Paul Heckingbottom on training and the game with Derby County: “With us having three games in six days, there is not too much we can do on the grass, on Monday we had a split group with some boys recovering and some on the grass and on Tuesday we had everyone out, but it was light and a bit more tactical, reinforcing messages and building on what we have been doing.
“We have more or less a full squad now, I’ll name the team on the day of the game, as when you have a quick turnaround, it is important to see how everyone recovers. The lads who coming back from suspension have been working hard and we’ve given them quite a bit of attention.They have been topping up their fitness and been given a bit of individual information, but it is a big jump to go straight into first team, especially in this league.
“Derby are one of the teams I have seen a lot of and I think their result against Sheffield Wednesday was a blip, they have good personnel and since Gary(Rowett)has gone in there, they have been so difficult to beat.They have been really strong, they have a lot of pace and an attacking threat at the top end of the pitch.
“We are all looking forward to the game, we want to play in big games and not shy away from it.”
Hernandez on his future: ”I don’t know, I don’t receive anything new from the club. I can’t tell you anything about this, I prefer only to focus on the next games and give 100 per cent for the club. I can’t talk about this.
“Yes, obviously. I’m very happy here. I feel the fans and my team-mates, all the people, would like it if I stay here but it depends not only on me.”
Gary Rowett on his team to face Leeds: ”You could argue whether six (changes) was maybe too many but there were some players I wanted to get back into the team, whether that's for the long-term or not.
“Because we've got such a strong group, I think we can pick certain players for certain games. That's what we've done probably over the past 20 games and it has served us pretty well.It's always tempting and easy to keep the same team - and I've done it before.”
Derby County v Leeds
Team News: Four changes;Berardi, Cooper, Vieira and Roofe start. Ekuban and Pennington move to the bench, Anita and O’Kane not involved in the match day squad.
Team: Wiedwald, Berardi, Jansson, Cooper(c), De Bock, Vieira, Forshaw, Dallas, Hernandez, Roofe, Lasogga.
In place of our review we’re heading to David Watkins as he reviews the 2-2 draw at Pride Park
Thank you David, so near but still without a win in 2018.
Paul Heckingbottom: “It does hurt, I’m feeling it for the players. They’re flat in there, they’re down and sometimes that’s what football’s like. But they’ve got to come out of the dressing room with their heads held high because I was standing on the sideline in the 85th minute not seeing Derby scoring, I’m there thinking how well they’ve done and what’s won them the game.
“But I said to the players, we may think we should have had more points out of the last three games but we haven’t got them, that’s the way it goes.
“We end up giving a corner away, whether we could have dealt with it better I don’t know. Then there’s a ball into the box and it was probably the only one we didn’t get the first touch on in the second half in particular, It’s sickening. If we want to get in the position where Derby and others are in the league, those are the things we have to iron out. We’re working really hard for our goals but giving soft goals at the other end.”
Gary Rowett: ”We did everything up until they scored apart from put the ball in the back of the net, I was really pleased first half, but then to concede such a poor goal defensively – that should not happen. Second half we had a 10-minute spell where we seemed to lose belief in what we were trying to do. We have created enough opportunities to win the game, the reality is it’s another game where poor goals conceded have cost us.”
Update on ‘Badgegate’
“Due to the volume of ideas and designs submitted by fans and their focus around celebrating our 100-year anniversary, we can confirm that we will now be introducing a new club crest on the shirt for the 2019/2020 centenary season and beyond.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all fans for the inspiration they have provided which, following further consultation with supporters’ groups, will form the basis of a democratic vote later this year. We look forward to our loyal and passionate fans selecting a crest that will proudly herald in the next 100 years.”
Methinks the deadline for next season’s new kit is just around the corner and there wouldn’t have been time to organise it with a new club crest on it. At least the club took into consideration what the fans said unlike other owners. There will be a ballot later in the year for Season Ticket holders and fans with Memberships to pick the design for the Centenary season.
The EFL vote to join the Premier League in shutting the Transfer Window on August 9th 2018 at 17.00. Clubs can still loan players up to August 31st 2018 and can transfer players out to a club in any league whose window is still open.
