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Showing posts from September, 2011
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Yorkshire Evening Post 26/9/11 It’s great to be back - Pugh INTERVIEW By Phil Hay In the last hours of the summer transfer window, every ring of Danny Pugh’s mobile phone had him jumping out of his seat. The traditional drama of deadline day was keenly felt in the midfielder’s household. Leeds United rushed to sign him on August 31 after an influx of expensive recruits at Stoke City rendered Pugh surplus to requirements at short notice. City’s manager, Tony Pulis, was loath to auction off a trustworthy squad member but the investment of around £20million in Peter Crouch, Wilson Palacios and Cameron Jerome gave him no alternative. United’s move for Pugh was the sort of deal which has made the minutes before FIFA’s transfer deadline a bi-annual institution – chaotic, scrambled and set against a ticking clock. The timing of their approach came too late for the completion of a medical and other formalities, and Pugh was forced to sit tight until a temporary move was agreed between Stoke
www.leedsunited.com NO POINT PROVED FOR FRUSTRATED BOSS Simon Grayson's Brighton verdict... Leeds United manager Simon Grayson was quick to vent his frustration after Friday's 3-3 draw at Brighton. An injury time equaliser from Ross McCormack secured Leeds a point on the south coast, but Grayson was seething after his side threw away a two-goal half-time lead. United had dominated the first half, but conceded three in the second period before a dramatic leveller ensured honours ended even. "I want to make sure there's a game that isn't a spectacle," said the boss. "I'd rather bore people to death if that's what we have to do. We were absolutely cruising at half-time in the game, the team was outstanding, we passed it well, scored good goals, and never looked like we would concede. "Brighton are a good side, they can move it well, they get the ball into little pockets, and they have Mackail-Smith, who is a good striker. There was no doubt th
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BBC 23/9/11 Brighton 3 Leeds 3 Ross McCormack snatched an equaliser deep into stoppage time as Leeds stopped Brighton from returning to the top of the Championship table. Leeds raced into a two-goal half-time lead courtesy of strikes from Andy Keogh and McCormack. Craig Mackail-Smith reduced the arrears then turned provider, winning the penalty which Ashley Barnes scored. Barnes then supplied Mackail-Smith, who slotted home, but McCormack grabbed a point for Leeds in the final seconds. Brighton manager Gus Poyet made five changes to the team that lost against Liverpool in the Carling Cup on Wednesday night but despite the fresh faces, they looked weary in the opening exchanges. Leeds were soon ahead through Keogh. The striker found Adam Clayton on the edge of the area and when the midfielder's shot was blocked Keogh gathered the loose ball to slot home his first Leeds goal. Six minutes later McCormack turned to unleash a superb left-foot drive into the bottom corner from 25 yards.
Yorkshire Evening Post 21/9/11 Leeds United v Manchester United: Reds’ old brigade makes Whites pay By Phil Hay January 3, 2010 was a date for Leeds United to remember. September 20, 2011 will be forgotten by the weekend. Lightning does not often strike twice and it refused to land on Elland Road last night. Simon Grayson promised that Leeds would “do ourselves justice” against Manchester United and, on this occasion, respectability was all his players had to compete for. Once bitten and bitten badly, Sir Alex Ferguson’s squad did not even flirt with the threat of a second upset at the hands of Grayson’s. Two goals from Michael Owen settled the best of the Carling Cup’s third round ties inside 33 minutes, giving Ferguson the comfortable evening he must have craved, and Ryan Giggs made an exhibition of the second half with a goal on the stroke of half-time. Leeds bowed out of the competition without severe disgrace – real though that threat was after 45 minutes – but they could not con
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Mail 20/9/11 Leeds 0 Manchester United 3: Owen at the double as Reds ease past old rivals By Ian Ladyman They still do what they always did at Leeds United. They still come to Elland Road in droves and they still back their team with the gusto they did when they were winning league championships. These days, though, it’s all a bit of a struggle on the field. In 11th place in the Championship, a return to the top division still seems a little way off for Simon Grayson and his team. Leeds were left confused and humbled by a Manchester United reserve team they couldn’t really live with. United made 11 changes from the team that beat Chelsea at the weekend and, once again, they led 3-0 at half-time. This time they deserved it, too, as two goals from Michael Owen and one from Ryan Giggs served to illustrate how far Leeds have fallen behind their great rivals from Lancashire. By the end, Leeds could reflect on some decent spells in the game. United goalkeeper Ben Amos, though, could reflect
