Showing posts from April, 2013

Leeds United 1-2 Brighton and Hove Albion: McDermott issues Diouf warning

YEP 27/4/13 Leeds manager Brian McDermott insists controversial striker El-Hadji Diouf must learn from his mistakes after a gesture to Brighton fans earned him a red card and left his side with nine men in today’s 2-1 defeat. Diouf’s team-mate Rodolph Austin had already been dismissed for fouling Ashley Barnes and Brighton substitute Inigo Calderon was also shown a red card by referee Graham Scott in the npower Championship clash. Gus Poyet’s Brighton booked their place in the play-offs but the dismissals proved the main talking point. Diouf made his crazy gesture moments after stroking home a 74th-minute equaliser from the penalty spot. McDermott plans to appeal against Austin’s red card but he refused to excuse Diouf and said: “I can’t understand him and maybe he can’t understand himself. “What he did is not clever. He has got to learn because he is going to miss three games now. He is really upset but he has to be accountable for his actions. These things are dotted around hi

He has to learn - Boss' words for Diouf

Image 27/4/13 Brian McDermott on two red cards... United boss Brian McDermott says El-Hadji Diouf must learn after being sent-off against Brighton at Elland Road on Saturday for gesticulating at the visiting fans. Diouf had drawn United level in the contest, with a coolly taken penalty, but he was shown a straight red card for his celebrations. The red card saw United reduced to nine men - Rudy Austin had been sent-off in the first half - and the visitors, who also had a man dismissed, made the numerical advantage count by nicking a late winner. "You can't do what Dioufy did, and he has done so well for me over the games," said the boss. "His talent is terrific and I don't want to be talking about incidents away from what he is good at - football. "I'm gutted about what's happened. It can't continue. He's mature enough to say 'I've got to learn from things like this.' I spoke to him afterwards and said 'you&

Factors that turned screw on Bates reign at Elland Road - YEP 27/4/13

By Phil Hay So farewell then Ken Bates. Well, not quite. Chairman of Leeds United for another week at least and honorary president thereafter. That is unless GFH Capital plans to renege on its agreement or Bates no longer wants the presidential seal. But his last home game as chairman takes place today and titles aside, Bates will soon lose his executive power. He resigned as a director of Leeds City Holdings in December and will step down from the club’s board directly. If truth be told he has been on the fringes of the boardroom for months. GFH Capital is running the show and has generally run it without him. So eight-and-a-half years of Bates stewardship ends here or hereabouts. How will Leeds remember him? Here’s how he remembers himself: “I’ve made mistakes, I admit that,” he said yesterday. “But I’m leaving the club in much better shape than I found it.” We should give him that. There is not so much as a lone voice arguing that anyone other than Bates or his backers were will

I’m not going anywhere - Byram

YEP 27/4/13 By Phil Hay Sam Byram insisted today that staying at Elland Road and taking the club to the Premier League was his “number one goal” as he prepared to put the seal on an outstanding individual season. The 19-year-old prospect – named last night as the YEP’s player of the year for 2012-13 – said he expected be part of United’s squad next season amid mounting speculation about summer bids for him from Premier League clubs. Byram’s impeccable form in his first year as a professional has attracted serious interest in his signature but the right-back claimed he was “really happy” at Leeds and expressed a desire to work under new manager Brian McDermott beyond the end of this term. McDermott took charge of United two weeks ago and has already stressed the importance of retaining Byram, saying he would “absolutely, 100 per cent, expect Sam to be playing for us next season.” Byram told the YEP: “I’d love to see the club get back into the Premier League and be here when it hap

We will do things my way - McDermott

YEP 26/4/13 By Phil Hay Brian McDermott has dismissed suggestions that Leeds United should model their future strategy on the success of tomorrow’s opponents Brighton, saying: “We won’t aspire to be anyone else.” McDermott spoke highly of Albion and their manager Gus Poyet, describing the former Leeds assistant as a “good guy”, but he played down the claim that Brighton’s blueprint might offer an example to his own club. Poyet’s squad are on the verge of qualifying for the Championship play-offs this season, two years after winning promotion from League One. In the interim, Brighton have moved out of their old Withdean home and into the custom-built Amex Stadium. Their average home attendance is currently the highest in the Championship. The Sussex side also have plans for a £23million training ground – plans which are likely to gather pace if the club reach the Premier League for the first time – and Poyet’s success on the south coast made him a leading contender for the job of

Ken Bates: ‘I made mistakes, but I am leaving this club in a much better shape...’ - Yorkshire Post 26/4/13

