Showing posts from December, 2013

Leeds boss McDermott looks back on 2013 31/12/13 Brian McDermott reflects on the year that was... As the year reaches its conclusion, United manager Brian McDermott will look back on an eventful 2013 as a year of change and a year of progress. McDermott took over the reins in April with the team battling against relegation and as the club heads into the New Year, his side are seventh in the Championship at the half-way mark of the season. “I think that you have got to consider where we were when we first came in during April,” reflected the boss. “We were struggling and the team was in a bit of a state as far as where we could have ended up. We got ourselves out of trouble and worked really hard in the summer on the training ground. “The owners have done an awful lot away from the pitch trying to galvanise everybody and I think they have done a really good job. “The majority of the fans are right on board and they can see what we are trying to do. We’re seventh in the league with 23 games left so we ha

Leeds United: Mac’s on the transfer trail

Yorkshire Evening Post 31/12/13 by Leon Wobschall Leeds United manager Brian McDermott has confirmed he is fairly well ‘down the line’ regarding the capture of one of his January transfer targets – and wants to do all of his incoming recruitment sooner rather than later next month. The transfer window opens tomorrow and United are being strongly linked with a move for Hull City winger Cameron Stewart, whose loan spell at Charlton is due to end after their New Year’s Day clash at Ipswich Town. Stewart will be out of contract in the summer with the 22-year-old recently acknowledging that his days at the KC Stadium are virtually numbered, with the Mancunian effectively on the look-out for a new club. Charlton would ideally like to keep the wingman, but it is thought finances could be an issue. McDermott revealed he spoke to one target and his agent yesterday, having given the club a list of four transfer targets. But one name on his wish-list has been chalked off, with the player s

Leeds United: McDermott looking for a creative edge

Yorkshire Evening Post 31/12/13 Brian McDermott expects Leeds to kick-on in the new year from their better-than-expected seventh place. Leon Wobschall reports. IT remains to be seen what the fates decree regarding the second half of Leeds United’s season, but Brian McDermott is sure on one thing. Namely that the club’s supporters, hand on heart, would have taken seventh place in the Championship table going into the New Year. As ever, January remains a hugely pivotal time for United, who by common consensus need to display a degree of New Year transfer ambition conspicuous in its absence in years gone by to ensure they remain the real play-off deal until May – and aren’t just ultimately cast as wanabees. Now is the time to kick-on, although for Leeds to be in a position to strike is an achievement in itself, according to McDermott. United have come a long way since he took the reins in the spring when the club harboured some relegation genuine concerns. And while former boss Nei

Leeds United v Blackburn Rovers: Kenny in race against time to be fit

Yorkshire Evening Post 31/12/13 BRIAN McDERMOTT will give Paddy Kenny as much time as possible to prove his fitness ahead of the New Year’s Day home clash with Blackburn Rovers. Kenny suffered an ankle injury in the first 20 seconds of Sunday’s loss to Nottingham Forest and bravely soldiered on, despite being in obvious discomfort. Alex Cairns, whose sole senior United appearance came in November 2011, is on standby to replace Kenny – who has not missed a first-team game this term – if he misses out. Teenage midfielder Alex Mowatt is on the mend after having an injection to help clear up a back problem picked up last summer. On Kenny’s prospects, McDermott said: “We’ll see. “He’s had ice on his ankle, which was stiff overnight. “He did really well to get through the game. We’ll give him the opportunity to get it right.” On Mowatt, he added: “Alex has had an injection in his back and we are hopeful. I had to take him out of the team because he’s had a bit of an issue over the summ

Leeds boss set for player talks 30/12/13 United boss outlines his January plans... Brian McDermott is stepping up his efforts to bolster his squad ahead of the opening January transfer window. “I was meeting with a player on Monday,” revealed the boss. “One player that I was going to go for is looking like he is going to the Premier League so that one has gone. But I’m meeting with a player on Monday and I’ll be having a conversation with him and his agent to try and do a deal.” The boss says he has identified a small number of players he is interested in and is in ongoing discussions with the club’s owners about potential moves in January. “I’ve never put the owners under any pressure to do anything that they don’t want to do and what they don’t feel is right for the club,” said the boss. “I think that it is evident that we do need to add and help out the players that are already at the club. “I’ve spoken to the Chief Executive and I’ve got three or four players that I would be interested in

