Showing posts from August, 2013

Ross McCormack signs new deal

Image 30/8/13 Club secures long-term future of Scotland international... The club has secured the longer-term services of Ross McCormack after the player agreed a new, improved four–year contract. The Scotland international, who has started the season in terrific fashion, scoring four goals already this term, was the subject of a number bids from rival clubs in recent weeks, but the club’s owners rebuffed the interest and moved to tie the player down with a new longer-term contract. United chairman Salah Nooruddin said: “It’s great news that we’ve been able to reach an agreement with Ross regarding his longer-term future. We received a number of sizeable offers for the player, but we are delighted to have agreed a new contract that will see Ross remain at Leeds United. “We are looking to build a future for the football club, and we see Ross very much as part of that future.” Managing director David Haigh added: “The interest in Ross has been very public and I’m sure t

More to come from Leeds United team - Mac

YEP 30/8/13 by Phil Hay Leeds United are bidding to go top of the Championship at Elland Road on Saturday with manager Brian McDermott insisting: “This team will get better.” United can claim first place temporarily with a victory over title favourites Queens Park Rangers after starting the season with a morale-lifting run of six games without defeat. The club’s form in the opening month has eased fears that a lack of transfer activity might leave McDermott inadequately equipped for a year in the Championship but the Leeds boss, who remains in the market for one further signing before Monday’s deadline, claimed his existing squad would grow in strength as the term went on. Tomorrow’s clash provides the most difficult examination of United yet against an expensively-built QPR side who have underlined their post-relegation potential by winning three of their first four matches. But McDermott said: “I’m looking at the squad we’ve got and they’re giving me absolutely everything. We’r

Leeds United: Newcastle United cup draw brings double delight for Mac

YEP 30/8/13 by Phil Hay A reunion with Alan Pardew and a tribute to Gary Speed, inset, were the attractions for Brian McDermott after Leeds drew Newcastle United in round three of the Capital One Cup. McDermott will go head-to-head with the manager who took him to Reading as chief scout more than a decade ago when United clash with Pardew’s Newcastle at St James’ Park during the week beginning September 23. But the game also features two of the clubs served with distinction by Speed, the former Wales international who died in 2011 at the age of 42. McDermott said: “The first thing that struck me about it was Gary Speed. He was a great man who played for both clubs and it’ll be a special occasion. “I texted (Pardew) straight after the draw and said ‘I can’t believe we’ve got you lot.’ I told him to make sure it’s a full house. We need the money! “I’m looking forward to it. He’s a good friend of mine and he took me to Reading 13 years ago as chief scout. He’s a great manager, a go

Whites ‘hopeful’ over McCormack contract talks resolution

YEP 30/8/13 by Phil Hay Leeds United remain “hopeful” that a deal will be reached with Ross McCormack to extend his current contract at Elland Road. United and McCormack have been in discussions over improved terms since the club rejected a third bid for him from Middlesbrough at the start of last week. Leeds are looking to increase the length of a deal which currently runs until June 2015 and are believed to be in favour of tying McCormack down for a further two seasons. The Scotland international is yet to strike an agreement with Leeds but manager Brian McDermott said: “I’m hopeful that Ross will get sorted. “You’ve got lots of goodwill with myself, Ross, the fans, everybody. We all want him to be around. He’s an integral part of what we’re doing here and hopefully we can get something done.” McCormack, right with McDermott, scored his fourth goal of the season during Tuesday’s League Cup win at Doncaster Rovers and recently earned a recall to Scotland’s national squad. Wing

