Birmingham sack another manager - Cotterill goes after 26 games in charge of which 14 were defeats. If memory serves me right he’s fifth manager in 18 months, incredible.
Ex-Leeds Head Coach Garry Monk was confirmed later in the day as their new manager on a three and half year deal, his backroom staff from his time at Leeds(Clotet, Beattie and Flahaven) will join him there. His first game in charge of City will be at home to Middlesborough on Tuesday.
Tweet from Leeds United.
The thoughts of everyone at @LUFC are with the friends and family of @acffiorentina captain Davide Astori following the sad news of his sudden passing #FootballFamily.
Absolutely heartbreaking news that the captain of Fiorentina had passed away in his sleep. An autopsy will determine the cause of his death.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
On this day in 1972: Still one of the best displays of football ever seen in the history of British Football. “It’s almost cruel” Barry Davies BBC MOTD.
Leeds 7 Southampton 0
Heidi Haigh on the disappointing trip to the Riverside, the bad weather doesn’t stop Sky televising a game or most of the Leeds fans that intended to go
Thank you Heidi.
Eunan O’Kane on the Middlesborough game:”If we continue to play like that then we’re miles away but if we can pick ourselves up and get back to the performances like we had (against Brentford) last Saturday then maybe we’re not so far. The only way we can put it is that we were second best for the whole night, we deserved to be beaten and maybe they could have scored a few more goals. It was a very deflated performance from us and we got what we deserved in the end, which was nothing.”
Appreciate the honesty, but O’Kane is one of number of players that recently have fallen well below the standard Leeds fans expect and pay a bloody lot of money to watch them play. ‘Talk is cheap’ comes to mind, it would be better if he and a few other let their feet speak more than their mouths.
Paul Heckingbottom on Wolves:”They are the best team in the league so far, a big crowd, and a big atmosphere. There is no reason why you wouldn't be 100 per cent up for this game and excited about it. It's one of the games you would love to be play”
PH; Expecting a response after the Boro defeat:”I'd expect a response and if there isn't one, it'll answer a lot of questions. We will see on Wednesday night, when things are going well it's easy.
PH; Wiedwald:”If you want to be successful in football especially, especially at a big club, you have got to challenge yourself. Everyone suffers a loss in form.”
PH; Injuries: Roofe and Lonergan out for the Wolves game, Hernandez back training and will be considered for the game.
PH;Peacock-Farrell:”I felt I needed to have a chat with him and really make it clear what he needs to do to improve. I felt that he'd become a little bit static, I told him that it's up to him.
I want to see that response from him and I want to see him living up to his potential. We want him do to well.”
PH; The youth at the club:”We've got lots of players who probably think they want a chance and deserve a chance, but I wouldn't want to throw an opportunity away because it gives the wrong message. It can send the wrong message just by throwing people in for the sake of it.”
Superb gesture by Fiorentina: “Fiorentina have extended Davide Astori’s contract for life, his salary will go to his daughter and wife.”
His shirt number(13)will also be ‘retired’ as a mark of respect for the player.
Garry Monk on taking the Birmingham City job:”I had a good experience at Leeds recently, with the same situation; taking a fractured club that is very disconnected across all the boards. We managed to pull it into a situation where everything was connected, the fans were right behind the team and there was a connection between the terraces and the team and the team and the terraces. I’ve seen at big clubs, when the terraces are connected with the club, it can be ferocious for away teams.
I’ve been in the deep end quite a few times, I don’t need armbands right now. It will never be harder than when I first went into management(at Swansea) – it doesn’t come much more in the deep end than that. I think I have gained a lot of experience, even though I am very early on in my managerial career.”
His first game as Birmingham City manager at home to Middlesborough ended in a 1-0 defeat.
Mallik Wilks has returned from his loan spell at Grimsby Town, he has a hamstring injury and will have treatment at Thorpe Arch. He last played for Grimsby against Crawley Town in February.
