Tues Oct 29th. BMac vows to fix scouting system at Leeds.  As a former player scout himself, Brian McDermott knows a good scouting set-up is essential for long term success. Phil Hay reports Brian McDermott’s vision of Leeds United is a club revamped from top to bottom. He calls it a “process” and stresses at every turn that putting the pieces together will take patience and time. According to him, Leeds are “nowhere near where we’re going to be” if and when his plans take shape. United’s manager has had six months to assess his squad, alter it slightly and establish what it is that he and Leeds are missing. The transition he seeks is proving to be a slow burn. In comparison, it took him a matter of hours to realise that the club’s training ground at Thorp Arch required a facelift, and the complex was upgraded during the close-season. “I’m trying to build something with foundations,” he said, explaining why he had urged United’s owners to direct funds into improving Thorp Arch. “I’m not just here to put 15 or 20 players together and forget about everything else.” With McDermott continuing to tweak his squad – Dexter Blackstock and Marius Zaliukas were signed last week, both on a relatively short-term basis – scouting is next on his list. In an hour-long appearance on Sky’s The Footballers’ Football Show on Monday, he revealed the virtual absence of a scouting network at Leeds and warned that establishing a healthy system of player recruitment was “fundamental” to their prospects. Leeds are presently without a chief scout and have been missing someone in that mould since the removal of Gwyn Williams from their staff. Williams, who was placed on gardening leave in July, held the title of technical director but took responsibility for much of United’s scouting over a period of seven years. He had successes and failures – Luciano Becchio and Jermaine Beckford in the first category, Filipe Da Costa and players of his ilk in the other –but McDermott finds himself with nothing resembling the effective scouting system he ran at Reading for 10 years and benefited from later as the club’s manager. “Scouting’s an interesting subject at Leeds because we need to improve what we’ve got,” McDermott said. “I wouldn’t say we have a scouting structure per se. “We’re in the process of getting a chief scout who’s going to put together a scouting programme, and I’ll do that with him. At a club as big as Leeds what’s fundamental for me is scouting and recruitment. It wasn’t in place.” McDermott has been waiting for many months to install Luke Dowling as his chief scout. The YEP revealed in July that Dowling, a former head of recruitment at Portsmouth and Blackburn Rovers, was earmarked for the post but a long wait to agree the severance of his deal at Blackburn delayed the appointment. Dowling was part of the short-lived managerial reign of Michael Appleton at Ewood Park and he left Rovers in March following Appleton’s sacking. Dowlin g’s spell in Lancashire was too short for him to make an impression but he was central to the firesale at Portsmouth in the summer of 2012, helping an ailing club to move on higher earners and cut their wage bill. That period saw Leeds sign no fewer than four players from Fratton Park – David Norris, Luke Varney. Jamie Ashdown and Jason Pearce – and ease Portsmouth’s crisis. Dowling’s remit at Elland Road would primarily be to design a plan of attack for scouting potential signings but United are not short of professionals who they would gladly move on if buyers or takers could be found. They might benefit too from that area of his expertise. McDermott has never spoken about him specifically but Dowling’s employment at Leeds has been pending since the summer. A former Crystal Palace scout, he is said to have been considered as an option by Tottenham Hotspur before Spurs named Franco Baldini as their technical director. “A top scout is worth his weight in gold,” McDermott said. “He should be paid top dollar. It’s one of the most important positions at a club. “It probably doesn’t get the respect it deserves because the job was once given to the manager’s mate. Now it’s a career. People who can spot a player are few and far between and if you find them, you’ve got to keep them.” Asked if the scouting network at Leeds had been the victim of financial cut-backs over many seasons, McDermott said: “Possibly. But if you think about that it makes no sense whatsoever. “Whatever you have to do, you must put money into scouting because in the long term it’ll save you fortunes and possibly make you fortunes. If you look at what happened at Reading, they survived by selling players. I should know because I was manager when they were selling them. “It makes no sense to me not to build on scouting and that’s where you have to put your money. That hasn’t been the case at Leeds. “I’ve had 21 games as manager and we’ve won 10. We’ve had a difficult run. But I think we’re just starting. We haven’t even got our scouting up and running so we’re nowhere near where we’re going to be. We haven’t got going yet. “You’re only as good a manager as your last result and we got beat (at Huddersfield Town on Saturday). But you need stability and you need time to build something.” McDermott is a disciple of scouting on account of a decade spent covering games across the world. He recalled first identifying ex-Reading winger Jimmy Kebe during a rain-drenched match between Le Havre and Boulogne, where Kebe was on loan. Reading’s transfer budget was never exorbitant and coaches at Leeds have dealt with financial constraints for years. Astute player-spotting at home and abroad is a way of combating those limitations. “When teamsheets came in for whichever game, I’d know every player,” McDermott said. “I’d know because I’d seen them. It was an insult to me if I didn’t and that wasn’t just in Europe. It was the world. Because football isn’t actually very big.”  

Tues Oct 29th. Zaliuka wants first team start. New Leeds United signing Marius Zaliukas is aiming to propel himself into first-team contention in tonight’s development squad Under-21 Premier League Cup tie against Barnsley at Oakwell (7pm). The Lithuanian international centre-back, 29, who has penned a deal until the end of the season, featured for the U-21s in last Tuesday’s 3-3 draw with Sheffield Wednesday at Thorp Arch. He has been earmarked for a start this evening by manager Brian McDermott, who saw his central defensive trio of Scott Wootton, Tom Lees and Jason Pearce turn in a collectively meek performance in Saturday’s 3-2 reverse at West Yorkshire neighbours Huddersfield Town. Former Heart of Midlothian captain Zaliukas, who rejected chances to sign for Rangers and Queens Park Rangers to join United, made over 200 appearances for the Tynecastle outfit before being released in the summer and is desperate to make his mark on his new club – having impressed boss McDermott following a week-long trial. His availability and vast experience represents a welcome and timely option for McDermott, more especially in the light of the disappointing defensive showing at the John Smith’s Stadium. A good showing tonight should put the defender firmly in the fray for Saturday’s home encounter with Yeovil Town. McDermott said: He’s a player with lots of experience, he’s played for his country and he’s a good age for a centre-half. It’s fantastic to have him on board.” Meanwhile, Aidan White’s loan transfer to Sheffield United is expected to be finalised either today or tomorrow. The 22-year-old has featured just three times for United this season, making just two starts. White rejected a loan move to Barnsley in early September, but with a known admirer in Nigel Clough now in charge of Sheffield United, he is ready to kick-start his campaign a few junctions down the M1 at Bramall Lane. Ex-Derby County chief Clough was keen on signing White before he signed a new deal with Leeds in the summer of 2012 and has monitored his progress since. On the credentials of White, Clough said: “We have made an enquiry for him. “There’s quite a busy programme we have got in the FA Cup as well and one or two more in with a bit more quality might not do us any harm. “He (White) is a good player, he plays anywhere up the left-hand side. He can play left back or one on and he’s got good quality. “His career has stuttered a little bit in the last 18 months, but I still think he is a good player.”