Richard Sutcliffe FOR Ken Bates, the past eight or so years as Leeds United chairman have been far from easy. The return to the Premier League he targeted on day one after riding to the rescue as the Elland Road club threatened to buckle under ruinous debts has, much to his frustration, proved elusive. He has also been the subject of a hate campaign that led to the United chairman’s mobile phone number having to be changed along with that of his fax machine in Monaco. Despite all that, the 81-year-old insists his time as Elland Road chairman has been a happy one and that he remains proud of many things. Not least, that Leeds still has a football club to support. “Leeds, as a club, were on their last legs,” recalls Bates when asked by the Yorkshire Post about the deal that saw him take charge of United on January 21, 2005. “If I hadn’t taken over, the club would have gone into liquidation. I am certain of that. The tax debts alone were terrible and there just wasn’t the money abo

Motherwell winger is on Leeds United’s radar - YEP 25/4/13

By Phil Hay Leeds United could move to sign Motherwell winger Chris Humphrey this summer with the Jamaican international aiming to return to England at the end of his contract. United are believed to have enquired about 25-year-old Humphrey as they and manager Brian McDermott begin drawing up plans for McDermott’s first full season as manager. Humphrey – a target for SPL champions Celtic less than 12 months ago – is in the final stages of his deal at Motherwell and will become a free agent at the start of July. Motherwell’s attempts to tie him to a new contract have failed and the Scottish club are resigned to losing him. They signed Humphrey from Shrewsbury Town in 2009 and his appearances north of the border total more than 150. He has figured prominently in a Motherwell side who, under the management of former Bradford City boss Stuart McCall, are on course to finish as SPL runners-up behind Celtic. Humphrey came close to a move to Parkhead in August of last year after Celtic m

2013/14 home kit revealed to mixed reaction

On 24 April 2013, just four days after United’s stay in the Championship for another season was confirmed with both promotion and relegation both mathematically impossible, came the now customary pre-end-of-season announcement of the home kit for the forthcoming season. The club’s official site announced: “We are proud to reveal the new Leeds United Macron home kit that the team will be wearing for the 2013/14 campaign. The white shirt features retro vertical stripes in blue and yellow which adds a different dimension to the famous white shirt. The collar is ribbed in royal blue and the shirt has micro mesh side panels for better movement. The back neck also features an appliquéd Leeds United rose. “The shirt is teamed with white shorts and socks which feature details taken from the retro stripe on the shirt. The bespoke kit has been designed by the club and Macron to create a kit unique to Leeds United integrating various different fabrics. “As per the current season, the Home Sh

Somma injury may be a knockout blow

YEP 24/4/13 After undergoing knee surgery again last week Davide Somma faces a battle to prolong his United career. Phil Hay reports. The truth of Davide Somma’s exhausting fight with the surgeon’s knife is that no-one saw it coming. Glynn Snodin remembers the day when the striker suffered his fateful knee injury; innocuous was how it looked and, in Somma’s words, how it felt. “That sums up his luck,” Snodin says. “We weren’t even playing a pre-season friendly. It was a practice match at the training ground, before the summer really got going. He slipped, went down and that was that. “I’ve seen horrible injuries before and I’d seen Paddy Kisnorbo do his Achilles tendon a few months earlier. Paddy was in tears. Somma felt pain, obviously, but his reaction reassured you. He wasn’t screaming like badly-injured players do. Then we got the scan results back.” Those results – revealed in July 2011 – showed a ruptured cruciate ligament in one of Somma’s knees. It was the first piece of b

Birmingham City v Leeds United: It’s job done for Mac despite away agony

YEP 22/4/13 By Phil Hay Whatever ambitions occupy Brian McDermott’s mind, managing in League One is not one of them. “Nothing’s beneath me,” he said after Saturday’s defeat to Birmingham City but coaches in their prime have a lower limit. The Championship is surely his. When McDermott signed a three-year deal with Leeds United, the risk was entirely his own at a club where the walls were closing in. He spoke about relegation with a casual air but the truth emerged at St Andrews. “We’ll definitely be playing in this league next season,” he said. “I can sleep tonight.” Leeds reached a position of safety by default at the weekend, eradicating any doubt in spite of losing their 44th league fixture. In reality they were assured of another season in the Championship by the outcome of McDermott’s first two games in charge, a home win over Sheffield Wednesday and another against Burnley. Mathematics aside, it did not seem feasible that the club would be relegated ahead of their match at

