A look back at the football (and rugby league) news during the international break.
Reading sack Jaap Stam, couldn’t have happened to a nicer man!
Paul Heckingbottom on his first eight games at Leeds. An insightful interview with BBC Radio Leeds sports reporters Gareth Jones and Adam Pope. Follow the link to hear the interview, It’s definitely worth listening to.
Stuart Dallas withdraws from the Northern Ireland squad with a thigh strain.
Pontus Jansson wants assurances about the future at Leeds. The 27-year-old Leeds United defender has claimed he wants to "see what's happening" at Elland Road next season, report Swedish newspaper ‘Expressen’.
The national newspaper in his homeland revealed that Jansson was thriving with the Whites in the Championship, but the defender wanted to see what is planned for next season after a disappointing campaign. "We'll see what's happening, I want to hear from the club how to look next year and so on,” he reportedly said.
Paul Clement appointed Reading manager.
If Lewis Cook plays for England in either of the internationals in the coming days his grandfather will be £17,000 richer. Trevor Burlingham, who placed a £500 bet that his grandson would win a international cap for his country before his 26th birthday.
The 21-year-old Bournemouth midfielder is in the reckoning for this weekend's international friendlies as Gareth Southgate's men take on Holland and Italy as part of their preparations for this summer's World Cup in Russia. Lewis’ grandfather placed the bet back in 2014 as the then 18-year-old came through the Thorp Arch ranks and made his way into the fringes of the senior Leeds United squad. Burlingham's local William Hill in Tadcaster gave him odds of 33/1 and if Cook debuts this week it will secure the hefty windfall.
England beat Holland 1-0 in a friendly in Amsterdam, it was their first win over the Dutch in twenty two years. England’s last win over Holland was the 4-1 win at Wembley during
Leeds Rhino’s lose a thriller at Elland Road, Castleford win 25-24. They led 24-0 after twenty three minutes, Leeds stormed back but missed the conversation after they scored a try with only two minutes left. The crowd of 23,246 was the largest crowd that have watched the Super League Grand Final winners.
A superb article by the YEP on the changes at the Leeds Academy
Thanks to the YEP.
Liam Cooper on being captain of Leeds: “There is no better feeling than leading my team out at Elland Road. It’s an honour to play for a club like this, let alone wear the arm band, but the feeling you get when you come out the tunnel and hear a full Elland Road is another level.”
“The fans are honest - they tell you when they like something and we know about it when they are not happy too! The relationship with our supporters is special and I’m proud to be their captain.”
Pontus Jansson on his ‘cult status’ with the supporters: “My relationship with the fans has been great from day one.They support me and the rest of the team all over England in huge numbers - but there is nothing like playing at home.
“The noise you get when Elland Road is rocking is amazing and we have shared some great memories together which will live with me forever. For example earlier this year I scored the winner against Norwich and I had a group of my friends in the West Stand and to see them celebrate my goal with the fans here was incredible - I love playing at this stadium for these fans who stand by me through the ups and downs.”
Ex-Leeds striker Dominic Poleon gave Simon Grayson his first win since taking over at Bradford from Stuart McCall. City beat Gillingham 1-0 at Valley Parade, their first win since the 1st of January.
Hadi Sacko made his international debut for Mali in yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Japan, coming off the bench to replace Monaco’s Adama Traoré in the 78th minute.
Leeds United’s under-23’s now sit 3rd in the PDL North section after today’s results but have played three more games than those around them. W: 11 D: 5 L: 11
Club statement: “Scunthorpe United FC can confirm that Manager Graham Alexander and Assistant Manager Neil McDonald have this evening both been relieved of their duties.”
Another one bites the dust!
Ex-Leeds player Alex Mowatt had a ‘bit of a day’ playing for Oxford United at Portsmouth. First he missed a penalty that would have levelled the game, then a minute later he was sent off for an incident after the penalty involving Thompson of Pompey.
Feel for the player as his career has hit the buffers since he left Leeds.
Strange being without a Leeds game not to moan about but the build up starts on Monday for the game with Bolton Wanderers, but with players still away on international duty and a lengthening injury list he (Heckingbottom) may struggle to get a five-a-side game in training!
By Keith Ingham