Tues Oct 29th. White moves to Sheff United. Former United coach Greg Abbott says Aidy White has Still to establish his best playing position. Leon Wobschall reports.  Aidan white may have only turned 22 earlier this month, but he has already been stationed at the footballing equivalent of a crossroads several times in his Leeds United career already. He is currently positioned at another one, ahead of an impending short move south to League One outfit Sheffield United, who have agreed a loan deal to sign him until January. After a hit-and-miss 2012-13 campaign fresh from signing a new three-year contract in the summer of 2012, White hasn’t been afforded a renaissance this season, featuring in one Championship game so far. It’s a far cry from what he will have envisaged when he penned a new deal just over 15 months ago after his old contract had expired. One man who knows White and his family well is former United academy coach and Carlisle United manager Greg Abbott, who first coached White when he was 12. While Leeds may mean the world to Horsforth lad White, needs must with the left-sided player’s requirement to kick-start his career of paramount importance, according to Abbott. Abbott, who had nine years with Leeds academy and who helped bring through the likes of White, Jonny Howson and Fabian Delph – with the latter recommended to him by ex-Bradford City team-mate Paul Jewell – said: Aidy is a player I have followed because I know his family and Aidy really well. “As people, they are fantastic. “But at this moment in time, the thing to aid his development is playing first-team football. He’s got to put the fact that he’s Leeds through and through and Leeds daft and his family being Leeds daft to one side. “You are talking about a player’s job now and development. He will realise now that he needs to play. “I have actually spoken to Chris (White’s father) a few times and we (Carlisle) harboured ambitions of taking him on loan a few years ago, but he went to Oldham instead as it was a bit closer and more practical. “Now he’s got to go out and play and show people what he can do somewhere else, otherwise you get forgotten about. “As a manager in League One, we helped loads of players get their careers back on track (at Carlisle), such as the likes of James Chester, Ben Marshall and Adam Clayton through loan periods. “If Aidy rips it up at Sheffield United and proves he is better than that level, he goes back into the Championship and is back on board. “If he just does okay, then maybe League One is his level. He’s got to go out and re-find himself. Because if he doesn’t, he gets forgotten about and the game becomes harder.” He added: “The sentiment about ‘your’ club can’t stay with you forever. I was a Coventry kid through and through and got released by Coventry City and it broke my heart. “But in the end, it was the best thing that ever happened to me and I went and had 500-odd games in the Football League. Aidy can’t stick around Leeds and have his career cut short because you can stay at a club too long.” In the shape of Leeds manager Brian McDermott, who has worked in a host of differing positions at a football club, from chief scout and youth coach to first-team manager, White has the perfect individual who will look after his best interests, in the view of Abbott. White may have been used pretty sparingly by McDermott this season, but the former Reading chief will be acutely aware of his position, development and needs, both in the short, medium and long-term term. Abbott said: “Brian is an absolutely terrific man and terrific manager to have around for young players because he understands the game. With his background, he has been involved in recruitment and knows when players should stay and go and when players need to come in. “He will be trying to get Aidy some games for Aidy’s best interests, not just the football club. That’s how Brian is and why I like him and why he has been successful. He does things for the right reasons, without a doubt. “And without a doubt, going out for Aidy is the right thing to do. “Aidy has got to go out, play some games and then re-assess where he is after 10 games and he goes from there. “He needs to show people he is still around and has still got ability and is kicking and still has that pace, attitude and work ethic. He needs to push his career forwards, wherever that may be.” Back in early September, White rebuffed previous interest from Championship outfit Barnsley, who were keen to bring him in on loan. The Reds’ South Yorkshire rivals Blades are set to succeed where they failed, with White no doubt mindful of the fact that former Derby chief Nigel Clough – who was interested in acquiring his services a couple of summers ago before he committed to Leeds in the long-term – is now in situ at Bramall Lane. It’s fair to say Clough clearly rates White, with a big factor for the 22-year-old now being to nail down one position in the coming weeks and months ahead after playing in several roles in the past few years. Abbott added: The one thing you can’t fail to like about Aidy is his infectiousness and appetite for the game. “He’s one of those who is good on the eye; he’s got a terrific left foot and a nice bit of pace and he handles the ball pretty well. “What he has got to do now is pin down his best position, whether that be down the left side of midfield or left-back or in an attacking position behind the number nine. He’s got to find that. “One of Aidy’s problems might be that he has played in a few positions and no-one has said: ‘Well, that’s your best position, Aidy’.”

Sat Oct 26th. Leeds lose to Terriers.  Huddersfield Town 3 (Ward 9, Lees OG 63, Stead 77), UNITED 2 (Smith 2, Blackstock 73). United: Kenny, Lees, Wootton, Pearce, Byram, Warnock, Austin, Mowatt, Murphy (Blackstock 72), McCormack, Smith. Subs. Cairns, Peltier, Brown, Tonge, Varney, Poleon. Referee: N Swarbrick  (Report from Official website)United manager Brian McDermott named an unchanged starting line-up from the team that defeated Birmingham City 4-0 the previous Sunday.

DEXTER

The only change to the squad for the early kick off was the inclusion of new loan signing Dexter Blackstock, who took his place on the substitutes bench. The game could not have started any better for United as Matt Smith gave the away side the lead in the second minute of the match. The goal came from a deep Alex Mowatt corner and the big striker headed home at the back post.

MATT SMITH SCORES LEEDS FIRST GOAL

Smith’s early goal appeared to give United control of the game and the majority of the possession. But on nine minutes the home side struck back to level the contest. The goal came from a corner that was played to the edge of the penalty area and it was Danny Ward’s sweet strike that gave Huddersfield their equaliser. Following a fast paced opening 10 minutes the game settled down with most of the play coming in the middle of the park. Both sides enjoyed time on the ball with no real cutting edge to the play. The home side enjoyed a good spell after the 30 minute mark and Paddy Kenny had to be on his toes to prevent Adam Hammill giving Town the advantage. The winger cut inside and shot at goal but the United keeper was on hand to palm the ball over the bar. That proved to be it for first half chances as the game edged towards the interval and the opportunity for United to re-group. The opening 15 minutes brought very little goalmouth action but it was United who looked the more likely. Efforts from distance from Luke Murphy and Smith didn’t really trouble the home keeper but on the hour mark United had a great chance to restore the lead. Good build-up play involving Rudy Austin and Smith left Murphy at the back post with only the keeper to beat but the midfielder hit the ball wide of the mark. United were made to pay for the missed chances in the 63rd minute when  Tom Lees turned a Hammill cross into his own net. The home side should have doubled their advantage just minutes later when Jon Stead was played through on goal. The striker rounded Kenny but he could only only hit the outside of the post after taking the ball too wide. In the 72nd minute United manager Brian McDermott added to his attacking options by introducing Dexter Blackstock for his debut. Blackstock made an instant impact when he headed United level with his first touch in a Leeds shirt. The goal came from a Mowatt corner and the striker’s glancing header found the back of the net. However, United’s celebrations were short lived as five minutes later Stead put the home side ahead. Great work from Sean Scannell on the right hand side led to the front man having the ball at his feet in the United area and he coolly slotted the ball past Kenny. With five minutes of the 90 remaining Sam Byram found himself in space after great work from Ross McCormack. Byram played a great cross to the bacl post but Smith could only put his header wide of the mark while under pressure. United were handed four minutes of injury time as they went in search of an equaliser. The home side serviced a late penalty shout as it looked like Austin was bundled to the ground but the referee pointed for a goal kick.