McDermott close to spelling out Leeds transfer plans

Yorkshire Post 19/4/13 LEEDS United manager Brian McDermott has hinted that he could look to his former club Reading for signings this summer. The Elland Road is boss set to begin laying out his transfer plans for United next week. But McDermott dismissed the possibility of a mass influx from the Madejski Stadium, saying: “That won’t happen.” The 52-year-old is two games into his reign at Leeds and will reach the end of the season in a fortnight’s time, throwing him into his first transfer window as United manager. McDermott won the Championship title with the Royals last year and will find several of the players who worked under him – former Leeds United left-back Ian Harte, Simon Church, Noel Hunt and Alex Pearce among them – out of contract in little over a month’s time. Asked if he will consider raiding the club who sacked him last month after three years in charge, McDermott said: “Not necessarily. If we’re talking about Reading players, not necessarily. “Is there a possibi

Mac’s footballing philosophy lifting the gloom - YEP 18/4/13

Boss Brian McDermott’s passing style will help to dispel thoughts of ticket prices and unattractive football. Phil Hay reports. The reasons for declining attendances at Elland Road are varied and well-documented: ticket prices too high, the standard of football too low and – in the past two years at least – a lack of faith in Leeds United to the meet the public’s idea of ambition. On Tuesday night, the crowd fell once more to its lowest level since October 2006, dropping beneath 17,000 and equating to the levels of support seen during Leeds’ most destructive season. The contradiction was that those who attended the win over Burnley were unusually satisfied with the value for money offered by United. This was not a night when the club’s football sold their supporters short. In the past two months, Leeds and their owner, GFH Capital, have tackled one of the arguments for non-attendance by significantly cutting the cost of season tickets. With the initial deadline for renewals and ne

Leeds United v Burnley: McDermott’s Whites are quick to convince

YEP 17/4/13 By Phil Hay A consistent mark of Brian McDermott’s Reading was their ability to finish each season strongly. So it might prove at Leeds United: two games, two wins and a crowd convinced after less than a week in his new job. It took the 52-year-old two-and-a-half years to get Reading where he wanted them so McDermott will welcome the length of contract he signed at Elland Road, and he has seen himself the scope for rebuilding and long-term planning. But he has found an ounce of encouragement too, with a full summer almost upon him. There are signs of what McDermott intends to do with Leeds and the necessary break from direct, easy-to-read football has already been made, much to the approval of those who have seen both brands of performance this season. The reasons for United’s position in the Championship are more deep-seated and fundamental than their ability to pass the ball – impossible to cure without money and time – but the evidence of Saturday’s derby against

Brian McDermott enjoying life at Leeds after a winning week in charge

Bradford Telegraph & Argus 17/4/13 Leeds United 1 Burnley 0 Leeds manager Brian McDermott does not want the season to end after steering his new club to a second vital Championship win in the space of four days. The former Reading boss replaced Neil Warnock last Friday in time to take charge of Saturday’s derby win over Sheffield Wednesday and last night saw Leeds play with a freedom seldom seen at Elland Road this season. Rodolph Austin struck his first goal since September, sweeping the ball home first time following a perfectly-weighted ball from El-Hadji Diouf in the 62nd minute. The Jamaica international’s fine finish was scant reward for some of the passing football Leeds served up, with Saturday’s two-goal hero Luke Varney going close on three occasions – one header hit the crossbar – in the first half. “We’re pleased,” the 52-year-old said after Leeds had climbed to within six points of the play-offs and seven above the bottom three. “We controlled possession really.

Blast from the pass: Leeds United 1-0 Burnley

Scratching Shed 17/4/13 The long forgotten passing game returned to Elland Road last night as Leeds United cruised to a 1-0 victory over Burnley. The Whites dominated most of the game, playing short measured passes, retaining possession and patiently trying to create openings. A far cry from the hoofball days of Neil Warnock, Burnley manager Sean Dyche summed up the change; “That group of players weren’t playing like that two weeks ago. I know because I saw them.” Despite all the changes, Leeds United extended a run of games without scoring in the first half to 19. The Whites best chance had fallen to Luke Varney who somehow managed to head over the bar from 4 yards when it looked easier to score. Varney missed another good chance at the start of the second half, but his overall performance can’t be faulted. He looks a player transformed in his new centre-forward role, a tirelessly hard-working individual whose aerial dominance is something Leeds United have missed since the depa

Leeds 1 Burnley 0: McDermott strikes again as Austin gives new boss second win

Mail 16/4/13 By Mark Walker, Press Association Rudy Austin struck his first goal since September as Leeds registered a second npower Championship win in four days under new manager Brian McDermott. Jamaica international Austin latched on to El-Hadji Diouf's excellent pass just after the hour-mark and swept the ball home first time. A second straight win lifts Leeds further away from relegation trouble and marks an impressive start for former Reading boss McDermott, who replaced Neil Warnock on Friday in time to take charge of Saturday's derby win over Sheffield Wednesday. Some of Leeds' football, particularly in the second half when they showed more of a cutting edge, belied the gloom that had enveloped Elland Road when Warnock departed following four straight defeats 16 days ago. Burnley were by no means over-run, but in the absence of leading goalscorer Charlie Austin created little in front of goal and are now looking nervously over their shoulders after slipping t