Brian McDermott: Leeds United boss unsure of Max Gradel return

BBC 30/12/13 Leeds boss Brian McDermott says a deal for St Etienne's Max Gradel will only happen if it is right for the club. The 26-year-old winger has been linked with a return to Elland Road in the January transfer window. Gradel scored 25 goals in 77 league appearances for the Whites before moving to France in August 2011. "He was very good here but that was over two years ago and you can't sign someone because they were a favourite before," said 52-year-old McDermott. "I've done my homework on Max and I know how many games he's played and how many goals he's scored. "Any deal for him would need to be right for now because it wouldn't be a cheap one." McDermott's saw his side lose for the first time since 30 November when they went down 2-1 at Nottingham Forest on Sunday. Despite the setback, the former Reading boss is pleased with the progress the club have made since his appointment in April. "The previous manage

Leeds United: New takeover set for green light

Yorkshire Evening Post 30/12/13 by Phil Hay Brian McDermott has given Leeds United a list of four transfer targets with the group behind a takeover of the club expecting to secure Football League approval within days of the January window opening. Sources close to the impending buy-out of Leeds told the YEP last night that the governing body is likely to ratify the purchase of a 75 per cent stake in United once it reaches the end of the Christmas holiday period. The development came as McDermott voiced concern about the depth of his squad and highlighted the importance of new signings next month after Leeds lost 2-1 to Nottingham Forest yesterday. A tired display at the City Ground, where a stunning goal from Matt Derbyshire on 83 minutes knocked Leeds out of the Championship’s play-off zone, led McDermott to claim that his side would struggle to compete for a top-six finish without the arrival of players in January. His ability to sign them depends heavily on the completion of a

Leeds takeover on course to be finalised by Haigh in New Year

Yorkshire Post 30/12/13 by Richard Sutcliffe THE second takeover of Leeds United in a little over 12 months is expected to go through early in the New Year, sources close to the group looking to take control at Elland Road have told the Yorkshire Post. A consortium led by United managing director David Haigh is bidding to buy a 75 per cent stake in the Championship club, who yesterday ended 2013 with a disappointing 2-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest. Last month, the group – which includes Andrew Flowers, the managing director of current shirt sponsors Enterprise Insurance – signed a share acquisition agreement with GFH Capital, the Dubai-based firm that purchased United from Ken Bates a year ago. Since then, the working out of the deal’s legalities, which has included Football League approval, has been the priority for Haigh’s consortium and sources have suggested to this newspaper that these are all but done. The deal, therefore, will go through once the festive holidays are out of

Derbyshire downs Leeds to boost Forest promotion push

Telegraph 29/12/13 By Les Scott, at the City Ground Goals from a full-back-turned-striker and a late substitute proved enough to give Nottingham Forest victory over Leeds United in a game Forest dominated from start to finish. The victory extends Forest’s unbeaten run to six matches and strengthens their position in the Championship play-off places. “It’s where I planned for us to be come January,” said Billy Davies, the Forest manager. “First objective was to be in the play-off places come the new year. I have spoken to the chairman and if we are to achieve objectives two and three, which is to stay in the play-off places and eventually achieve promotion, then we shall have to strengthen in the January window.” Possible new recruits apart, Forest did their promotion credentials no harm at all with this convincing win over a disappointing Leeds side who aspire to promotion themselves. On the evidence of this game, bookies will be offering by far the shorter odds on Davies’s side.

Nottingham Forest 2 Leeds United 1: McDermott recognises need for fresh faces

Yorkshire Evening Post 29/12/13 Brian McDermott warned that a top-six finish would be an ambitious target for Leeds United’s existing squad after a lethal Matt Derbyshire goal left him looking enviously at Nottingham Forest’s resources. McDermott gave credit to his side for their form in the first half of the Championship season but said the range of players on offer to Forest manager Billy Davies was a key factor during Leeds’ 2-1 defeat at the City Ground yesterday. Derbyshire won an eventful game with a sublime shot from 20 yards, scored in the 83rd minute and a matter of seconds after Ross McCormack scored an equaliser for a United team who McDermott described as “leggy”. Forest signed Derbyshire from Olympiakos in 2011, one of a number of expensive transfers completed by them in the past two years, and Davies was able to call him up from the bench towards the end of yesterday’s clash. The Forest boss is planning to make further signings in January and said after their win ove