ToEllAndBack 17/9/11 Super Ross relieves the dross! - Leeds 2 - 1 Bristol City Ross McCormack was on target yet again as Leeds recorded back-to-back wins for the first time this season, but it was hardly vintage stuff against a struggling Bristol City side inspired by a former Leeds favourite who made the whites' battle all the way. Simon Grayson opted for minimal changes to the side that beat Crystal Palace seven days ago, Aidy White returned from suspension to replace rookie Charlie Taylor for whom there was no place on the bench. Michael Brown also dropped down to the dug-out, replaced from Adam Clayton who recovered in time from a calf-injury. Taylor, Lloyd Sam and new signing Mika Vayrynen did not even make the bench. United's new Finnish signing had apparently been given a few more days to settle into life in West Yorkshire before being thrown in to the cut and thrust of the English game. There was barely three minutes on the clock when United drew first blood. Snodgrass
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Mail 17/9/11 Leeds 2 Bristol City 1: McCormack's last-gasp strike earns United vital win Ross McCormack fired a late winner as 10-man Leeds weathered a storm to deny Bristol City only their second win of the season in the npower Championship. Striker McCormack swept the ball home from close range at the far post in the 86th minute following a flick-on from substitute Luciano Becchio as Leeds registered back-to-back home wins. City midfielder Neil Kilkenny made a stunning return to Elland Road by curling home a first-half equaliser against his former club after Adam Clayton had fired Leeds into a third-minute lead. Keith Millen's side were left to rue what might have been after taking control of the match once Leeds defender Paddy Kisnorbo had been shown a straight red card in the 64th minute for scything down City striker Nicky Maynard in the box. But Maynard's subsequent spot kick was saved by Leeds goalkeeper Andy Lonergan and the Yorkshire side snatched all three point
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Yorkshire Evening Post 14/9/11 Mikael Forssell pleased his patience paid off INTERVIEW By Phil Hay With Mikael Forssell signed to a 12-month deal, the number of strikers on Leeds United’s wage bill stands at six. One of those strikers, Davide Somma, has n o chance of playing this side of Christmas but it is true to say that Forssell is at a club where appearances will be hard-earned. The 30-year-old’s insistence on chasing a contract with Leeds was in spite of what many might call a surplus of players in his position. Even without Somma – the victim of a serious knee injury – United manager Simon Grayson reached the end of the summer transfer window with a group of forwards comprising of Ross McCormack, Andy Keogh, Luciano Becchio and Billy Paynter. It was the one area of his squad which required no urgent attention. Leeds were still as interested in recruiting Forssell as Forssell was in signing for them, and a two-week trial at Thorp Arch culminated in a season-long deal agreed last
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YEP 13/9/11 Whites sign Finland international Vayrynen By Leon Wobschall LEEDS UNITED have signed Finnish international Mika Vayrynen. The former PSV Eindhoven player has signed a one year contract with the club with a further year’s option. The 29-year-old, who has been capped 54 times by Finland, was a free agent after leaving Dutch Eredivisie side Heereenveen in the summer. Simon Grayson told the club website: “We’re delighted to sign Mika. There were good offers from other clubs on the continent, but has turned them down because of his ambition to play for Leeds and be successful here. “He can play as an attacking midfielder or as a holding midfielder and he’s delighted to get the opportunity to come her.” United are desperate to boost their squad options and are also interested in bringing old boy Danny Pugh, able to operate at left-back or on the left-hand side of midfield, back to the club on loan after the 28-year-old utility man was left out of Stoke City’s 25-man squad last
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Ross the boss as Whites triumph By Phil Hay Crystal Palace must be sick of the sight of Luciano Becchio. Leeds United cannot get enough of him. A trademark goal on his return from injury helped avert the type of demoralising day that his club and his manager could scarcely afford to suffer. Leeds made no secret of their regret at losing Becchio to hamstring surgery midway through July and his cameo as a substitute against Palace explained why. United were sliding helplessly towards a fourth Championship loss when Becchio’s conversion of his first chance rejuvenated a grateful team. The striker’s 71st-minute goal restored parity at 2-2 and gave Leeds the chance of winning a game they might have lost several times over by then. Ross McCormack followed Becchio’s lead with an 83rd-minute finish, his second of an eventful match. How United’s victory materialised will matter less to Simon Grayson than the fact that it did. On the balance of the first half alone, his players should not have