This day in 1963: Leeds finally played their FA Cup 3rd rd tie against Stoke City. It had taken 2 months to get the game on due to one of the harshest winters in British history. The tie was postponed 12 times, Leeds won the game 3-1 with Bobby Collins, Paul Reaney and Grenville Hair scoring the goals. Thanks to @VitalLeeds.
Another game to be remembered on this day back in the ‘Champions League’ day’s back in 2001. The day several thousands of Leeds fans went to Madrid. A was a night to remember, even though it ended in defeat.
Liverpool and Real Madrid qualify for the quarter finals of the Champions League. Liverpool draw 0-0 with Porto at Anfield but win the tie 5-0 on aggregate. Real Madrid beat PSG 2-1 in Paris to go through 5-2 on aggregate.
Wolves Boss Nuno gives his thoughts on tonight’s game with Leeds:”They have a new manager, a good manager, and Paul is doing his job. What he did at Barnsley was very good. He’s trying now at Leeds. We’re going to face a team that has good players (but) is not in a good moment. Like Paul said, they’re expecting the game against us to be a turning point.
We have to prepare for that, we have to equal that, be intense - and improve from what we did last week. We know what kind of opponent we're going to face and we're ready for it.”
Leeds v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Team News: Three changes; Peacock-Farrell replaces Felix Wiedwald, Adam Forshaw and Hadi Sacko replace Eunan O’Kane and Ezgjan Alioski who drop to the substitutes bench.
Team: Peacock-Farrell, Anita, Jansson, Cooper(c), Berardi, Forshaw, Phillips, Sacko, Siaz, Dallas, Lasogga.
My review of the game from the press box. Not for the faint hearted!
Man of the Match: BPF.
Paul Heckingbottom: ”It’s an indication of where we are, this is where we’re at.We’ve competed in some games and fallen short in others, so we’re short of where we want to be. If we want to be a team at the top of the league competing for top-six places, we’re short.
“The disappointing this is that when Wolves were at their best, and they’re a good team, they never scored from their opportunities, we conceded from two set-plays and a long ball over the top, but that’s been evident throughout the season.”
Andrea Radrizzani’s tweet made on full time:“We have our own problems but we should play in a fair competition. Not legal and fair let one team owned by a fund whom has shares in the biggest players agency with evident benefits (top European clubs giving players with options to buy ..why the other 23 teams can’t have same”.
Sort your own problems before slating others comes to mind, it may not be fair but as league rules stand it isn’t breaking any.
Nuno on Radrizzani’s tweet: ”First of all, I don’t care, secondly, what we see on the pitch is a group of hard-working people. My only focus is on the game, to go beyond that, it doesn’t affect us. We don’t care because it has nothing to do with us. We compete fairly and we show when we win, we deserve it.
“We are humble enough to recognise that people are better than us, but we don’t go sending things to the air. We are very straight.”
Spurs go out of the Champions League, Juventus stun the hosts with a 2-1 victory at Wembley to go through on aggregate 4-3. Manchester City surprisingly lose 2-1 at home to Basel but go through on aggregate 5-2.
David Watkins on another miserable evening at the ‘Theatre of disappearing Hope’
Thank you David, sometimes it’s the hope that finally kills you.
Paul Heckingbottom: ”I knew it was a ‘big job’ when he came to Leeds.That was the attraction, but you can never understand totally what is in front of you until you have got your feet under the table. Be that the players, the make-up of the club, decision making or the staff already here. Until you are here and working, you can’t see these things.
This is enjoyable because it is what I wanted to do, from my own personal circumstances of being at a club for a while and knowing it inside out, coming to Leeds and knowing there was loads to do was an appeal. Not a bit scary. The bigger picture and getting things right behind the scenes is the most important and harder job. It is the longer process, but, hopefully, the one that brings the rewards. When you are competing against different financial clout you have to have that.
If that pressure or hope of getting in the play-offs was weighing us down then forget about it, you are playing for something totally different, which should be more important and that is the chance to be in this group and this squad next season, looking to compete to be in the top six places. At the minute the table doesn’t lie, we are too far off it.”
On Pablo Hernandez: “In the short term the priority is everyone helping to keep him fit and making sure we can get as many minutes from him as possible. With the season the way it is and Pablo’s contract situation, we want to make sure we get it right one way or the other. We want to give Pablo every opportunity to perform for us.”
