besides coming back into the side after serving his one match suspension, was returning to Selhurt Park for the first time since leaving Crystal Palace to join the Whites. David Healy dropped down to the bench to resume his now familiar role of super-sub and was joined there by Eirik Bakke, who has started just the one game since his return from a loan spell at Aston Villa. Palace were able to include England striker Andy Johnson, who was looking to prove a point after being left out of the most recent squad. The Match Leeds enjoyed an encouraging st