Zaliukas1

New Lithuanian signing raring to go

Fri Oct 25th. Lithuanian completes move Leeds United have completed the signing of Lithuanian defender Marius Zaliukas. The former Hearts captain has joined the club until the end of the season. He had been a free agent after leaving the Scottish club at the end of last season. The centre-back had been training with the Leeds squad, and played in a reserves game on Tuesday against Sheffield Wednesday. 29 year-old Zaliukas brings experience to the Leeds back line, with over 200 appearances in the Scottish Premier League and 21 international caps.

BlackstockPC

Blackstock keen to do well for Leeds

Fri Oct 25th. Blackstock rarin’ to go. (YEP)There is a debate to be had over how prolific a striker Dexter Blackstock truly is but his record against Leeds United is nothing short of deadly: five goals in five games against his new team. The 27-year-old traditionally saves his best for Leeds and has often found United at their worst, scoring once in Nottingham Forest’s 4-2 win on Boxing Day last year and twice in a ludicrous 7-3 rout of the Elland Road club nine months earlier. Blackstock remembers the second result – United’s heaviest-ever home defeat – as an “eventful night” but his habit of producing goals in West Yorkshire is one he intends to foster during three months on loan with Leeds. “I’ve been able to score basically every time against them and it’s been a good fixture for me,” Blackstock said, speaking to the YEP after completing his transfer from Forest. “I dont know why that is but Leeds are one of those clubs where you walk into the stadium as the opposition, you look around and think ‘wow’. “They’re a proper big club and that makes everyone raise their game. “We had the 7-3 game – that was an eventful night – and I hope I can continue to score goals at Elland Road. “It’s on my mind to impress here, that’s without doubt. It’s on my mind to win matches and push Leeds up the table.” Blackstock’s record shows an average of one goal from every four league appearances made by him but he has the stock and reputation of a striker whose career has taken him to Southampton, Queens Park Rangers and latterly Forest. Chances for him have dried up at the City Ground but he completed his loan move to Leeds yesterday with no promise of an immediate chance to play. He will be in United’s squad at Huddersfield Town tomorrow but Brian McDermott has essentially confirmed that Blackstock is destined for a seat on the bench. An unchanged line-up is inevitable after Sunday’s 4-0 rout of Birmingham City and Blackstock took in that performance at Elland Road, 48 hours before speaking to McDermott and deciding to accept an offer from Leeds. I watched them on Sunday and it was a very good performance, a very comfortable victory,” Blackstock said. “I’m here for when the manager needs me and he’ll pick a team he thinks will win. “Every game’s different but I’m ready to come off the bench or do whatever the manager needs me to do. “I’m here for three months, not one game, and I’m raring to go. If needed I’m definitely ready. “Before I agreed to come, I sat down with the manager and went through his plans. I was very impressed with what he had to say. “There were a few clubs interested in taking me but as soon as a club like Leeds come in, it’s very difficult for other clubs to compete. It ticked all the boxes. “The ambition’s here for this club to move forward and I imagine the expectation’s very high, just like Notting am Forest where the fans demand good football and entertaining games. “The club seem to be moving in the right direction and I wanted to be part of that.” “There’ve been massive changes at Forest over the summer, a lot of investment into the squad, and for whatever reason I’ve not be involved as much as I would have liked. That’s always disappointing. “It would have been fairly easy for me to stay at Forest and be bit-part but I’ve never done that during my career. I’ve never been bit part at any of my clubs and I was missing playing on a Saturday afternoon. “I’ve not played a lot of games but my fitness feels good. In terms of match fitness, you’re not going to get that without playing and you’re never going to get sharp until you play games but I’m raring to go when the manager needs me and it’s on my mind to impress.” Blackstock is tied to a four-and a-half year deal and he has been a prominent player at the City Ground since joining Forest in 2009. Blackstock said: “What surprises you in football these days? Very little in terms of things changing quickly. That’s what happens. I’ve been at Forest for almost five years and it’s a big part of me. I’ve still got a long-term contract there and it’s definitely not over completely. It’s a case of me coming out and getting games under my belt. “In terms of a permanent deal, I can’t really talk about that because there’s no agreement between the two clubs. It’s strictly a loan for three months and it’s something we’d have to sit down and reassess in January. “Both parties at the moment are fixed on a loan but you never know what the future will bring and all I know is that for the time I’m here I’ll do my best for the club, help us pick up some results and move up the table.” 

Friday Oct 25th. Leeds attmpt to sign Lithuaniuan Leeds United were attempting to finalise a second signing in the space of 24 hours today after offering a contract to trialist defender Marius Zaliukas. The Lithuanian international is weighing up United’s terms and will be in contention to feature in tomorrow’s West Yorkshire derby at Huddersfield Town if he accepts the deal. Zaliukas, who has been out of contract for several months, joined Leeds on trial last week and played in a development-league fixture between United’s Under-21s and Sheffield Wednesday which ended 3-3 at Thorp Arch on Tuesday. The 29-year-old has previously rejected offers from Rangers and Queens Park Rangers but United manager Brian McDermott appears confident of securing his signature having initiated contract negotiations with Zaliukas’ representatives. McDermott made one breakthrough in the transfer market yesterday by securing striker Dexter Blackstock on a three-month loan from Nottingham Forest, and Blackstock will be part of the squad named at Huddersfield. “We’re trying to do a deal with Marius and we’re close to a contract,” McDermott said. “We’ll hopefully have some news on that today.” Asked if Zaliukas could be involved tomorrow, the Leeds boss said: “We’ll have to see. Possibly.” Zaliukas has been limited to appearances for Lithuania’s national side since parting company with Scottish club Hearts in the summer but he turned in a composed performance in the development squad’s draw. Speaking to the YEP after his outing, Zaliukas said: “Obviously I’m looking forward. (Leeds) are a good place, a good team and a good league. It would be a challenge. “The type of game here suits me best. I was expecting to be sorted out (with a club) a couple of months ago and my situation is probably talking for itself. It would be good to finish all that.” Zaliukas is thought to have rejected a contract at QPR due to doubts about his prospects of regular involvement under Harry Redknapp, and the London club filled the defensive vacancy in their squad on Wednesday by signing USA international Oguchi Onyewu. McDermott is likely to stick with his existing back three of Tom Lees, Scott Wootton and Jason Pearce against Huddersfield but those three players have an average age of 23 and Zaliukas would offer an older alternative to them. “He’s got experience, he’s tough and strong and for me you always try to build from the back,” McDermott said. “We’re trying to get that part of our team right. “We’ve got three younger lads who are doing a great job and did a great job against Birmingham last weekend but they’d benefit from having him around.” United’s boss, meanwhile, refused to shed any further light on the situation surrounding winger Ryan Hall, who Leeds suspended for a breach of discipline on Monday. Hall has been banished from Thorp Arch for up to two weeks on full pay following comments made by him on Twitter last weekend, and the players’ union – the Professional Footballers’ Association – is working to resolve the dispute. McDermott said: I can’t really comment. I got a phone call from David Haigh (United’s managing director) regarding that and the club have done what they’ve done. We’ll see what the outcome will be.”