McDermott: My agenda for Leeds

Yorkshire Post 16/4/13 By Leon Wobschall BRIAN McDERMOTT is backing Leeds United striker Steve Morison to come good – despite a slow start to his career at Elland Road. The newly-appointed Whites boss enjoyed the near-perfect start to his managerial tenure on Saturday, when United turned around an interval deficit to see off derby rivals Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 – and is hoping that the new manager ‘bounce’ continues in tonight’s Roses clash with visiting Burnley. The priceless weekend win over the Owls has all but secured United’s Championship status after a run of four successive defeats had seen them plunge too close to the relegation zone for comfort, with the one slightly disappointing aspect of a memorable afternoon seeing Morison endure another inauspicious outing in United colours. The former Norwich City and Millwall man was substituted just past the hour mark, with Luke Varney switching to centre forward with impressive effect – netting both home goals in quick succession

Leeds United 2 Sheffield Wednesday 1: Varney double rescues Whites

Yorkshire Post 13/4/13 A PRICELESS two-goal blast in the space of six second-half minutes from Luke Varney cast aside Leeds United’s relegation demons in a dramatic Yorkshire derby at Elland Road. Varney - who spent two loan spells at Hillsborough earlier in his career - cancelled out Jermaine Johnson’s 27th-minute opener with a bullet header three minutes after the hour mark, with referee Neil Swarbrick awarding a goal after the effort smashed off the underside of the bar and bounced over the line - before another well-placed header settled the contest on 69 minutes. The result means that Wednesday, who went into the game as the form side of the division and were seeking victory to rubber-stamp their safety, still have work to do to stave off the drop as they succumbed to just their second away league defeat since the start of December. In truth, they could few complaints after paying the price for a subdued second-half, with several changes from new Whites manager Brian McDermott

Leeds 2 Sheffield Wednesday 1: Varney double gets McDermott off to perfect start

Mail 13/4/13 By Wayne Gardiner, Press Association Brian McDermott savoured 'a really big win' after a triumphant start to his reign as Leeds United manager. The former Reading boss must have feared the worst as Jermaine Johnson fired Wednesday into a 27th-minute lead, but two secondhalf goals in six minutes by Luke Varney handed the home side the Yorkshire bragging rights. McDermott said: 'I was really pleased. It was hard in the first half and we knew we shouldn't have gone in a goal down, but there was a good response after the interval, which was really important. 'We needed to pass the ball and create things, and I thought the players were really brave in the second half. 'I told them at half-time that the crowd really wanted to get behind them. I've been at places where that hasn't been the case, but when we got to 1-1 it made a real difference. 'They were two very well-worked goals. The first was just over the line so I'm glad the

I just wanted to get on with job!

YEP 13/4/13 By Phil Hay Brian McDermott revealed today how the challenge of managing Leeds United sucked him in, claiming he would not have taken any other job with five games of the season to go. The former Reading boss was poised for a dramatic baptism in this afternoon’s derby against Sheffield Wednesday, 24 hours after replacing Neil Warnock on a three-year deal at Elland Road. McDermott and Leeds shook hands yesterday (April 12) after intensive discussions earlier in the week and he was persuaded to take the post with immediate effect having initially planned to delay his appointment until the end of the season. The 52-year-old was sacked by Premier League club Reading on March 13 and did not expect to return to the dug-out until next month at the earliest. But he answered United’s plea with Leeds five points above the relegation places and took the reins from caretaker manager Neil Redfearn after meeting with United’s squad yesterday morning. Redfearn will still be part of

McDermott’s arrival at Leeds is brought forward to ease nerves

Yorkshire Post 13/4/13 BRIAN MCDERMOTT last night admitted to taking the Leeds United job earlier than planned following an appeal from the board sparked by fears the club could be dragged into a relegation fight. The former Reading chief has signed a three-year deal at Elland Road and will be in charge of today’s derby with Sheffield Wednesday. Talks first took place between Leeds and McDermott in the wake of Neil Warnock’s departure on April 1 and a deal was struck that would have seen the 52-year-old appointed in the summer. However, following last weekend’s defeat to Charlton Athletic – United’s fourth in a row – the timescale was suddenly shortened to ensure McDermott and assistant Nigel Gibbs could be in the dugout for the lunchtime meeting with the Owls. The new Leeds manager said: “I wasn’t coming 10 days ago. We had talked about the summer, when to come and when not to come. “But then I spoke to Shaun (Harvey) a few days ago and he said the club really wanted me to come