This day in 1974: Leeds lost their first game of the season at Stoke 3-2. The loss ended their 29-match unbeaten run from the start of the season, the longest unbeaten run at the start of a First Division season. Equalled by Liverpool in the 87/88 season and was beaten by Arsenal in 03/04 unbeaten in 38 Premier League games.
We’ve met before.
Leeds 1 Brentford 0 Champ Dec 16
Leeds 1 Brentford 1 Champ Sept 15 Leeds 0 Brentford 1 Champ Feb 15
Leeds 1 Brentford 1 Division 1 Mar 10 Leeds 4 Brentford 1 Lge Cup Sept 61
Leeds vs Brentford Preview
Leeds now have gone ten games in all competitions without a win, the last two they have been so close to getting it and have shown in patches that they still have the ability to put teams on the back foot. The trouble is they are only doing it in parts of games and I cannot remember a performance that lasted the full ninety minutes.
Heckingbottom must address the ‘giveaway’ goals that seem to happen in every game, mostly down to individual mistakes. Question marks over Felix Wiedwald’s place in the team will continue until he comes for a cross and actually catches the bloody ball! Lauren De Boch has ‘one of those days’ against Derby but only Pontus Jansson came out of the game with credit, so the rest need to up their game, starting on Saturday.
With Samuel Siaz, Liam Cooper and Gaetano Berardi back from suspension, Heckingbottom has options, he has changed formations three times and may well do so again.
Brentford have only lost two in twelve games and in their last two games have scored seven goals without reply at Sunderland and at home to Birmingham City. It’s a game Leeds need to win to arrest the fall down the Championship, they will if they can finally put in a ninety minutes performance. Leeds 2-1.
Paul Heckingbottom speaks to the media pre Brentford: ”You want to get the information across, It’s pointless just waiting, if you need to change and bring players in. We have to work and get information across so we’re very certain come the next window: do we need players or don’t we need players? We’ll keep on working and while I’m working on it I’ll see who can take information on board and who can get good at it. Come the end of the season I’ll know exactly who’s up for it and who’s not, we know where our frailties are and we know where we’ve been shooting ourselves in the foot, It’s plain to see.
“It (the club’s chance of a top-six finish) is slim because you look how far behind you are and I know how good those teams above us are. They’ve been showing more consistency through the season and you are where you deserve to be. But things change with every game. We’ll always fight and keep going. The Brentford game is vital for this season but also because we want the win and we want to keep improving. I said that my first six or seven games, because they’re all teams above us, would give us a really good benchmark of where we are. We want to be competing with those teams. Come the end of these games we’ll have played all the teams above us and in my eyes, when I reflect back, I’ll have a really good idea of where we are in comparison with those teams, because that’s where we want to be.”
If we beat the team four points above us (Brentford) then we’ll reel them in, but who knows? I’m more bothered about where we eventually end up and getting a good benchmark against these teams is important. We’ve competed well in the three games but as yet not beat them.”
Pablo Hernandez, Kemar Roofe and Pierre-Michel Lasogga face late tests to see if they can play against Brentford tomorrow.
Leeds vs Brentford
Team News: Four changes;Anita, O’Kane, Phillips and Alioski start. Vieira drops to bench, Forshaw absent due to the imminent birth of a baby. De Boch not in the 18.
Team: Wiedwald, Berardi, Jansson, Cooper(c),Anita, O’Kane, Phillips, Dallas, Siaz, Alioski, Lasogga.
It was the visitors that impressed in the opening minutes and Wiedwald saved splendidly from Brentford’s Egan, I’ve never doubted his shot-stopping it’s the other parts of his game that make me nervous. The breakthrough for Leeds came against the run of play just after the half hour, Stuart Dallas’ run was curtailed by a Brentford boot and from the resultant free kick Ezgjan Alioski’s found the head of captain Liam Cooper and his flicked header beat Bentley superbly to give Leeds the lead. 1-0 at the break.
Liam Cooper heads the winner.
Lasogga could and should have doubled the lead just after the hour, the German striker was through on goal but he hesitated just enough for Woods to get back to clear the ball off the Brentford goal line. Leeds threatened but the final ball either was too short or Brentford cleared their lines. Wiedwald made a easy save look hard late in the game when Judge’s free kick beat the wall, his parried save went to Canos but he hit the ball wide of the target.