Dexter

Thurs Oct 24th. Loan Striker signs on. Nottingham Forest striker Dexter Blackstock is joining the club on a three-month loan. The 27-year-old arrives in a loan deal that will see him join the club until January 25 to further boost Brian McDermott’s striking options. Blackstock, who has scored 83 career goals in 306 appearances, brings a wealth of experience, having also featured heavily for Southampton and QPR, and is a player that the United manager knows well. The boss said: “I’ve known Dexter for a long time, being brought up in Oxford. I’m really pleased we’ve managed to secure his services. “He’s a really good age for a striker and I’m sure he has many good years in front of him. We are all really looking forward to working with him.” The striker is likely to go straight into the squad for Saturday’s trip to Huddersfield. The way BMac is talking it looks like it is full time deal he has in mind for Blackstock.

Lithuanian

Weds Oct 23rd. Lithuanian and Blacktock to sign ? Marius Zaliukas will return to Thorp Arch for talks with Brian McDermott tomorrow after edging closer to a contract offer from Leeds United. The Lithuanian staked his claim for a deal with an appearance for United’s development squad yesterday and he will speak to McDermott about his future in the next 24 hours. United secured international clearance in time for out-of-contract Zaliukas to play on trial in a 3-3 draw with Sheffield Wednesday, and McDermott has not ruled out the possibility of adding the former Heart of Midlothian captain to his senior squad. Zaliukas is available on a free transfer having rejected offers from Scottish club Rangers and Championship side Queens Park Rangers, both of whom took the centre-back on trial after his summer release from Hearts. McDermott admitted last week that he was keen to add an experienced central defender to United’s existing pool of Tom Lees, Jason Pearce and Scott Wootton, and Zaliukas looked largely comfortable against a Wednesday line-up featuring 6’6” striker Atdhe Nuhiu.  Zaliukas told the YEP: It was a hard game because I don’t know a lot of the players here and that makes communication quite difficult, but basically it was good.” Asked if he was hopeful of winning a deal at Elland Road, Zaliukas said: “You would have to ask the gaffer. Obviously I’m looking forward. It’s a good place, a good team and a good league. It would be a challenge.“The type of game here suits me best. I was expecting to be sorted out (with a club) a couple of months ago and my situation is probably talking for itself. It would be good to finish all that.” McDermott watched Zaliukas’ performance at Thorp Arch alongside assistant manager Nigel Gibbs and he hinted that an offer to the defender could be forthcoming after his short trial. Zaliukas is understood to have resisted the chance to join QPR due to doubts about the likelihood of him playing regularly under Harry Redknapp but the West London side remain interested in the Lithuania international. McDermott said: You can see his experience and I thought he was comfortable.“He hasn’t played a lot of games but he did play for Lithuania against Edin Dzeko last week. There’s a good player there. “I’m not in two minds about him but I need to have discussions with my staff and go from there. We’ll bring him back in tomorrow and have a conversation.” Leeds United remain on course to sign striker Dexter Blackstock before Saturday’s derby at Huddersfield Town, with a coy Brian McDermott saying: “Watch this space.” United are working to finalise a deal to bring Blackstock to Elland Road from Nottingham Forest after scuppering an attempt by Championship rivals Brighton and Hove Albion to take him to the south coast. Blackstock’s availability has alerted several clubs with Forest keen to offload a player who signed a new four-and-a-half year deal in January but appears increasingly surplus to the requirements of Forest manager Billy Davies. Leeds have been searching for a forward for the past month and Blackstock’s arrival on an initial month’s loan would give United manager McDermott his first signing since the end of FIFA’s summer transfer window. Asked about the 27-year-old, McDermott said: “He’s a Forest player. “I think Brighton are interested in him and a number of clubs are interested. Watch this space.” Brighton expected to tie up the signing of Oxford-born hitman Blackstock at the beginning of this week but an expression of interest from Leeds thwarted their attempt to secure him.

Mon Oct 21st. Blackstock linked with loan move to Leeds. Dexter Blackstock has been linked with  loan move from Notts Forest to Leeds. Following from Nottingham Herald : LEEDS look set to beat Brighton in the race to sign Nottingham Forest striker Dexter Blackstock on loan. Blackstock has endured a frustrating season with the Reds, finding himself well down the pecking order among the long list of City Ground front men. The 27-year-old has made only one league appearance for the Reds this season, starting in the 1-1 draw at Charlton early in the month. Blackstock only signed a new four-and-a-half year deal last season – and was an integral figure during manager Billy Davies’ first spell at Forest. But the former QPR man has subsequently seemingly fallen out of favour since and a move to the Championship side on the south coast could be a perfect solution for all parties. Both Wolves and Huddersfield had an interest in Blackstock over the summer but the player was not keen on dropping down into League One to join the West Midlands club and the Terriers were put off by the striker’s wages, which are understood to be in excess of £15,000 a week. Brighton were prepared to cover a significant portion of those wages, as they look to address an injury crisis at the Amex. Nathan Jones, the club’s assistant head coach revealed that the Seagulls were keen to add a striker on loan. “We are looking for someone who will score goals, with presence,” he said.“We think we have him but we have just got to finalise everything.” But they now look to have been beaten to the punch by Leeds United, who are now favourites to sign the powerful front man. The deal is likely to see Blackstock remain at Elland Road until January at least, when the situation could be reviewed and a possible extension agreed. Blackstock has scored 84 goals in 311 appearances for Forest, QPR, Derby, Plymouth and Southampton during his career to date. But, if you include Greg Halford – who Davies now regards as an attacking option – then Forest have eight strikers on their books currently and, if the deal is completed, manager Davies could even use some of the money the club save to bring in a loan striker himself. Blackstock has something we don’t have up front with any of our other attacking options……lightening pace

Mon Oct 21st. Hall is suspended by Leeds. LEEDS UNITED have confirmed that winger Ryan Hall has been suspended by the club pending an investigation into a disciplinary issue. The 25-year-old was informed of the punishment yesterday – which means the winger must stay away from Elland Road while an internal investigation takes place – when he returned from a month-long loan spell at Sheffield United. Leeds, who are keen on bringing Nottingham Forest striker Dexter Blackstock in on loan, then released the news of Hall’s suspension via an official statement, confirming only that a “disciplinary issue” was the cause. The Yorkshire Post understands that Hall’s use of social media platform Twitter over the past week or so is behind the player being told to stay away. Last weekend, Hall, after being omitted from the Blades’ squad to face Port Vale, made a controversial reference to his footballing situation when he tweeted: “Look on the bright side if your (sic) not getting played take the L out and get payed (sic).” When criticised for displaying such an attitude by a number of Leeds fans over Twitter, Hall replied: “Football is such a short career and can end at anytime with an injury so do whatever you can to earn as much money as possible.” On Sunday morning, he then further annoyed his critics by tweeting: Just woke up and seen all these tweets(.) what small minded people.” It is, however, a message from a Leeds fan that Hall retweeted to his 16,000 plus followers that is likely to have landed him in hot water. Supporter Carl Smith wrote a message directly to the Leeds winger that read: “Ryan Hall comes on and sets up a goal from a decent cross. Something we’ve been missing all season so wake up McDermott.” By re-tweeting the message on October 13, Hall could be seen to have endorsed the sentiment. It is unclear what punishment he could face if Leeds find him guilty of breaking club rules on the use of social network websites. The 25-year-old, whose contract runs until the summer of 2015, has endured a miserable time at Elland Road since joining last season under then manager Neil Warnock. He has made just two starts for Leeds and was loaned out to Sheffield United earlier this season. However, after featuring five times, Hall was dropped from the squad to face Port Vale last Saturday and has now returned to Leeds. This is not the first time that Twitter has caused problems for the Elland Road club with former manager Simon Grayson banning all his players from using the platform during his time in charge. Grayson had been angered by news of a serious injury to Davide Somma being revealed by the player and took the step of preventing any United players from posting on the site to prevent a repeat. Leeds, meanwhile, are keen on bringing Blackstock in on loan to pep up an attack that, even allowing for Sunday’s 4-0 win over Birmingham City, has scored just 14 goals in 12 outings this term. The striker has previously been linked with a possible move to Brighton & Hove Albion. Hall’s one-month loan at Sheffield United expired after the Blades’ League One clash with Port Vale at Bramall Lane at the weekend, although the player was not involved in the encounter with the Valiants. Hall, due back at Leeds after the loan period with the Blades, made controversial reference on Saturday on his Twitter account to his footballing situation, tweeting: “Look on the bright side if your not getting played take the L out and get payed. “Football is such a short career and can end at anytime with an injury so do whatever you can to earn as much money as possible.” No further comment will be made at this stage by the club, a Leeds United statement read. Hall is a silly boy ! Me thinks he played his last game for Leeds.

