In Steve Evans' pre-match press conference he stated that when Chris Wood returns he will be 'leaner, meaner and keener' and that the six foot plus striker has impressed everybody on his road to recovery.
SE also mentioned he hoped for a new contract when Leeds were in a safe position in the Championship.
Evans was quoted on a local radio station that he would like to give some of the club's upcoming starlets a chance in the first team once the club is in a safe position in the Championship, he mentioned that Neil Redfearn did the same in his tenure as Head Coach.
No game today, thanks to Sky TV!
Quite a game at The Valley, home of Charlton Athletic. Reading were 3-1 up at the break but Charlton levelled with minutes to play. Luck was not in the home sides favour as Brian McDermott's side stole an injury time winner.
The ex-Leeds Head Coach has had a great effect on his return to the team he got promoted in 2012. They sit twelfth in the table and in the quarter finals in the FA Cup.
Maybe Massimo was wrong about Brian!
Anthony Knockaert could have been lining up for Leeds at the Amex tomorrow. The former Leicester City player had a trial at Thorpe Arch but preferred to sign for Guingamp instead it was there where he was spotted by the Midlands club. He was signed by Brighton in January for an undisclosed fee.
Steve Evans has high hopes that the same situation that ended with Sam Byram leaving the club in the January transfer window won't happen again. There is ongoing conversations with Alex Mowatt, Charlie Taylor and Lewis Cook's representatives about lengthening their contracts in the summer.
Their current deals run until June 2017, Evans feels these three players are integral in next seasons promotion push.
Liam Bridcutt indicated he would like to extend his current spell at the club if the situation was right for him to do so, he said;
“For me, yes I’d like to stay at Leeds if the circumstances are right so every time I go out on the pitch, I’m playing for a place in the team and not just for this season. I do want to play in the Premier League, I’ve been at that level before. Every club I’m at, I want to be aiming high and I want the club to aim high. If Leeds are willing to do that in the summer then I’d be happy to stay.”
The impressive midfielder returns to play against his former club tomorrow night.
Under 21 game: Leeds 1 Hull City 3; Stokes with the Leeds goal in the first half.
Brighton v Leeds
Steve Evans made two changes to the team that drew with Fulham, he included both Scott Wootton and Lewis Coyle, the later surprisingly moved to right midfield with Bridcutt, Dave and Mowatt in the middle and Cook supporting Doukara up front.
Battered within forty minutes, four goals cheaply conceded and no passion in the yellow shirts the players shamed by their lack of effort.
I rightly turned off my TV as I could not stomach anymore of what I was watching. This wasn't the Leeds United I've loved for over forty years. No more goals in the second half but the damage was done.
Spineless is a strong word but not many in yellow tonight did the job they are well paid to do. Over fifteen hundred fans though deserve credit for their support throughout the game.
Evans and his staff were told not to talk to the press by Massimo Cellino after the humiliation at the Amex. For the management team it seems like the beginning of the end of their time in Leeds 11.
Still no official word on why the Head Coach was banned from talking to the media after the game vs Brighton. Many of the national newspapers think that Evans' time is up and the axe is about to fall on the Scotsman's neck. Sky lead with it also as their main headline on their sports app.
The Yorkshire Evening Post ratings by Phil Hay for the Brighton game made for interesting if disturbing reading, only Silvestri, Coyle, Cook and Erwin scored 5 and Carayol 6. The rest of the ratings were the lowest I've ever seen in a competitive game.
Cellino in the afternoon on Sky Sports News denied he would sack the under fire head coach, but he added;
"In last few weeks he's been speaking too much about his future, contract, players. He has to just focus".
Twice before he's done exactly the same, backing both Hockaday and Rosler but within days of supporting them, he fired them. What is clear is that Bolton Wanderers on Saturday and Cardiff City the following Tuesday are now key games Evans needs points from or he will be the next to receive his P45 from the maverick Italian.
In a later comment, Cellino indicated that Evans should concentrate on the squad he has now at his disposal and get on with the job he was hired to do. Yesterday's ban was Massimo's way of telling the Scot to basically shut his mouth about next season.
You can tell there is trouble at your club when even the local paper gets involved, the YEP's editorial included; "To say patience is wearing thin is an understatement. Two words, Mr Cellino. Just two: stability and investment. Before its too late. Again. If you happen to be listening".
I doubt he will mind you.
The Burnley game has been moved to an earlier kick off due to it being televised by Sky, Leeds' fourteenth appearance this season. Kick off is now 12:30pm.
The agent of Alex Mowatt was asked if the club had been in touch about a new contract and replied 'none, whatsoever'. So it seems that Evans earlier comment about it happening may have been a little untrue. Lies, damned lies and Leeds statements.
The accounts came out and made interesting if disturbing reading. It seems that Ken Bates' legacy, GFH have left the club up the proverbial creek, the later being paid £3.5 million per year for the next next three years and maybe even longer.
Player sales are keeping the 'wolf from the door' and with income down from match day ticket sales and merchandise it seems the future isn't as good as the previous announcement last week suggested. These are worrying times at Leeds United to be honest.
No usual press conference today and no reason given for why it isn't taking place. 'Circling the wagons' comes to mind.
Leeds United came out on the defensive when they denied any release clause sum was put in Lewis Cook's latest contract, the club went as far as to say;
“The claim by the Yorkshire Evening Post, which the club feels was published with damaging intentions, is entirely inaccurate and unfair reporting. No release clause whatsoever exists in the contract of the player in question".
The newspaper replied with this;
"A source close to negotiations which saw Cook sign a two-year deal last May told the YEP yesterday that the clause had been included in the agreement, allowing the 19-year-old to move on for a set fee if Leeds failed to win promotion this season".
Crewe beat Leeds in a under21 game at Reaseheath, Walters with the goal for Leeds.
A bit more information on the club's 2014/15 accounts are listed below;
Overall loss £2.01 million
Operating loss 12.6m
Transfer sales £9.8m
Ticket sales £8.76m
Debt to Eleonara Sports (Cellino) £4.14m
Debt still owed to GFH £17.0m
One thing also to be remembered that was disclosed in the YEP, if Leeds fail to reach the promised land of the Premiership, the club will continue to pay their old owners for an incredible sixteen more years. Whoever set that up really needs a good slap, Ridiculous.
It's comforting to know the two young men are following their fathers footsteps when it comes to being diplomatic with fans, Ercole called a woman a 'whale' and told her to 'stop eating' and Edoardo called a fan a 'moron' on social media. The brothers responses were to the criticism of their father's running of the football club and personal attacks on them.
Edoardo apologised later in the Daily Snail saying; "I would like to apologise for any offence that I have caused. After receiving a lot of abusive messages my emotions got the better of me and I reacted in a way that was unprofessional."
It seems the acorn didn't fall far from the tree in both cases.
Steve Evans apologised for the unacceptable display vs Brighton and said the club protected him when asking him not to speak to the media after the game.
On the Bolton game, Chris Wood still not ready, but could be for the Cardiff City game next Tuesday. Stuart Dallas and Mustapha Carayol back in contention but unfortunately Wootton doubtful, Bellusci back after suspension.
Lewis Coyle was the best player vs Brighton and the defence looks better when he's in the team. Interestingly Evans said he is no longer prepared to be a 'PR vehicle' about off-field issues. So glad he cleared that misunderstanding up.
Quite a week at Leeds United FC and who knows what next week will bring? But I'll tell you and hope that it eliminates, enlightens and maybe once or twice entertains you all.
By Keith Ingham
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