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Bradford Telegraph & Argus 11/9/11 Simon Grayson praises Leeds United talisman Luciano Becchio Simon Grayson was grateful for the “buzz” Luciano Becchio gave his Leeds side as they came from behind to earn a tension-relieving 3-2 win over Crystal Palace. The Argentinian had not featured for Leeds’ first team since the April 16 draw with Watford owing to a series of hamstring problems. And until Becchio’s 59th-minute return on Saturday, the atmosphere inside Elland Road had been riddled with tension, partly owing to the ongoing protests against owner Ken Bates about a perceived lack of investment, and partly because Paddy McCarthy and Sean Scannell had scored to wipe out Ross McCormack’s opener. But the introduction of Becchio prompted a switch in momentum that kicked in with his 57th goal for the club and was completed when McCormack turned in Mikael Forssell’s knockdown to earn United a second win of the season. “Luciano was never going to play much more than 25 to 30 minutes of
Bradford Telegraph & Argus 10/9/11 McCormack nets double to help Leeds United bag three valuable points Leeds 3 Crystal Palace 2 Ross McCormack and Luciano Becchio combined to give Leeds a tension-relieving win over early-season Championship surprise package Crystal Palace at Elland Road. Scotland international striker McCormack scored the first and last goals of an end-to-end game, with Becchio, back after a five-month injury lay-off, equalising in between times after Paddy McCarthy and Sean Scannell had put Palace in front. McCormack’s winner, his sixth of the season, came six minutes from the end and earned his side a second win of a campaign that has so far been overshadowed by off-field unrest about a perceived lack of investment from outspoken owner Ken Bates. The situation has even prompted the former Chelsea chairman to call sections of the club’s support “morons” and the bad feeling inside the ground swelled further when Dougie Freedman’s Palace, sixth before today, went
Leedsunited.com 10/9/11 McCORMACK SEALS UNITED VICTORY Leeds edge out Palace at Elland Road... UNITED 3 (McCormack 8, 84 Becchio 70), CRYSTAL PALACE 2 (McCarthy 12, Scannell 20) United manager Simon Grayson had to make three enforced changes as his side returned to league action following a two-week lay-off. Charlie Taylor came in for his full debut in place of the suspended Aidy White, Michael Brown returned in place of the injured Adam Clayton, and Ramon Nunez took over from the departed Max Gradel on the left. The bench also included the returning Luciano Becchio and new signing Mikael Forssell. United went into the game on the back of a start that had produced just one win from the opening five games, but the United boss had expressed his satisfaction with performances so far. And Leeds were celebrating inside the opening minutes when young Taylor produced a pin-point cross from the left and Ross McCormack was on hand to head the ball home. It was the perfect start for Leeds. It w
leedsunited.com 8/9/11 MIKAEL'S HUNGER AT HISTORIC CLUB Striker's excitement at Leeds move... New United signing Mikael Forssell is hoping his "hunger for goals" will provide added ammunition in the club's quest for Championship success. The 30-year-old former Birmingham and Chelsea forward has signed a deal until the end of the season at Elland Road. I'm delighted," said the striker. "I'd had three good years in Germany with Hannover, but I've missed English football and I really wanted to come back here. "To come to a club like Leeds is fantastic. It is such an historic club, the team is good, the lads are positive, the facilities are unbelievable, and the fans look brilliant. "I played against Leeds a couple of times for Birmingham and scored in both games - but now I'm on this side and it's fantastic. "There's big competition for striking places here, but I'm hungry for goals. There's some great player
leedsunited.com 2/9/11 BECCHIO PROGRESSING NICELY Striker not too far away... Simon Grayson has confirmed that Luciano Becchio is close to a return to action after minor surgery on his hamstring. The striker hasn't played for the Whites so far this season after undergoing minor surgery on his hamstring during preseason, but Grayson confirms he isn't too far away. "He's been out a long time so I'm not going to build everyone's hopes up that he is going to be in the squad, but he is progressing nicely" said the Whites boss. "Luciano is obviously going to be short of match fitness but we will see where we are. He isn't too far away which is a real plus for everybody."