Leeds confirm that Pablo Hernandez has signed a six month contract with a option of another year.
One down, a few more hopefully in the 'pipeline'.
FA Cup Round 3
Team News: Eight changes, Silvestri, Denton, Cooper, Mowatt, Phillips, Grimes, Dallas and Antonsson come in.
Team: Silvestri, Berardi, Jansson, Cooper(c), Denton, Grimes, Phillips, Mowatt, Dallas, Doukara, Antonsson.
From the off the home side penned back Leeds but Antonsson for Leeds shock the woodwork in the early minutes, after that the second division side seized on every misplaced Leeds pass - and there were plenty of them. Phillips, Jansson (he now is suspended for two games for reaching ten games) and Berardi went into the referee's note book for late challenges.
It wasn't a surprise when Cambridge went in front, the goalscorer Ikpeazu beat Silvestri following a half cleared corner and they deserved the half time lead, Leeds were disappointing to say the least.
As in a few games this season the second forty five minutes were immeasurably better by Leeds, first to the ball and busier in midfield. They were level just before the hour mark, Stuart Dallas heading in Alex Mowatt's superb cross, Cambridge were struggling to keep up with their visitors and Man of the Match Alex Mowatt headed in a goal bound effort from Pontus Jansson to give Leeds the lead.
Leeds lost Liam Cooper late in the game through injury with could cause Garry Monk a headache when picking the team on Friday.
Man of the Match: Alex Mowatt, made one, scored one and was the most impressive Leeds player on view.
Garry Monk: Impressed by the way Cambridge started but not by his team, said Leeds overplayed on the heavy pitch and "tried to play too much football around our eighteen yard box", spoke to the players about it at the break and played higher up the pitch, "Good team's find a way to win after setbacks, this group have that", Cooper will be assessed for Friday and thought Jansson's booking was very harsh.
Glad to be through Monk.
Shaun Derry: "You always know when you play higher opposition, they've just got that little switch. I'm disappointed we didn't come in 2-0 at HT."
Leeds are linked to Norwich City winger Sergi Canos, the ex-Liverpool youngster is attracting interest from Brentford too. Leeds want to get the player on loan, Brentford are favourites mind you because they are willing to buy the player for a reputed three million pounds.
It is to be seen if Leeds follow up their initial interest in him.
David Watkin's look at the victory at Cambridge United.
Thank you David.
Liam Cooper left Cambridge United on crutches and is rated 'doubtful' for the home game with Derby County on Friday.
Changes to the board at Leeds United confirmed overnight: Andrea Radrizzani, Andre Tegner and Feng Ze Yeh appointed as club directors.
Garry Monk's look ahead to Friday's clash with Derby County: Charlie Taylor still missing as is still suffering from a achilles injury, Cooper to be assessed tomorrow as will Hadi Sacko, no movement on incoming transfer but hopes to move on Diagouraga, Rotherham United rumoured to be interested.
On schedule changes; "We must be the most moved club in the country". Said he takes no notice of langue table and that a win against Derby would take Leeds eight points clear of seventh, lastly thinks a big home crowd could be advantageous on Friday.
A Comfortable Monk.
Pablo Hernandez is very confident he could still play in the Premier League, extra year of his contract does not depend on Leeds getting Promotion or not.
Very focused on the game with Derby County
Andrea Radrizzani made his first official tour as co-owner of Leeds United, he looked around both Thorpe Arch and Elland Road today and on his social media page he put 'Touring'
Former England and Watford manager Graham Taylor passed away at the age of 72. the former Watford and Aston Villa manager took Watford to the 1984 FA Cup Final and Promotion from Division Four to Division One in five seasons. He became England manager in 1993. He was well respected within the game and will be sadly missed by the game he lived and loved so much for. RIP.
Our thoughts are with his family,
Leeds vs Derby Preview
Last five home games
Leeds 2 Derby 2 Champ 15
Leeds 2 Derby 0 Champ 14
Leeds 1 Derby 1 Champ 14
Leeds 1 Derby 2 Champ 13
Leeds 0 Derby 2 Champ 12
Leeds face the resurgent Derby County tomorrow in another changed for TV game, Steve McClaren's first game back in charge of the midlands club was against Leeds at the iPro (Pride Park), the 1-0 win for the home side came at a time when Leeds were not in the form they are in now.
Leeds could be forced to shuffle the pack for the game, Pontus Jansson is suspended and Liam Cooper is struggling with injury so Luke Ayling may play in the centre of defence with Kyle Bartley, Taylor is again absent through a Achilles injury.
Garry Monk has options in midfield, Hernandez is fit and although Alex Mowatt had his first game in a while and deservedly took the plaudits for his display, Sacko will challenge Dallas for a starting shirt and Monk will choose two from Bridcutt, Phillips, Vieira and fit again O'Kane. Chris Wood should lead the line, hoping to add to his sixteen goals so far this season.
With a five point gap over their visitors Leeds will hope to add another three to their total in what will probably be a tight game.
Leeds to win 1-0.
Team News: No Cooper or Sacko, so Ayling partners Bartley at centre back, Coyle at right back.
Team: Green, Ayling, Bartley, Berardi, Bridcutt(c), Vieira, Roofe, Hernandez, Doukara, Wood.
I've not witnessed a more complete first half performance by my team in a long while and the only thing was missing was a few goals that the display warranted, thus saying some of the build up play was so superb you just knew eventually the goal would come, after Bartley had forced a save from Carson, he then missed a 'sitter' when the ball found him at the far post, his dismay was there for all to see. He need not have worried, sixteen goal striker Chris Wood increased his tally to seventeen in the last minute of the half from a in-swinging corner by the excellent Pablo Hernandez.
The half time talk by McClaren must have been still ringing in his players ears because for ten minutes they controlled matters in the second period and Robert Green kept Leeds ahead with a stunning save from Tom Ince and Green's blushes were saved by a blatant handball by Bent charging down the goalkeepers kick-out.
With 'We are the Champions, Champions of Europe' sang like I've not heard for a while, Leeds wrestled control of the game from their visitors and were unlucky not to extend their lead, Doukara and Vieira shooting tamely at Carson and Berardi shooting just over the angle of post and bar.
Like my opening said Leeds battered Derby for eighty out of the ninety four plus minutes.
A superb evening at the Theatre of everlasting Hope
Chris Wood heads number seventeen of the season.
Garry Monk: extremely proud of the players, they were willing to die for the three points.
"I challenged the players to show everything we've been building. Of course we wanted the three points but the challenge was to show our way. I wanted to do it in front of the camera's and in front of a great crowd, against a good side. We did that from the first minute to the last."
He then added; "The atmosphere was unbelieable again. It was an old school atmospheric stadium, the fans pushed the players over the line. Everything's positive for the club for the club right now."
A very happy Monk.
Steve McClaren: "Leeds deserved to win. We were second best." He added "The midfield was where Leeds dominated, Vieira-wow! Eighteen years old, a great future that one. He ran the show."
There may be more important weeks for us to enjoy in the coming months but walking away from Elland Road with a 'spring' in my step and thinking we've got something bloody special to look forward to this season.
It doesn't get much better, or could it?
By Keith Ingham
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