Leeds United: Whites’ board is urged to deliver one more signing

YEP 30/8/13 by Phil Hay Brian McDermott has asked Leeds United’s board to deliver one more signing before Monday’s transfer deadline after identifying a final target. The Leeds manager said his interest in the unnamed player – thought to be a winger – was at a preliminary stage and he described the proposed deal as “a maybe” following talks with United’s owners. McDermott is pushing for a late addition to his squad after the arrival of Scott Wootton from Manchester United for an undisclosed fee last week gave him his fourth signing of the summer. The Leeds boss submitted a list of eight names to United’s board of directors at the end of last season with the aim of bringing six new players to Elland Road and he is awaiting developments with a potential fifth recruit ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Queens Park Rangers. United have a well-publicised shortage of wingers and McDermott admitted that a wide midfielder was his next priority after the capture of Wootton deepened Leeds’ sha

Byram set for development team action against Rams

YEP 29/8/13 by Phil Hay Sam Byram will make another appearance in a development-league clash with Derby County on Monday after coming safely through a test of his fitness at Huddersfield Town earlier this week. Byram is to be given an extended run-out against Derby with Leeds increasingly optimistic that their player of the year will avoid an operation on his long-standing hip injury. The right-back was used for 45 minutes as United’s Under-21s lost 2-1 to Huddersfield on Monday afternoon and United are ready to field him again after seeing no negative reaction. A successful appearance against Derby at Elland Road would edge Byram towards a first-team comeback less than a month after Leeds looked poised to send the 19-year-old for surgery. Manager Brian McDermott said: “It’s been good news with Sam, he was okay. “There’s another game coming up against Derby at Elland Road and we’ll try and give him more than 45 minutes this time. That’ll be a big plus if we can get him through a

Wootton’s sparkling Leeds debut gives McDermott options

Yorkshire Post 29/8/13 Scott Wootton’s bow for Leeds United on Tuesday night was right up there with the best. A resolute defensive display helped the Whites turn their good start to the 2013-14 campaign into an excellent one with their unbeaten run stretching to six matches following the 3-1 Capital One Cup derby win at Doncaster Rovers. And he added a goal for good measure. Yet while the Birkenhead-born centre-half was entitled to bask in the glow of his dream debut, he was just as eager to share the bouquets around. Positives abounded for manager Brian McDermott, who despite making six changes saw his side see off a virtually full-strength Rovers outfit. Wootton’s performance and goal were high on the tick list, as was the dominant display of powerhouse striker Matt Smith, who never gave the Rovers’ defence a moment’s peace and crowned matters with the decisive 77th-minute strike to put the visitors 2-1 up with his first goal in Leeds colours. Few players have had the measure

Leeds United’s men at the top in city’s 40 years of change - YEP 29/8/13

The fortunes of the city of leeds have risen and fallen over four decades when its football club has been led by some of the best-known characters in sport. Paul Robinson looks back on a tale of twists and turns. The past is the past – that’s the slogan adopted by Leeds United’s recently-installed owners as they try to make a break with the difficult times the club has endured in the last few years. But it’s not just United who appear upwardly-mobile again, their home city is also back flexing its muscles after a tricky period ushered in by the credit crunch. The £350m Trinity Leeds shopping centre opened its doors in March, with the £60m First Direct Arena following suit last month. This isn’t the first occasion, however, that the fortunes of club and city have, for whatever reason, mirrored one other. The reigns of Manny Cussins, Leslie Silver, Peter Ridsdale and Ken Bates as United chairman all allow, in their various ups and downs, parallels to be drawn with what was happening

Debut delight for Scott

Image 28/8/13 New United defender on his first appearance… United’s latest arrival Scott Wootton made his debut for the club on Tuesday evening and things could not have gone any better, a 3-1 victory and a goal to his name at the first time of asking. The defender opened the scoring at Doncaster but it was the team performance that impressed the debutant the most. “Obviously I’m a defender so I was thinking about defending,” He said. “I was delighted to pop up with a goal. “The main thing was a good team performance and a comfortable 3-1 victory and we’re into the next round of the Cup. “I thought that we played well as a team. They probably had a 20-minute spell at the start where they came out of the blocks. But after that we limited then to very few chances and I don’t really remember Paddy having to make a tough save.” The defender admits to being a little nervous before the Doncaster tie but insists that is because he wanted to do well on his debut for the club