Nottingham Forest 2 Leeds United 1: Whites undone late on

Yorkshire Post 29/12/13 A spectacular strike from substitute Matt Derbyshire helped Nottingham Forest beat Leeds 2-1 and claim back-to-back wins for the first time since August. The Reds’ promotion push had stuttered recently, but Derbyshire’s 25-yard stunner secured a hard-fought victory that followed up the the Boxing Day success over QPR. Promotion rivals Leeds looked to have secured a point when Ross McCormack fired home in the 83rd minute to cancel out Greg Halford’s first-half header - but Derbyshire came up with his match-winning moment just a minute later. It left Forest only five points behind second-placed Derby in the Sky Bet Championship table. Leeds almost made a nightmare start as Tom Lees fed a short back pass to Paddy Kenny in the first 30 seconds, leaving Halford to chase through. The keeper just managed to beat the striker in the race for the ball, but took a clattering for his trouble, as Halford - quite fairly - slid in to challenge strongly. Jamie Mackie fluf

Nottingham Forest 2 Leeds United 1: Flat Whites suffer Forest reality check

Yorkshire Evening Post 29/12/13 by Phil Hay The pragmatist in Brian McDermott will call this a lull but perhaps the strain is starting to show. A hard Christmas and the fall-out from it encourages the view that he and his Leeds United squad have exceeded their true capacity to master the Championship this season. Leeds approach the new year with the play-offs directly above them but with wounds to lick after their defeat at Nottingham Forest yesterday. It was not the result itself which resonated so much as the cost of seven short days in which all but two points have gone begging. Matt Derbyshire’s late bullet at the City Ground took Forest’s return to seven. McDermott might drag up the fixture list and argue that – last Saturday’s derby against Barnsley aside – the final week of 2013 had the potential to end this way after the Football League dropped back-to-back away matches on Leeds, both against teams with an eye on the play-offs. But the run from Barnsley and Forest – inters

Leeds United: Peltier’s happy with goal if not the result

Yorkshire Evening Post 28/12/13 Lee Peltier is hoping his goal against Blackpool will be the first of many for Leeds, but the team comes First, as he tells Phil Hay. Lee Peltier is not the sort of player who haggles over goal bonuses. His most recent strike before Boxing Day was so long ago that he could hardly visualise it. “It must have been at Leicester or something like that,” he said, unable to remember where or when. It was indeed at Leicester, scored in the final month of his one and only season in the Midlands. Even that owed much to Doncaster Rovers goalkeeper Carl Ikeme who fumbled Peltier’s weak cross into his net. His first Leeds United goal was such a collectors’ item, taken with a cute header against Blackpool on Thursday, that his team-mates asked if he’d buried it by mistake. Goalscoring has never been Peltier’s forte – seven to his name in eight years as a professional and one in 67 appearances for Leeds – but it is a weakness in his game that Brian McDermott wants

Shifting sands starting to solidify as Leeds United toe the right lines - Hay

Yorkshire Evening Post 28/12/13 by Phil Hay They will remember 2013 as a year when lines were drawn by Leeds United: one through Neil Warnock, another under Ken Bates and overdue lines of communication established between the club and a disenchanted support. It also saw the start of United’s 10th consecutive season outside the Premier League and the appointment of their ninth full-time manager since David O’Leary was told to clear his desk in the summer of 2002. Some might call it a nothing year in footballing terms; others will think of 2013 as a time of transition with highlights, lowlights and all the hallmarks of a club who never sleep... Player of 2013 Ross McCormack. His goals for the calendar year number 23 which, for the sake of relevant comparisons, is seven more than Charlie Austin and five fewer than Jordan Rhodes. He has matured to the point where the presumption of influential performances sits easily with him, as it did with Robert Snodgrass and Luciano Becchio befo