Paul Heckingbottom: ”It's good to have the first win, it is a reward for the hard work of the players and reward for everyone, Brentford are a good side and it is excellent to keep the clean sheet. There are lots of positives to take from the performance, lots of organisation goes into it and to be successful in this league you have to be able to defend and stop teams as well as hurt teams.
“Brentford are great team at creating chances when it goes end to end, we could have been better at times with the ball, we gave it away too easy at times and could have shown more composure. We grew as the game went on and deserve that victory, we stepped up a bit more in the second half and kept them away from our box a bit more.
“We had chances to get the second and close the game out and that is an area where we will need to be better."
Dean Smith: ”They started the game quite well in the first few minutes but then I don't think they saw the ball, it looked like it was going to be one way traffic and unfortunately the lad scores from an offside position. We've lost a game from a linesman's decision, but we didn't do enough to win the game. They left the grass longer to make it a slow game.
We should have had a penalty when Neal Maupay gets thrown to the ground, you want the big decisions to go your way, but they didn't today."
Well done boys!
Andrew Butterwick reviews the first win of 2018 and the return of the mercurial genius Samuel Siaz.
Thank you Andrew.
The fan injured outside the ground after the game was not as severely injured as first thought, many had put messages of condolences to his family on social media but early today West Yorkshire Police put out a Tweet that the fan was badly injured and not deceased. We send our best wishes for his speedy recovery.
Tweet from Radio Leeds’ Adam Pope: ”According to Eleonora Sport Limited’s accounts Massimo Cellino sold the club to Andrea Radrizzani for £45m”. He made £3.5 million pounds for the 3 years he had the club.
On This Day 1996: Leeds Utd reach Wembley in the Coca Cola Cup after beating Birmingham 3-0 in the Semi Final 2nd Leg at Elland Road, goals from Deane,Yeboah and Masinga also on this day in 1977 Leeds beat Manchester City 1-0 in the FA Cup in the FA Cup 5th Round. Trevor Cherry scoring the winner.
Manchester City beat Arsenal 3-0 in the Carabao Cup Final at Wembley.
Heidi Haigh reviews the first win under Paul Heckingbottom’s tenure as Head Coach.
Thank you Heidi.
Andrea Radrizzani, Victor Orta and Angus Kinnear answered questions sent via Twitter to #ASKLUFC. It was shown ‘live’ on the Leeds United app.
Their replies are in the link below.
Some very honest answers, but I question the extent that Victor Orta is involved in the recruitment of players and whether Paul Heckingbottom will have sufficient influence on the players coming in and out of the club in the summer.
Many Thanks to the YEP.
An important win and with other teams above Leeds having a ‘wobble’ mean that the next two games against Middlesborough and Wolverhampton could be key to the aspirations of the club this season, win them both and if results go with Leeds they could find themselves ‘in the mix’ for a top six place.
That itself is remarkable considering the victory over Brentford was their first in ten games and with twelve games to play, anything could happen and it probably will!
Adama Traore will be available for Middlesbrough’s next four games(Leeds next up)after an Independent Regulatory Commission accepted that he was wrongly dismissed for violent conduct against Sunderland on Saturday(24 February) Bugger!
Ex Leeds Head Coach Steve Evans and his assistant Paul Raynor have resigned from Mansfield Town. The club commented they have ‘reluctantly accepted’ his decision to leave the club, Mansfield currently are currently in 5th position in Division Two.
An agreement for an annual two-week winter break in early February has been agreed between the FA, Premier League and Football League. Commencing in the 19/20 season.
Middlesbrough statement re match v Leeds United FC; "The club are currently working hard to ensure Friday's game against Leeds United goes ahead as planned. The club cannot legislate for forthcoming weather and more snow and freezing temperatures are forecast."
After leaving Mansfield Town yesterday....Tweet by Peterborough United: MANAGER APPOINTMENT; The football club is delighted to announce the appointment of Steve Evans as our new manager.