Mowatt one of our own - Boss

Image 28/8/1 Brian McDermott on youngster’s debut… Brian McDermott spoke of his delight at the performance of Alex Mowatt against Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday evening. The 18-year-old, a former United Under-18s captain, made his professional debut on Tuesday evening and put in a performance beyond his years. And the boss said that he had no problem with putting the youngster into the firing line during the Capital One Cup second round. “You can’t make a statement like he looked out of place,” said the boss. “He was excellent against Doncaster. “I had no worries about Alex playing whatsoever. “From the day I first saw him Neil Redfearn had spoken about him, me and Nigel Gibbs had seen him play. “We need to look after him because he is one of our own. He was absolutely excellent on Tuesday evening.”

Doncaster Rovers 1 Leeds United 3: Leeds still rule the roost over Rovers at Keepmoat

Yorkshire Post 28/8/13 by Leon Wobschall at Keepmoat Stadium HOW Leeds United enjoy their away-day excursions to the Keepmoat Stadium. Five visits to Rovers’s compact and bijou ground, four wins, a draw and an undefeated record with the big 3,770 away contingent who made the short trip able to reflect on another sweet occasion. With the game delicately poised heading into the final 13 minutes, it was a man that home manager Paul Dickov knows plenty about in Matt Smith – who has credited the former Oldham boss and current Doncaster chief as having a major impact in his fledging career – who swung the tie inexorably in Leeds’s favour. The big striker, impressive throughout, rose high, to head home an excellent Lee Peltier cross. A few minutes later, man-of-the-moment Ross McCormack – who else? – sealed the deal from the spot after Reece Wabara was penalised for a foul on Dominic Poleon. It ensured a breeze at the end for Leeds, although it was very much game on at the mid-way point

Doncaster Rovers 1 Leeds United 3: Whites new boys set up Cup victory

YEP 27/8/13 by Phil Hay Billy Paynter had his fun in a way that his career at Elland Road rarely allowed but the night belonged to his former club and three players in particular. Consummate debuts from Scott Wootton and Alex Mowatt and a first Leeds United goal for Matt Smith negated Paynter’s injection of drama and pushed Doncaster Rovers into the League Cup sidelines. Paynter scored with his first touch as a substitute to make a game of a tie which was slipping away from Doncaster but the maligned striker was not allowed to steal the show on an evening when others jostled for attention. Late goals from Smith and Ross McCormack were more than Doncaster or Paynter could stomach. Paynter’s close-range header on 64 minutes levelled the match at 1-1 but Smith proved as deadly 12 minutes later and McCormack converted a gift from the penalty spot after Dominic Poleon drew a loose tackle from Reece Wabara. By then, an earlier goal from Scott Wootton was easily forgotten but the credi

Chances of enticing winger to Leeds not ruled out

Yorkshire Post 27/8/13 by Leon Wobschall BRIAN MCDERMOTT admits he is no closer to landing a winger ahead of Monday’s transfer window deadline – although he is not ruling out that situation changing over the coming days. A wide-sided player remains very much the transfer priority for McDermott, whose Leeds side will be attempting to extend their unbeaten run at the start of the season to six games at the Keepmoat Stadium this evening. The United boss has confirmed that new signing Scott Wootton will make his debut against Rovers, who were knocked out of the League Cup at the same second-round stage by Leeds in August 2011, when Ramon Nunez netted a brace in a 2-1 success. Progression in this season’s competition will boost McDermott’s transfer kitty, although as it stands, no business is imminent. On the prospect of a wing signing to quickly follow on from the capture of centre-half Wootton, he said: “I wouldn’t say so at this moment in time. If you are going to sign a winger and

Byram back in action for Leeds

Sam Byram made his long awaited comeback from injury on Monday afternoon. Byram played 45 minutes for the development squad in their game at Huddersfield Town after four months out with a hip injury. The Leeds medical team will now look to see if Byram has suffered any reaction to the injury and they will hope he will have come through unscathed and avoid requiring surgery. Last season`s player of the season played the first half as Leeds went in ahead at half time thanks to a Danny Pugh free kick. The side, that also included David Norris, eventually lost 2-1.