My duty to Mowatt - Leeds boss McDermott 28/12/13 Brian McDermott on Alex Mowatt and Gboly Ariyibi... Brian McDermott says he will continue to monitor teenage midfielder Alex Mowatt to ensure his development isn't hampered by over playing. The youngster, who has established himself as a key player since making his debut earlier this season, was left out of the squad which travelled to Blackpool on Boxing Day, with the boss saying the midfielder needed a break from the action. "I have to look after Alex Mowatt," explained the manager. "Sam Byram played a lot of games last season - I don't think he missed one until he got injured at the back end - but then he didn't have a pre-season this summer and was playing catch-up. "We have to be mindful of that with Alex too. We'll see how he is before Sunday. I'll speak with the physios and we'll make a call then. He was tired against Barnsley and we have to look after him." While the boss praised Michael Brown and

Blackpool 1 Leeds United 1: Ref cost us - McDermott

Yorkshire Evening Post 26/12/13 Brian McDermott accused referee Scott Mathieson of missing a “certain sending off” after Tom Ince’s deflected goal denied Leeds United a Boxing Day victory over Blackpool. McDermott bemoaned Mathieson’s decision to book Kirk Broadfoot for a professional foul on Ross McCormack moments after Ince struck in a 1-1 draw at Bloomfield Road. Defender Broadfoot tripped McCormack as the Scot broke towards Blackpool’s box in the 68th minute but Mathieson cautioned him as United’s players appealed strongly for a red card. The official later dismissed Broadfoot for a 90th-minute foul on Leeds defender Marius Zaliukas but the sending off –Blackpool’s ninth of the season – came too late for United to make anything of their numerical advantage. McDermott said: “It’s a certain sending off and when the referee looks back at it he’ll realise that he’s made an error. It’s unfortunate for him and for us. “It’s a massive moment because if (Broadfoot) lets Ross go then

Blackpool 1 Leeds United 1: Peltier joy cut short by dangerman Ince

Yorkshire Evening Post 26/12/13 by Phil Hay Christmas comes once a year and so statistically do Lee Peltier’s goals. Tom Ince has a habit of producing them more frequently and the ace up Blackpool’s sleeve was used again last night as Leeds United fell short of a precious win. This season is Peltier’s eighth as a professional and his exquisite header at Bloomfield Road the seventh goal of his career; his first as a Leeds United player, naturally. Taken with precision after 25 minutes of a game which was crying out for something from anyone, his header opened the door to all sorts of possibilities until Ince carried Blackpool with a deflected equaliser. The England Under-21 international scored with his and his club’s first shot on target, helped by a wild flick off the body of Marius Zaliukas, United’s Lithuanian defender. With 65 low-key minutes played, it made a mess of an evening which Leeds had controlled easily; an evening which before that point was painting the Championshi

Blackpool 1 Leeds United 1: Referee cost Leeds away win, claims McDermott

Yorkshire Post 26/12/13 Leeds boss Brian McDermott believes referee Scott Mathieson cost his side victory against Blackpool by failing to dismiss Seasiders’ defender Kirk Broadfoot earlier in their 1-1 draw at Bloomfield Road. Broadfoot, who was eventually shown a straight red card in the final minute for a nasty challenge on Marius Zaliukas, hauled down Ross McCormack on the edge of the area when the striker was seemingly clean through on goal. Referee Mathieson produced only a yellow card and Blackpool eventually held on for a point. Midway through the first half, Lee Peltier had nodded Leeds in front but Tom Ince’s 65th-minute deflected strike ensured Blackpool ended a run of four straight defeats. Leeds remain in the play-off places and unbeaten in five but McDermott is convinced Mathieson cost his side all three points. “The referee made an error when Ross McCormack ran through on goal,” said McDermott. “Kirk Broadfoot brought him down and he’s going in on goal, he’s got the

Leeds United: Hard work is starting to pay off for Lees

Yorkshire Evening Post 26/12/13 by Phil Hay TOM LEES admits the 2013-14 campaign has been an up and down one from a personal perspective – but he is confident things are turning for the better. The 23-year-old, in his third season as a fully-fledged regular at United, says his early form represented something of a disappointment, with the centre-half known to place high standards upon himself and one who analyses his own performance levels somewhat assiduously. Slowly but surely, Lees feels his form is getting back to the levels of 2011-12 and 2012-13, which culminated in him representing England in last summer’s Uefa European Under-21s Championships in Israel. Coincidently, in his last three matches in a United jersey, the club have not conceded a goal and Lees, operating on the right-hand side of a central defensive trio, is hoping it’s a sign of things to come. He said: “It’s been an up-and-down season for myself really. I had a long summer playing, although I am not using tha