Bailey Peacock-Farrell: "I had to wait patiently, obviously it's not very easy in the moment, but you've got to just try and keep going and keep going and hopefully your chance comes. I got an opportunity yesterday and it's just one of those that you've got to be patient for.”
Andrea Radrizzani tweeted this tonight to explain his ‘rant’ last night straight after the 3-0 defeat to Wolves. “I am disappointed as all our fans for our recent results but I would like to clarify here my opinion about last nights tweets which create a lot of criticism. Our performances and the request of clarification on these matter are totally different issues.”
The Football League will meet the Wolverhampton owners to clarify that no rules have been broken following complaints from other clubs including Leeds.
Adam Forshaw reflecting of his decision to join Leeds:”I’m playing for one of the best clubs in the country, I’m not just saying that because I’m here. You look at everything that surrounds the club, for me to have the opportunity to play for Leeds, I am just trying to repay that faith.
Yes, we’re not having a great time at the moment but I’m genuinely playing for one of the best clubs in this country, so by all means I’ve 100 per cent made the right decision.”
We’ve met before
Reading 1 Leeds 0 Champ April 17
Reading 0 Leeds 0 Champ Aug 15
Reading 0 Leeds 2 Champ Feb 15
Reading 1 Leeds 0 Champ Sept 13
Reading 2 Leeds 0 Champ April 12
Leeds travel to Reading with only one win in thirteen Championship games, with games against Reading, Sheffield Wednesday and Bolton the long suffering supporters will hope that at least of couple of wins are registered in the ‘W’ column.
Reading’s form suggests that it might be an easier trip because as their league position suggests they are struggling since last season’s trip to Wembley when they lost to Huddersfield Town. Their manager Jaap Stam has been under pressure for a number of weeks after a poor run of results but was surprisingly mentioned as a replacement for Thomas Christiansen when the Dane left Leeds.
Bailey Peacock-Farrell picked up the Man of the Match award for his performance in the defeat to Wolves and he will hopefully keep his place for the trip to Reading. Pablo Hernandez may return to the starting line up after impressing as a second half substitute for the ineffective Hadi Sacko, a player that seems to have lost his way at the club. Liam Cooper’s injury looks like it will keep him out of the game so Mathew Pennington will probably come in.
Leeds and Reading need a win for different reasons, the later needing points to get out of the ‘scrap’ at the bottom of the league, Leeds just need a bloody away win! In their present form a draw wouldn’t be a disaster. 1-1.
Mo Barrow on his loan spell at Leeds:”Leeds is a good club, all the boys in the team took good care of me when I was there – that’s the players, the staff and the fans. I was unlucky not to get the chance to prove myself and the game time that I needed to show what I could do.
“My focus at Reading now is about staying focused and keep fighting for the team to get as many points as possible. There are a lot of ups and downs in football and so the goal at Leeds meant a lot to me as it showed them that I am a good player that can deliver from an opportunity.”
Reading v Leeds
Team News: Six changes,Pennington, De Bock, O’Kane, Alioski, Hernandez, Ekuban.
Team: Peacock-Farrell, Berardi(c), Jansson, Pennington, Forshaw, O’Kane, Alioski, Siaz, Hernandez, Ekuban.
Ezgjan Alioski was involved with both opportunities Leeds created early in the game, one went wide, the other kept out by the Reading goalkeeper. Against the run of play it was Reading that went in front, Bodvarsson taking advantage of less than admirable Leeds defending. It was then Peacock-Farrell versus Reading as the youngster pulled off saves from goal scorer Bodvasson, Barrow and best of all from Evans.
Leeds drew level when Pontus Jansson netted after Forshaw’s run into the penalty area set him up just before the break, things could have been even better for the visitors but Alioski’s shot hit the post in stoppage time.
Pontus scores the leveller.