Sun Oct 20th United romp past BrumUNITED 4 (McCormack 18, Austin 33, Smith 45, 74), BIRMINGHAM 0. United: Kenny, Lees, Wootton, Pearce, Byram, Warnock, Mowatt, Austin (Brown 90), Murphy, McCormack, Smith. Subs. Cairns, Peltier, Pugh, Varney, Poleon. Referee: P Tierney Booked: Warnock (Leeds), Bartley (Birmingham). Att: 21,301 (Report from LUFC website)

For the return to action following the international break United manager Brian McDermott made a number of changes to his starting line-up. The changes saw Luke Murphy, Scott Wootton, Matt Smith and Sam Byram come back into the side. The game against Birmingham also saw a change to the system with Brian McDermott playing three centre halves with Byram and Stephen Warnock adding to United’s attacking options as the wing-backs. Both sides went into the international break on the back of league defeats but it was United who looked the more likely in the opening minutes of the game. United wide man Byram was sent down the right hand side by Rudy Austin and only a good block prevented an attempt on goal. With just eight minutes gone United had a great chance to take the lead. Warnock curled a cross for the advancing Ross McCormack and the Birmingham clearance left the Scot through on goal. Darren Randolph in the Birmingham goal made himself look big and saved McCormack’s shot. Following McCormack’s chance United put numberous balls into the box but the away defence managed to clear their advances. Jason Pearce had United’s best chance, when from a corner the defender headed just over while under pressure. ROSS McCORMACK SCORES LEEDS FIRST GOALMoments later the away goal was under threat once again from a McCormack strike. Austin played the ball perfectly into his path but Randolph was on hand again to thwart the striker with a good save. The away sides first real chance of the afternoon came after 15 minutes when Chris Burke was put through to the right of the goal but his shot didn’t trouble Paddy Kenny and went wide of the mark. In the 18th minute United’s pressure told when at the third time of asking McCormack gave his team the lead. United skipper Austin created the goal by disposessing Randolph, but as the keeper left his area to win the ball back it was played to the feet of McCormack. The striker had the pressence of mind to coolly curl the ball home and give United a deserved lead. Just minutes after the opening goal the away side had the ball in the back of the net but the effort was ruled out as Lee Novak was seen to be in an off side position. As the the half hour mark was approaching the away side were gifted a chance on the United goal after a poor clearance. It was Burke that had the attempt on goal but once again his shot went wide of the right hand post. Although Birmingham were begining to have possesion in the United half it was the home side that doubled their lead on 33 minutes. Following great work by McCormack on the left hand the Scot created an opening to cross for Austin, who made no mistake in front of goal and headed the ball into the back of the net. SmithandAustinvBhamWith half time approaching the away side offered very little going forward and it was United who continued to attack. And right on the stroke of half time United added another goal through the impressive Smith. The big forward had been a handful throughout the first period and when the ball travelled into his path after a McCormack shot was saved, he played the ball perfectly past Randolph to give United a three goal lead at the interval. At the start of the second half Birmingham City manager Lee Clark made two changes to his side. He introduced Nikola Zigic and Andrew Shinnie in place of Lee Novak and Dan Burn. Shinnie almost made an instant impact but the attacker’s strike from just outside the box went wide. On the hour mark United had a golden chance to put the game beyond the away side. McCormack played Austin through on goal with a superb pass but the midfielder found the legs of Randolph with his strike. Moments later the away side were close to pulling on back but a brilliant goal-line clearance from Tom Lees kept United’s lead to three. The away side finally called Kenny into action in the 65th minute as he made his first save of the game. Birmingham substitute Zigic had the ball on the edge of the box but his shot was turned over the bar brilliantly by the United keeper. United’s goal continued to come under threat just minutes later as David Murphy struck a sweet free-kick but his effort hit Kenny’s post. As the clock struck 70 minutes the second half burst into life with chances coming at both ends in just a matter of minutes. Burke saw another effort cleared of the line and Randolph pulled out an unbelievable save from Smith. RudyvBhamBut minutes later Smith wasn’t to be denied again as the striker doubled his goals for the afternoon to make it 4-0. Austin and Alex Mowatt combined superbly and the 18-year-old’s pin-point cross was met by Smith whose thunderous header beat Randolph. The fourth goal really ended the tie as a contest and the remaining quarter of an hour past by with United in control of the game. Leeds boss Brian McDermott was full of praise for Ross McCormack after his display in the 4-0 win over Birmingham on Sunday. Top scorer McCormack hit the first goal and had a major part in two others as Leeds romped to their biggest home win since a 4-0 eclipse of Shrewsbury in the Capital Cup at the start of last season. Birmingham’s defence was a shambles and it was ruthlessly exposed as giant striker Matt Smith helped himself to two goals and all-action skipper Rodolph Austin was also rewarded with a downward header past overworked Birmingham keeper Darren Randolph. Delighted Leeds manager Brian McDermott said:The board backed me on Ross when they were offered good money for him [by Middlesbrough] and didn’t take it. “His goal was special, he worked very hard and his partnership with Matt Smith was very good.” It was only Leeds’ second win in seven games and McDermott added: “We managed to get some width into the team and that was important. “My teams have always had width, as anyone who saw Reading when I was there will tell you. “We spoke beforehand about having a winning mentality. The more games you play, the more you learn how to win and we got closer to where we want to be.” McDermott explained that he took Austin off just before the end so the Leeds crowd could show their appreciation of his efforts. “He led by example and I wanted him to see what the fans thought of him,” said the Leeds boss. This was a very positive performance from a vibrant Leeds team who were all comfortable in their proper positions . The back four was solid, composed with the wing backs, Byram in particular very dangerous going forward, and dare I say it almost back to his deadly best. Warnock on the other flank had a good game and made some vital interceptions at the back. Mowatt, every time he plays looks more and more like a young Gary Speed, and Murphy at last is showing glimpses of the £1M player we bought.The engine of Rudy is extraordinary, and he deserved his man of the match award. McCormack’s clever running into the channels and link up play with the ever improving big Matt Smith portrays our best striking partnership by a country mile, and all in all the best 11 seem to be on the park today. Leeds never fail to surprise or disappoint in equal measures so we will not get carried away. Our squad is razor thin and we lack three or four quality players. In the lottery that is known as the Championship one would think that the next four games present a marvelous opportunity to provide us with getting points on the board against the likes of Huddersfield, Yeovil, Charlton and M’bro but I do say that with my foot firmly in my mouth. Let’s enjoy today and the 4-0 rout and performance against a side we lost to in the league consecutively five times. Now when are we playing Derby again ( a side we lost against ten times in a row) ?