Leeds United: Mac will shuffle his pack for busy run

Yorkshire Evening Post 26/12/13 by Phil Hay Brian McDermott is preparing to utilise his squad resources over a strength-sapping schedule of four matches in the space of ten days – starting with the Championship trip to Blackpool. The Whites boss must make one enforced change with Luke Murphy serving a one-match ban after accruing five yellow cards, with Michael Tonge the favourite to replace him. Tonge’s 45 minutes on Saturday represented his first taste of league action since the 3-1 reverse at Derby on October 5. The former Sheffield United midfielder is one of a number of senior players who have found themselves on the periphery for spells during the first half of the campaign, with others to cool their heels on the bench for significant chunks of 2013-14 including Paul Green, Michael Brown and El-Hadji Diouf. Between them, the quartet have started just 16 league between this term, with Luke Varney and Stephen Warnock also on the fringes for stints. McDermott has consistently

Christmas is cancelled until May by McDermott

Yorkshire Evening Post 24/12/13 Leeds United’s squad will be made to train on Christmas Day this year with manager Brian McDermott saying: “We’ll have our Christmas in May.” Leeds are to use the pitch at Elland Road on the evening of December 25 to run through final preparations for their Boxing Day game at Blackpool. The players at United were given Christmas Day off by McDermott’s predecessor, Neil Warnock, last year but suffered a sound defeat at Nottingham Forest the following afternoon and took nothing from a visit to Hull City three days later. McDermott said: “We’ll probably train at Elland Road at 5.30pm then we’ll travel. Then we’ll play the next day. “For me the most important thing is the game. We’ll have Christmas in May.” But the Leeds boss is wary of overworking his players between four league matches in the next fortnight. “All you talk about at this time of year is recovery,” he said. “Steve Coppell used to say that you can lose a game on a Friday but never win

Football before festivities for Tom Lees 24/12/13 Tom Lees on a busy Christmas... There’ll be no complaints from Tom Lees or his Leeds United team-mates when they hit the training ground on Christmas Day in readiness for the Boxing Day trip to Blackpool. The United squad were back in on Christmas Eve preparing for the Bloomfield Road outing, and they were due to train again on Christmas Day evening before heading across the Pennines ahead of the first of three games in the space of seven days. “You can’t really moan being a footballer, but if you can have a moan it would be about the Christmas period,” said Tom. “We’ve got a good balance, we’ve got some time off but we will be preparing like we normally do. “We’ll be in on Christmas Day making sure that we are right for Blackpool. It’s important. I’ve done both sides so I know what it is like to play on Boxing Day without training the day before. “We are giving ourselves the best chance, we are doing it properly and hopefully that will reward us in terms

Ross McCormack: Leeds United on a festive mission

Yorkshire Evening Post 24/12/13 by Phil Hay Championship top gun Ross McCormack is calling on Leeds United to maintain their upward momentum over the festive season – to strengthen boss Brian McDermott’s transfer hand in January. The Scot has been in the form of his life for the Whites this term and tops the division’s goalscoring charts at Christmas with 16 league goals, three more than nearest rival Danny Ings. That haul represents exactly half of United’s league goals tally so far in 2013-14, with the in-form striker having fired in 11 of Leeds’ last 16 goals. His exploits have helped United rise to fifth place in the Championship, with McDermott’s side currently joint-second in the form table for the past six games. Only Derby County have taken more points, with United having tasted defeat just once in their last eight league outings. Despite those impressive vital statistics, neither can the recent reliance on McCormack’s goals be ignored, although the 27-year-old’s sole co