Leeds United getting into the spirit with this ‘humorous’ Tweet.
We’ve met before
Middlesborough 3 Leeds 0 Championship September 2015
Middlesborough 0 Leeds 1 Championship February 2015
Middlesborough 0 Leeds 0 Championship February 2014
Middlesborough 1 Leeds 0 Championship February 2013
Middlesborough 0 Leeds 2 Championship Match 2012
Thursday’s usual pre game press conference with Paul Heckingbottom called off due to continuing poor weather but via BBC Radio Leeds commentator Adam Pope’s Tweet line it was revealed that both Pablo Hernandez and Kemar Roofe are doubts for the Middlesborough game. Adam Forshaw has trained all week since the birth of his son, Tyler Roberts is continuing with rehab before a decision is taken on him having a operation on his shin. Also players in the later stages of their contracts will be given the opportunity to impress the HC before he decides where the squad needs strengthening. The squad have trained indoors all week and are ready for the game.
On Middlesborough:”Boro have been difficult to play against recently, they have lots more threats and a set-piece element has been added to the team and their game.They have been more consistent, have grinded out lots of results, managed to move up the table and they find themselves in a really strong position now.
We know it is going to be tough regardless because of the players they have and likewise Tony Pulis has the team really well organised now.”
Aston Villa away has been moved to Friday night(April13th)for Sky coverage, it’s the 19th Championship game that has been changed, more than any other Football League side. Only the top six of the Premiership have been on Sky more than Leeds.
On this day: 50 year’s ago Leeds United beat Arsenal 1-0 at Wembley. Terry Cooper scored the only goal.
Below Phil Hay looks back at the first major trophy won by Don Revie’s memorable team.
Thanks to the YEP
Leeds vs Boro Preview
Leeds travel to Middlesborough buoyed by last week’s 1-0 win over Brentford. This will be a much tougher test for the new HC at Leeds, Middlesborough despite only two wins in six have a impressive home record and know a win over Leeds will leapfrog Boro over Sheffield United into the top six.
There are doubts over Pablo Hernandez and Kemar Roofe but new Dad Adam Forshaw should return to face his old club. Leeds’ last visit in 2015 was a disappointing 3-0 defeat but they won there the season before 1-0 and in 2012 they won 2-0.
If Leeds return home with a point it would be seen as a point gained. 1-1.
Leeds vs Middlesbrough
Team News: No change to starting eleven, Forshaw and De Bock replace Denton and Cibicki on the bench.
Team: Wiedwald, Berardi, Jansson, Cooper(c), Anita, O’Kane, Phillips, Dallas, Siaz, Alioski, Lasogga.
The last time Leeds travelled up to Teeside it was a game to forget, three years later so was this. I cannot understand this squad at all, one week they can play like a ‘team’ then the week after like strangers.
The stats will show that Boro won the game 3-0 with all three goals from Patrick Bamford, what they don’t show is that this was a spineless, dispiriting performance from Leeds that the travelling fans must have wondered why they battled through the elements to watch their ‘efforts’.
Shockingly bad from all but a few.
Paul Heckingbottom: “I thought we were second best, disappointed is the perfect word for me. We won’t get where we want to be with that type of performance. You have to learn from it, you just can’t brush things under the carpet, I’ll give them the praise when they’re good but on the flip side they have to understand exactly what they’ve done wrong when we don’t perform.
Sometimes performances don’t guarantee results but today we got what we deserved, Brentford was a totally different game. Away at Boro on a windy night, their style is totally different, they were really up for it and we were second best.”
Tony Pullis: ”It was the best performance since I’ve been here. That’s nine goals in three games now and we have played very well, but this win is about the whole club. People from the community and our staff turned up for two days to get the pitch and terraces cleared and get the game on.
It has been a first-class performance from everyone, people who love this club. That certainly inspired me, and this is a can-do area, I’m pleased for the folk who worked for nothing to get this game on.”
Andrew Butterwick reviews the lacklustre display in the cold at the Riverside.
Thank you Andrew, hope you’ve thawed out!
A week with hope and misery, if Leeds are to salvage anything from this season then a big boot up the a*** is needed form Heckingbottom.
By Keith Ingham