We’re desperate for McCormack to stay - Varney

YEP 26/8/13 by Phil Hay Luke Varney made an impassioned plea for Leeds United and Ross McCormack to stay together beyond the end of the transfer window after a timely McCormack goal earned a 2-1 win at Ipswich Town. Varney warned that McCormack’s departure in the next seven days would be to the “massive detriment” of Leeds following a strong start to the season which has seen McCormack score three times and United climb into the Championship’s top six. McCormack’s second-half strike was the difference between Leeds and Ipswich at Portman Road, sealing United’s first victory at the stadium since 2001, and the club were set to resume contract talks with the striker’s representatives today after a spate of unsuccessful offers from Middlesbrough. Boro have made three bids for McCormack – all of them rejected – and Leeds reacted to the most recent approach by opening discussions with him about an improved and extended deal at Elland Road. The 27-year-old is already tied to United un

23 March 1974 - Leeds United 1 Burnley 4

The dire run of results that preceded Leeds United's home game with Burnley in March 1974 had left their once unassailable lead at the top of the First Division looking distinctly brittle. On 9 February, the Whites' 2-0 beating of Manchester United at Old Trafford extended their advantage over second-placed Liverpool to nine points with thirteen games left to play; at that stage, Leeds appeared certain to reclaim the League title they had won for the first time in 1969. In the six chaotic weeks that followed, Leeds had crashed out of the FA Cup at the hands of Second Division Bristol City, seen their 29-game unbeaten run in the First Division destroyed at Stoke and taken just four points from five games. After Burnley put them to the sword at Elland Road, Brian James wrote in the Sunday Times, "Leeds were haunted by doubt, undermined by misunderstandings… their reputation was on the verge of destruction." Read the full stor

White wants to fight for place in the side

Leeds United boss Brian McDermott says Aidy White wants to remain at Elland Road and fight for his place. White, who only signed a new three-year deal at Elland Road last summer, hasn`t been part of the eighteen in the squad for the last two games and his only appearance so far this season was in the League Cup clash with Chesterfield. The club have already turned down a bid from Blackpool this summer for the clubs longest serving player, despite only being 21-year-old, and reports recently have suggested that clubs are keen to sign the versatile player. Speaking on BBC Radio Leeds, McDermott said, "There has been a bit of interest in Aidy White but he wants to stay and fight for his place." White has made 100 appearances for Leeds since making his debut as a 16-year-old in August 2008, having come through the clubs academy system. McDermott has said that he needs to offload players to be able to add to his squad and with just eight days remaining until the transfer wind

McDermott confident McCormack will commit to Leeds

Talksport 25/8/13 Leeds boss Brian McDermott has told talkSPORT he is confident Ross McCormack will commit his future to the club. McCormack, Leeds’ match-winner against Ipswich on Saturday, continues to be linked with a move to Middlesbrough but McDermott hopes talks over a new contract at Elland Road result in a successful conclusion. “He wants to stay and I want him to stay,” he said, speaking on Football First. “We are trying to talk to him at the moment, trying to get something over the line. I don’t want him to go anywhere and he doesn’t want to go himself. He loves playing for our fans.” McDermott, who has brought in four new players this summer, admits he is looking to strengthen his squad further before the close of the transfer window. But, after seeing his side stretch their unbeaten start to the season to four matches with a 2-1 win at Ipswich, the 52-year-old insists he will not be too disappointed if he is unable to complete any more deals. "If we could bring