After a good start to the second half Leeds went in front just before the hour thanks to a superb strike from Pablo Hernandez, his curling effort giving Jaakkola no chance, unfortunately the lead lasted only two minutes. Reading capitalised on a Leeds free kick breaking away quickly, Bacuna put a ball into the Leeds box and unwittingly O’Kane put the ball past Peacock-Farrell. Leeds had two chances to win the game late on, Alioski’s shot was brilliantly saved by Jaakkola, then with time nearly up the Reading keeper hit Leeds substitute Lasogga with an attempted clearance but instead of going in the ball bounced off a post and rolled along the line where the grateful keeper dived on it.
Another game when the second half brought a response from Leeds after a less than enterprising first forty five. I cannot remember a game in recent memory that they produced a full ninety minutes display, a thing that needs to change before the season ends.
Paul Heckingbottom: "I'm aggrieved because their second goal is upsetting me, just because initially it is from our free-kick. We decide to play a quick free-kick which is fine, then we’ve got three men behind the ball and they have got none in front, but as we play the ball forward our three run forward and Mo Barrow runs forwards so when the keeper eventually claims it we give him the option to go and hit us quickly on the counter.
“It's those little details that have been costing the team throughout the season and those things that we have to iron out because the players were oblivious to that and I pulled them on it after the game. You can be so ruthless by getting those things right because we had worked our socks off to get back in the game and I felt we were the stronger team in the second half, so that's why I am disappointed."
Jaap Stam: "If you look at how we played first half it was very promising, very good at times. We made the right decisions when to go forward and not to. We scored the goal and created another couple of very good opportunities which basically we needed to score. If you do, it's a totally different game.
“They equalised, they're a good side, and they got the second, we needed to get back into the game and we did. We pushed but we couldn't find what we had in the first half. I'm not saying it's good enough, but we defended well and put in a lot of energy.”
Birthday boy Andrew Butterwick on his birthday trip to Reading, Peacock-Farrells heroics and mixing with the Sunderland team and their fans on his return home.
Hope the result didn’t spoil your ‘special’ birthday. Thank you Andrew.
Bailey Peacock-Farrell again taking the plaudits for his first half display especially, Ezgjan Alioski, Pablo(sign him up!)Hernandez and Adam Forshaw getting positive reaction from social media.
Pontus Jansson as forthright as he usually is:”We had a good talk after the game against Wolves. We sat down for 30 minutes in the dressing room, now it’s up to everyone to show ‘balls’ and to prove if they want to stay in Leeds. They have to show it now on the pitch.
“If you we want to be here next year then we have to prove it on the pitch but I think we took a step forward, we showed more character.”
Heidi Haigh on an early start, changing of the guard and a missed opportunity to get a much needed win at Reading.
Thank you Heidi.
Stuart Dallas included in international squad to play Korea.
This was announced by BBC Radio Leeds show West Yorkshire Sport on Monday evening: ”It is with great sadness that we must tell you that our great friend Dave Callaghan has passed away. A true gentleman, a great man, a wonderful friend and an amazing professional. We will miss you so much Cally and never forget you. RIP.”
The radio commentator covered Yorkshire CC and also Leeds United in the late 80’s and early 90’s.
Mauricio Pellegrino is sacked by Southampton after only eight months in the job. Southampton are 17th in the Premier League.
Radrizzani on @talkSPORT, talking about the players at Leeds: "As a club we support them with eveything. We did everything they wanted but we didn't get back the commitment, the passion and the spirit. I don't want players in my team with this behaviour, I hope they can learn.”
He added “I’m happy to meet the players face to face and tell them the same because they need to know the situation and what the club think about the season."
The games in particular he was speaking about were Newport County(said it was then he decided to change the coach) and Middlesborough away. Pretty ‘damming’ from the owner, but bloody true.
A beautiful illustration by Graeme Bandeira.
Here’s Phil Hays take on the situation;
A difficult week again for Paul Heckingbottom, woeful against a far better Wolverhampton team and he must be disappointed by only coming away from Reading with a point. Seven games into his tenure and only one win to show for it. The next two games are against Sheffield Wednesday and Bolton Wanderers, anything less than six points will be majorly disappointing.
By Keith Ingham