Zaliukas

Oct 18. Lithuanian skipper joins Leeds on trial. Former Hearts skipper Marius Zaliukas is training with Brian McDermott’s squad at Thorp Arch. The Lithuanian international defender made over 200 appearances for the Edinburgh side and was close to joining Queens Park Rangers before heading north. “He came on the radar a long time ago,” said the boss. “He’s been at QPR, and he’s an experienced player. He’s here for a number of days and he has a good pedigree. “He’s 29, he’s captained Hearts, and to have that bit more experience is important. We have some good young centre halves here, but to add to that with some experience would be good.” While Zaluikas is the only new face currently at Thorp Arch, it isn’t for the lack of trying as the boss looks to utilise the loan market to strengthen his squad. “I’ve made six enquiries for players we targeted,” he said. “For whatever reason we couldn’t get them over the line. “I know I’ve said it before, but I’m not going to take players for the sake of it. There is money to bring loan signings in if we can find the right one”.

Sat Oct 3rd McDermotts’s Response. Brian McDermott is now commanding his team to start more positively in a bid to avoid chasing games. “You are disappointed when you lose the first goal, which we have done too many times this season,” the former Reading boss told BBC Sport. “In the last two games we have let ourselves down away from home but before I turned up here I think we had 21 games away from home and won one. “We need to get a mentality away from home where we are very difficult to play against and we weren’t today. “We played a lot of football today in the middle of the pitch but you are judged on what you do in both boxes and we weren’t good enough there. “We need a winning mentality. When I was at Reading two years ago when we hardly had any points on the board after 10 games and we just clicked into place and we worked on that.”

WillKeane

Oct 16th Leeds want Man United’s KeaneLeeds United boss Brian McDermott is expected to intensify his efforts in the coming days to bring in a new striker – with young Manchester United frontman Will Keane the latest name to be linked with a move. McDermott, whose side return to Championship action at home to Birmingham City on Sunday, was reportedly at the Red Devils’ Carrington training ground on Thursday to watch the England U21 forward for their reserves in a behind-closed-doors friendly against the Blues. Derby County, Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers are also interested in the 20-year-old. Stockport-born Keane, who was sidelined for the whole of last season after rupturing his cruciate ligaments, has found the net regularly since returning to action for the Old Trafford side’s under-21 side. A loan spell in the Football League is set to be the next step in the development of the highly-rated 6ft 2in striker, whose twin brother Michael also plays for the club and who spent a productive temporary stint in the Championship at Leicester City last season – where he scored a late equaliser for the Foxes in the 1-1 draw with Leeds in early March. Only three other second-tier clubs – Bolton Wanderers, Charlton Athletic and Yeovil Town –have scored fewer league goals than the Whites so far this this term, heightening McDermott’s need to bolster his forward ranks. He saw a potential move to bring back Elland Road old boy Luciano Becchio rebuffed by Norwich City earlier this month, with United chairman Salah Nooruddin having promised McDermott funds to bring in loan recruitments and given him clearance to do so. Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that Ryan Hall’s loan spell at Sheffield United will be completed this weekend, contrary to reports that it had already expired. It had been thought that the 25-year-old’s 28-day temporary stint finished after the Blades’ 3-2 loss at Northampton Town on Sunday, but he is available for the club’s home clash with Port Vale at the weekend. But Hall’s future could be in limbo again following the Valiants clash with it remaining to be seen whether managerless United opt to try and re-sign him on a temporary basis once their managerial situation is resolved. Hall had recently spoken openly about remaining with the Blades ahead of David Weir’s axing after just 13 games in charge with his Elland Road future appearing uncertain. The 25-year-old has started three matches for the South Yorkshiremen and made a further two substitute appearances in a personally productive loan spell, despite the Blades’ toils at the foot of the League One table. Immediately following his move down the M1, McDermott revealed that he was not ‘writing off’ Hall’s chances of a renaissance with Leeds. Although as it stands, Hall has featured just once under McDermott – as a late substitute against Watford on the final day of last season – with the Blades beating off interest from League One rivals and South Yorkshire neighbours Rotherham United to sign him last month.

Oct 17th. No nearer any new loan arrivalsLeeds boss Brian McDermott is no closer to any loan deals this week, after revealing he had made “five or six” enquiries, only for the approaches to be knocked back all by Premiership clubs. The news will come as a disappointment to Leeds fans, with a striker and a winger classed as a top priority by chairman Salah Nooruddin. The board have recently given the green light for McDermott to make moves in the emergency loan market, with short-term wages “not an issue” according to the Leeds chairman. Finances don’t look to be an issue at this moment in time, but the lack of financial firepower in the summer has left McDermott with a more difficult task. Premier League clubs are keen to keep hold of players in their 25-man squads, in case injuries occur. The likes of Luciano Becchio, who to any of us would be seen as an available option, is being kept at Norwich, due to other injured strikers. The quality of player that McDermott is looking for are currently beyond reach, although this could change in the coming days. The expectation from the loyal Leeds fan base has increased the pressure on McDermott to make signings, but in an ideal world, he wouldn’t need to make them. McDermott has emphasised his belief that the current squad has what it takes to improve and learn from the mistakes made in the last few games. The likes of Ross McCormack and Noel Hunt have under performed in recent weeks, while the midfield area has lacked cutting edge, aside from academy starlet Alex Mowatt. Improvements are expected from McDermott on the training ground, ahead of Sunday’s fixture at home to Birmingham. Brian McDermott himself can be accountable if players aren’t signed before the emergency window closes. McDermott has never been a fan of the loan market, but has stated he will make additions if the right players become available. Many managers use the loan market to give their squads more depth, but that can be far from the case in Leeds’ current predicament. signings need to significantly improve on the starting XI rather than simply make up the numbers. If McDermott can pull off a signing, then he has the backing to make it happen. Names in the media have been scarce at best, with the likes of Will Keane the pick of a very small bunch. Swansea City striker Leroy Lita has now joined Brighton on a short-term loan, ruling out any move to Leeds. Lita is arguably the highest profile player to make a loan move to the championship, while other clubs have been active in bringing in trialists. The activity being shown by other clubs in the division is being enviously viewed by the Leeds faithful.