Why Dubai-based GFH Capital invested in Leeds United

Al Bawaba 25/8/13 So is the investment doomed to fail for GFH Capital? Not according to David Haigh, managing director of GFH capital and Leeds United. Interest in european football is nothing new for the Gulf’s money men. In recent years, the high-profile acquisitions of elite clubs such as Manchester City and Paris St-Germain have added to lucrative sponsorship deals signed with Barcelona, AC Milan, Real Madrid and Arsenal, giving leagues in England, Spain, Italy, France and beyond a distinctly Middle Eastern flavour. But while groups such as Abu Dhabi United Group Investment and Development Limited, Qatar Investment Authority, Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways have targeted some of the continent’s heavyweights, Dubai-based GFH Capital have done things a little differently. The private equity investment, advisory and fund management company made headlines in November 2012 when it finalised a £52m ($80.4m) deal to take over English second-tier club Leeds United, gaining a 100

McDermott - We dug in

Leeds United boss Brian McDermott felt his side dug in to come from behind and claim three points at Ipswich Town. Leeds were under pressure for much of the first half, Ipswich deservedly going ahead through David McGoldrick on twelve minutes, but Luke Varney brought Leeds level just before the half hour and in demand Ross McCormack scored the winner for Leeds early in the second half and McDermott was delighted. Speaking on the Football League Show, McDermott said, "I thought we dug in. Ipswich played really well for the opening 25 minutes and if they had scored a second goal, we would have been in trouble. "We changed things around at half time and I thought after the winner from Ross, we did really well." Leeds have now picked up seven points this season after going behind in games and they are showing a real resilience under Brian McDermott to grind out results. The win for Leeds moves them into the play-off places at this early stage in the season. Leeds are fi

Why I bought Leeds United

Arabian Business 25/8/13 By Neil King Interest in european football is nothing new for the Gulf’s money men. In recent years, the high-profile acquisitions of elite clubs such as Manchester City and Paris St-Germain have added to lucrative sponsorship deals signed with Barcelona, AC Milan, Real Madrid and Arsenal, giving leagues in England, Spain, Italy, France and beyond a distinctly Middle Eastern flavour. But while groups such as Abu Dhabi United Group Investment and Development Limited, Qatar Investment Authority, Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways have targeted some of the continent’s heavyweights, Dubai-based GFH Capital have done things a little differently. The private equity investment, advisory and fund management company made headlines in November 2012 when it finalised a £52m ($80.4m) deal to take over English second-tier club Leeds United, gaining a 100 percent shareholding. Despite the rich history of the club, its ranking over recent years has been well below tha

Ipswich Town 1 Leeds United 2: McDermott hails McCormack impact

YEP 24/8/13 Brian McDermott hailed the impact of striker Ross McCormack as Leeds continued their impressive start to the Championship season with a 2-1 victory at Ipswich Town. McCormack played an integral part in Leeds’ equaliser, as Luke Varney crashed home to level David McGoldrick’s 11th-minute opener, before the striker celebrated his recall to the Scotland squad with a winner three minutes after the restart. McCormack has been the subject of a reported three bids from Middlesbrough but McDermott is unwilling to sell given his importance to the side. The manager explained: “Ross is a quality player who scored a quality goal. “I don’t know how many bids we have had - I leave that to the owners and the player’s agent. But I want him to stay and Ross wants to stay. “I think selling him to another Championship club sends out the wrong message.” Aside from praising his striker, whose talks over a new deal at Leeds to warn off potential suitors continues, McDermott was equally

Leeds United: Recruitment tactics give new players chance to develop - Hay

YEP 24/8/13 by Phil Hay It was no great secret that Leeds United wanted Gordon Greer. It was no great secret either that Greer fancied the move. But Brighton refused to deal and the clubs moved on. Greer signed a new contract at The Amex last week. The fall-back for Leeds was Scott Wootton, a 21-year-old centre-back who cut his teeth in Manchester United’s academy. They are poles apart Greer and Wootton: one a Scotland international who turns 33 in December, the other an England youth international with little in the way of comparable experience. Wootton is not a like-for-like replacement. That speaks volumes about Brian McDermott’s approach to the transfer market. You can surmise from the change of tack that his intention this summer was not to sign a generic, experienced defender. He bid for Greer because he liked Greer and when that deal went south before United’s game at Leicester City he resisted the temptation to sign an alternative who, for want of a better phrase, fitted th