Blackpool v Leeds United: Murphy out and Zaliukas is a doubt

YEP 23/12/13 by Phil Hay Marius Zaliukas is an early doubt for Leeds United’s Boxing Day game at Blackpool with manager Brian McDermott bracing himself for the loss of key players. The Lithuanian centre-back is nursing an ankle injury after a heavy tackle on him earned Marcus Tudgay a straight red card during Saturday’s 0-0 draw between Leeds and Barnsley. Tudgay caught Zaliukas as the pair dived for a loose ball in the 85th minute and was immediately dismissed by referee Keith Stroud. Zaliukas played out the last five minutes and a lengthy period of injury-time with three Leeds substitutes already on the field, and McDermott is not yet certain if he will be passed fit to play at Bloomfield Road on Thursday. McDermott said: “It was a red card. It’s not a good tackle. Danny (Barnsley manager Danny Wilson) will be disappointed when he sees it again and so will the player. He’s gone over the ball.” Wilson, who was in charge of Barnsley for the first time on Saturday attempted to pl

Leeds United 0 Barnsley 0: Leeds are unable to shake off curse of the Reds

Yorkshire Post 23/12/13 by Richard Sutcliffe
at Elland Road BEFORE kick-off against Barnsley, Elland Road’s giant electronic screen played a video montage that, in marking the first anniversary of GFH Capital buying Leeds United, made much of what had changed over the last 12 months. New era, new faces, new approach, new thinking, new ambition, new alliances, new contracts, new initiatives… you name it, they all got a mention to the backdrop of the Shed Seven lyrics ‘It’s getting better all the time’. The question that such an exhaustive list of self-congratulation begged, however, was whether this ‘new’ Leeds would also include a long overdue change of fortunes against Barnsley, a club who since United’s promotion from League One in 2010 have held something of an Indian sign over their neighbours from just up the M1. Come 5pm and the end of the United owners’ first birthday celebrations, we had the answer. And it was a resounding ‘no’, thanks to the Reds, with new manager Danny W

Unit of Bahrain's GFH buys London residential property

Arabian Business 22/12/13 By Andy Sambidge GFH Capital, a fully owned subsidiary of Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House and the owners of UK football club Leeds United, has announced the acquisition of a prime central London residential property. Located in Kensington, the property is a Grade II listed building, overlooking the Queens Gate Gardens. "This investment is in line with GFH Capital's strategy to identify attractive opportunities in developed markets like the UK, where it has already made considerable investments," the company said in a statement without disclosing the value of the deal. Hisham Al Rayes, managing director of GFH Capital, said: "We are delighted to announce the conclusion of another successful transaction in the UK. "The property we have acquired is located in the heart of prime central London, where we expect above average capital appreciation to continue over the medium term. Demand for this type of property is coming from investor

McDermott - Not a great day at the office

Leeds United boss Brian McDermott seemed happy with a point after a 0-0 draw with Barnsley in their final home game before Christmas admitting, 'it wasn`t a great day at the office`. Despite dropping points at home, as they failed to score at home for only the second time this season, Leeds climbed a place into fifth in the championship and McDermott preferred to reflect on the positives after the game. Speaking on LUTV, McDermott said, "In the first half, thankfully that is 45 minutes of our life that we will never get back. In the second half, we huffed and puffed and we were better. "I have seen games like that when you lose 1-0 and that was my biggest problem because I thought we could lose the game 1-0. "Barnsley played well but we were too predictable in the second half but over 46 games we will get games like this. "You have to keep a clean sheet to get something and today we have moved up a place, so I can`t be too disappointed because I saw the ga

Leeds United 0 Barnsley 0: Tudgay deserved his red card, insists McDermott

Yorkshire Evening Post 21/12/13 Danny Wilson is convinced rock bottom Barnsley can survive in the Sky Bet Championship after they chalked up only their second clean sheet of the season. Wilson made an encouraging start to his second spell in charge of the Tykes, who restricted high-flying Leeds to a goalless draw in a combative Yorkshire derby watched by over 31,000 at Elland Road. The performance was marred by an 84th-minute red card for striker Marcus Tudgay for a two-footed tackle on Leeds’ Lithuanian defender Marius Zaliukas, but Wilson was upbeat about his team’s display. He said: “It was a very good performance. For large parts of the first half we played really well after our keeper had made a good save. “We made some chances and if one of them had gone in it would have given us an even bigger incentive. “We had to defend in great numbers, which is to be expected when you come to Leeds. Brian McDermott has put a good team together and there is no doubt in my mind that they