Oct 16th. Mowatt on his star rise. Young midfielder Alex Mowatt has become a regular in Brian McDermott’s side in recent weeks and is enjoying life as a member of the first team squad at Elland Road.NEWCASTLE V LEEDS 25/09/2013Alex admits to finding it strange that supporters are now asking for autographs but the 18-year-old says that his performances are his main priority. The midfielder remains level headed and says that if he has a bad game he would rather be told so that he can improve and go in the right direction. “It’s been different,” admitted the youngster. “Travelling away and things like that as I have never done that before. Also at home games when fans are asking me to sign things, it’s been really different. “When people have pictures of you to sign, it’s a bit weird really. “I think the first time that someone asked me for an autograph was at the Chesterfield game in the Cup when I was on the bench for the first time. “It’s a lot different from reserve team football. I’ve been playing alright lately but we haven’t got the results. When the results get better it will obviously get better for me as well. “When you are playing and you are not getting the results you always think to yourself was it my fault? If I don’t play well I’d rather someone told me that I haven’t played well. And then if I have a good game they can tell me I’ve played well.” Alex now has five United appearances to his name with three coming in the Championship and two during the opening rounds of the Capital One Cup. He was thrown in at the deep end by United manager Brian McDermott as his second appearance came at Newcastle’s St. James’ Park. Alex says that the pressure of first time football doesn’t get to him and that it is an exciting time. “I train with the first team all the time now,” said Alex. “Before I used to be with the Under-21s as well but I feel a part of it all, when you are training with them and playing games as well. “On coach journeys I am sat with Rudy and Jason Pearce so I probably speak to them the most out of the squad and they advise me a lot. “I’m really excited with playing and training with the first team. I really enjoy going to new stadiums and playing so it’s very exciting for me. “Playing at Newcastle was brilliant, the stadium is massive. And then getting a taste at Elland Road, the atmosphere was unbelievable. Then playing at Millwall was a different experience. “I don’t feel the pressure. I just try and focus on the game as you don’t want to have your mind on any other stuff. Just need to focus on the game and play.”

Sat Oct 5th. Leeds lose for 10th time in a row to Derby. DERBY 3 (Martin 20, Russell 22, Hughes 78), UNITED 1 (Pearce 45).United: Kenny, Peltier, Lees, Pearce, Warnock, Austin, Green (Poleon 62), Mowatt, Tonge (Diouf 76), McCormack, Hunt (Smith 62). Subs. Cairns, Byram, Murphy, Varney.Referee: G Eltringham Att: 26,204 United manager Brian McDermott named an unchanged side for the trip to Pride Park to face Derby County after picking up three points in midweek against Bournemouth. The game saw Steve McClaren take charge of the Rams for the first time and the home side had an early effort on goal. Following a defensive mix-up Lee Hughes tried chipping Paddy Kenny but his effort failed to dip and went over the bar. Rudy Austin had United’s first real chance at goal in the 10th minute. Alex Mowatt played Stephen Warnock down the left and the full back crossed into the danger area. Lee Grant came for the cross but mistimed his catch and the ball fell to Austin at the back post but his shot flew over the bar. Ross McCormack and Noel Hunt were once again partnered up front and the pair combined well with United’s first corner of the afternoon. McCormack took the corner kick and Hunt rose well in the box but couldn’t turn his headed attempt goalwards. United had the better of the opening chances but it was the home side that took the lead in the 20th minute. Jamie Ward and Chris Martin played the ball well in the United defence to eventually leave Martin with just Kenny to beat. The forward put his foot through the ball and gave Kenny no chance. Derby doubled their advantage just two minutes later when they attacked down the right hand side. Johnny Russell was the man who took the shot on and beat Kenny with a superb strike. Following the home side’s two goals in two minutes United began to settle back into the game. Half chances came the way of Mowatt and Micheal Tonge but United couldn’t capitalise with Grant making some good saves. Young United midfielder Mowatt was causing the home side problems and created a chance for McCormack with the half coming to a close. Mowatt beat three men and then crossed for the McCormack but the ball was just too far in front of the onrushing striker. In the final minute of the half United pulled one back through Jason Pearce following a free kick on the right hand side. Mowatt whipped the ball in and after a short clearance Lee Peltier delivered the ball to the back post where Paul Green headed it across the box for Pearce to head home. It was an open and end to end game during the first 15 minutes of the second period. Austin had United’s best chance but good defending prevented his strike troubling the home goal. It was Derby’s second goalscorer of the afternoon that had a chance for the home side when worked the space with Martin but but his shot went wide of the mark.In the 62nd minute Brian McDermott freshened up his attacking options by introducing Matt Smith and Dominic Poleon in place of Hunt and Green. United were the team looking more dangerous going forward with 20 minutes to go. A McCormack strike from distance looked to be troubling Grant after it took a wicked deflection but it bounced just wide of the post. With United looking for the goal that would level the contest they were dealt a cruel blow when Hughes restored the home side’s two-goal advantage. On 78 minutes the midfielder ran straight at the United defence and tricked his way through to send an unstoppable shot at goal. Hughes’ goal with 12 minutes to go proved to be enough to put seal on the result and keep their winning run going against United. Not good enough by a long shot and we know Brian is short of quality players but he now has a fortnight to get a couple of players in.

Tues Oct 2nd. “Play me up front and I’ll score “- McCormack. (We know we know we know) McCormack has been playing in a more withdrawn role under present boss Brian McDermott and previous boss Neil Warnock but with Leeds desperate for goals, McCormack is keen to be given an extended run in attack. Speaking on the official website , McCormack said, “I`ve probably not played up front as a two since Simon Grayson left. “But I`ll maintain what I said that if I play up front I`ll score goals. “It keeps getting mentioned that we need a striker but I`m ready to step up and notch a few. “I can`t speak for the other players saying that they are going to do this or that.  “But what I can say is that I believe if I play up front and balls come into the box I`ll score goals. Hopefully I can prove that over the coming months.” The 27-year-old didn`t let a penalty miss in the first half affect his confidence as he got on the end of a Stephen Warnock cross to open the scoring in the second half, his fifth goal of the season. His goal against Bournemouth was his 34th in Leeds colours in 121 appearances since joining Leeds from Cardiff City in the summer of 2010. He managed to put a disappointing first season at Elland Road behind him, when he netted only two times, with both goals coming in the final two games of the season. The following season, his last starting as a striker at Elland Road, he netted 19 goals for boss Simon Grayson. With Leeds having netted just nine times in ten championship games so far this season, McCormack deserves the opportunity to be given a run in an attacking role.