Boro may cool interest in Leeds’s McCormack

Yorkshire Post 24/8/13 Tony Mowbray has hinted that he may be ready to finally admit defeat in his pursuit of Leeds United striker Ross McCormack. Middlesbrough have had three bids of between £1m and £1.5m for the Scotland international rejected by their Championship 
rivals over the past fortnight. Leeds boss Brian McDermott said in his weekly press conference on Thursday that they had resumed contract negotiations with McCormack and that in rejecting three bids for the player they had made their feelings known. Coincidentally, the potential availability of former Leeds striker Luciano Becchio at Norwich City could also help Mowbray move on from McCormack, with the 
Argentinian surplus to requirements at Carrow Road. When asked about transfer targets in his press conference yesterday, Mowbray said: “The deals have to be right and in the meantime we get on with the team we’ve got, which is doing fine. “The conversations continue with the clubs that we’re talking to. It will only

Scott Wootton: Leeds United ticked all the boxes for me

YEP 23/8/13 United defender Scott Wootton says it was an easy decision for him to leave Old Trafford for Elland Road. Phil Hay reports. Big, bold and brave decisions have shaped Scott Wootton’s footballing career. His transfers to date are not those of a man who believes in unbreakable boundaries: Liverpool to Manchester United and Manchester United to Leeds United. The first was more delicate than the second, or so Wootton says. When he left Anfield for Old Trafford in 2007 he gambled on the fact that as a 15-year-old defender, he had no standing in the game and no reputation. His transfer to Leeds on Tuesday was pushed through by a manager dangling senior football in front of him. “A no-brainer,” Wootton called it, regardless of what he was leaving behind. Manchester United looked like less of a dead-end for him than Liverpool had. He made his debut for the Premier League champions last season and played twice in the Champions League. At Anfield he was confronted by a different s

Byram out to prove his fitness

YEP 23/8/13 Leeds United are ready to throw Sam Byram into a youth-team fixture and give him the chance to prove his fitness with the club continuing to resist the option of surgery. Byram completed a full training session on Thursday (Aug 22) and is likely to be used in a forthcoming development-squad game as Leeds look to make a final call on whether the defender requires an operation on his long-standing hip injury. The club’s player of year seemed likely to go under the knife after being sent for an injection in his troublesome hip at the start of the season. Manager Brian McDermott said: “I don’t want to say too much about him and let’s just take it day by day but at some point we’re going to have to play him in some type of game to see how he looks.” Byram is United’s only major fitness concern ahead of Saturday’s clash with Ipswich. Midfielder Paul Green, who suffered a back injury against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, is fit to play and Stephen Warnock, Lee Peltier and

Wootton’s strength of character helped pave his route to Leeds - Yorkshire Post 23/8/13

by Leon Wobschall NEVER let it be said that new Leeds United signing Scott Wootton is scared of making big decisions. The central defender may only be 21, but he has crossed bitter divides in football not once but twice in his embryonic career. His move along the M62 from the red side of Manchester to Leeds on Wednesday ensured he became just the eighth player to switch from Old Trafford to Elland Road – following in the illustrious footsteps of the likes of Johnny Giles and Gordon Strachan. The last player to switch between the two arch rivals was Liam Miller in 2005. It is fair to say the main rancour has been reserved for players heading from West Yorkshire to Greater Manchester, something to which messrs Smith, Cantona, Ferdinand, McQueen and Jordan will testify. While moves between Leeds and Manchester United can be classed as infrequent, a transfer between players at Anfield and Old Trafford is pretty much unheard of, the last one being Phil Chisnall, who headed across the