Tues Oct 2nd. United close to “Real investment that will take us to the next level”- Chairman Leeds United chairman Salah Nooruddin claims the Championship club is close to attracting the investment required to take it to the next level”. The Bahrain-based businessman also said huge progress had been made towards achieving financial stability. He told BBC Radio Leeds: “We are very particular as to the quality and type of investor we want to bring in. “We are looking for an investor who really adds value and can help us take the club to the next level. I think something might be on the horizon” Leeds United chairman Salah Nooruddin “But we have reached a situation where I would say EllandRoadwe are close to engaging with one.” Some supporters have voiced concern at the lack of transfer funds made available to manager Brian McDermott before the transfer window closed last month. Their worries were exacerbated by the run of three defeats that preceded Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over Bournemouth - a win that lifted Leeds back up to 11th in the table. Nooruddin confirmed that McDermott had clearance to make loan signings. “We have mandated the manager to look out for someone suitable, who fits into the squad according to Brian’s view, and the sooner we get someone the better,” he said. The loan market is very tight. Brian came to us with a few names – with some we were not lucky, but we have shortlisted some and I think if we are lucky we could close with them very soon. “In the loan market I think the wage will not be a problem, because it’s for the short term. It should not be an issue and we have given Brian a clear hand to do that.” However, Nooruddin also admitted that attracting major new investment was the key to taking the club forward in the long term. There’s a lot of interest, but we are looking for an investor that really adds value and can help us take the club  to the next level,” he said. “And we’ve been sometime doing that and I think something might be on the horizon. “We need people who understand the dynamics of the football club. The reward could be huge, taking a club of Leeds’ size and magnitude into the top flight will be a magnificent achievement for an investor.“This is what prompted us to make an investment in Leeds. This is a special club, and any investment requires patience, it’s for the long term, and has to be someone who loves football. It  can’t be purely financial.” Former Reading boss McDermott was appointed as Leeds manager in April, taking over from Neil Warnock, and Nooruddin, who became chairman in August, insisted the club’s owners are happy with the 52-year-old former Reading boss. “We had a very good start [to the season] and now we are trying to settle,” he said. We are very much pleased with Brian McDermott, he shares our long-term objectives, and we are going towards that long-term objective.“You don’t have to panic. I like Brian’s style, he’s very calm, very professional, he tries to balance the interests of the owners, the club, the fans, he understands well the dynamics, and he works within those parameters.”

Tues October 1st. Leeds win on a Tuesday. UNITED 2 (McCormack 52, Poleon 80), BOURNEMOUTH 1 (Grabban 73). United: Kenny, Peltier, Lees, Pearce, Warnock, Austin, Tonge, Mowatt, Green, McCormack, Hunt (Poleon 72). Subs. Cairns, Murphy, Byram, Smith, Diouf, Varney. Referee: D Coote Booked: Austin (Leeds), Francis, Pugh (B’Mouth) Sent Off: Allsop (B’Mouth) Att: 21,749 Report from official website. United manager Brian McDermott made several changes to his starting line-up for the visit of Bournemouth on Tuesday evening. There were recalls for Tom Lees, Paul Green and Noel Hunt in place of Scott Wootton, Luke Murphy and Luke Varney after the defeat at Millwall at the weekend. There was a home debut for Alex Mowatt after making his first three United appearances on the road. The away side included former United defender and dead ball specialist Ian Harte, and there was also a debut for West Ham United loanee Jack Collison after he signed for the Cherries on Tuesday afternoon. United went into the game with the south coast side on the back of three straight league defeats, and they started the better against a side that have never recorded a victory over the Elland Road club.

ROSS McCormack gets a cross in

Ross McCormack, who was playing up front with Hunt, had an early chance to open the scoring within a matter of minutes but the striker’s shot was easy pickings for the Bournemouth keeper. McCormack’s strike partner also had a chance early on but his headed effort went wide of the mark. Much of the early pressing came from United with McCormack looking lively up top. The Scot was causing the away defence preoblems with his trickery and pace and Elland Road debutant Mowatt was pulling the strings in the midfield. A chance came United’s way on the quarter hour mark when Michael Tonge struck from distance but the strike was blocked well. United’s dominance of possession continued as the half went on, a Lee Peltier cross on the 25 minute mark led to another chance coming the way of McCormack. Peltier’s cross bounced off a number of players in the Bournemouth area but the important touch came from Rudy Austin. The Jamaican’s inadvertant pass fell to McCormack who shot at goal but a superb save from Ryan Allsop stopped United taking the lead. Moments later the away side’s first strike on goal came from Lewis Grabban but the forward could only watch as his strike from distance went over Paddy Kenny’s crossbar. On the hour mark United’s pressure led to Hunt winning a penalty for the home side. Allsop was the Bournemouth man who ran towards the ball with the Irishman getting the vital first touch the keeper brought him down. The keeper was seen to have prevented a goalscoring opportunity and was shown a straight red card. McCormack took the spot kick, but the away substitute keeper Darryl Flahavan saved well down to his left with his first touch of the game. The away goal was living a charmed life during the closing stages of the first half with multiple United efforts homing in on its target. Goal attempts from Peltier, Austin, McCormack and finally Tom Lees were either blocked, saved or missed the target, as the 10 men of Bournemouth stood strong as the first half came to an end. With just seven minutes of the second half played the 10 men of Bournemouth were broken down. Mowatt releashed Warnock down the left hand side who delivered brilliantly for McCormack who made no mistake in passing the ball into the back of the net. The opening goal gave United control in the game as the home side continued to have the majority of the ball. On the hour mark Austin tried his luck from distance but the Bournemouth keeper got his body behind the ball well to save. The away side rallied together after the hour past when on loan West Ham midfielder showed his Premier League clash to strike at Kenny’s goal. Although the United keeper had been a spectator for most of the evening he was equal to the effort and saved well. The following 10 minutes of the game brought the away sides best spell of the match. Bournemouth forward brought Elland Road to silence when he got on the end of a headed ball forward to smash the ball past Kenny from close range to level the tie on 73 minutes. United responded to the equaliser by McCormack seeing two shots in quick succession blocked by the away defence. Moments later United came even closer but Dominic Poleon’s effort was saved brilliantly by Flahavan. But the United substitute wasn’t to be denied just minutes later when he restored the Whites advantage on 80 minutes. Jason Pearce’s looping header in the Bournemouth box teed up Poleon perfectly in the middle of the area and the striker blasted the ball past the keeper for his first league goal of the season. Leeds held on to claim the three points. Okay the plus points are we won the match and move up two places to 11th. It was a Tuesday match and we won the match. In real terms we played against ten men for over 70 minutes and we found it hard to break them down. Noel Hunt still hasn’t scored a competitive goal despite making the penalty. Diouf should have been brought on earlier for his craft, nous and class. Derby who came back from the dead tonight and who are a side who have a fantastic record against Leeds (plus with new manager Brolly McClaren) will be an altogether tougher nut to crack. Once again this match most likely will be featured live on SportlemonTV. We need width and a classy striker would not go amiss, but Ross McCormack to be really affective, he must be played up front.

Tues Oct 1st.McDermott looks for response. United manager Brian McDermott will be looking for a response from his side against Bournemouth at Elland Road on Tuesday (7.45pm). United return to action on the back of a 2-0 reverse at Millwall on Saturday when both goals were conceded during a disappointing second half performance at the Den. “The players were disappointed with the second half,” said the boss. “You look back at the games we’ve been involved in we haven’t had too many performances like in that second half. The most important thing now is to find a result against Bournemouth. “Millwall put a lot of balls into the box and if we’d have matched them like we did in the first half we’d have won the game, but we didn’t, and I don’t know where that came from.” The reverse means United go into Tuesday’s game looking to end a barren run of four successive defeats. “Two weeks ago we were fifth after winning at Bolton, and that’s how quickly things change,” said the boss. “You can’t get carried away, you have to stay on a level. You get reactions after defeats, and you have to stay on the level. “We had a half where we weren’t good enough, that happens, and you have to move on to the next game, which is Bournemouth. You look at what’s happened, you take the criticism, and you move on and try and win your next game.”