“We have to be open and honest with fans”

Tues 23rd of April. McDermott ready for crunch talks Leeds boss Brian McDermott says the club need to be more open and honest in order to fix the issues which are holding the Whites back. The Elland Road outfit will finish mid-table in the Championship this season due to an horrendous away record which hampered any hopes the Yorkshire club had of achieving promotion. Leeds’ failure to challenge for the top six resulted in Neil Warnock’s departure last month, with McDermott installed as the club’s fifth permanent manager in five years. The former Reading boss believes Leeds can put themselves in a position to challenge for promotion next season but admits that there will need to be changes if they are to return to the Premier League. “This club has spent 10 years trying to get into the next league,” McDermott told the club’s official website. “We have to be open, we have to be honest and we have to be open with the fans. We have to be open with ourselves. “I’ll be open with the board, the chief executive and I will say exactly what I feel needs to be done and that’s why they have brought me here. “There are a number of issues that I have seen, nothing major, but there are things here that I would regard as an irritant more than anything else. “We can take care of these as a group, the club as a whole and that would take away any little issues that players and staff could have and we need to make sure we all go in the same direction.”

Sat April 21st 2013. Birmingham City 0-1 Leeds United. Kenny, Byram, Lees, Pearce, Warnock, Green, Austin (Drury 83), Tonge (Peltier 62), McCormack, Varney, Diouf (Morison 74) Subs not used Ashdown, White, Habibou, Brown. Leeds lost for the first time since the arrival of Brian McDermott as they continue to struggle on their travels. Birmingham won 1-0 with a goal from one of his former players at Reading scoring the only goal of the game. Hayden Mullins was quickest to react and prod home from close range after Paddy Kenny could only parry a Nathan Redmond shot. Leeds rarely threatened Jack Butland in the Birmingham goal. Michael Tonge saw an effort tipped over in the first half by Butland and Rodolph Austin forced him into a full-length dive in the second half but it was a fairly low-key game. Ravel Morrison and Nathan Redmond caused Leeds problems with their pace and Morrison came closest to opening the scoring in the first half when his effort hit the crossbar.
Ross McCormack saw his free-kick skim the top of the crossbar in the second half before Mullins scored the only goal of the game. In the tightest of championships this season, it was an afternoon that ruled both clubs out of any chance of a play-off place as well as relegation on the same day. Brian McDermott : “When I arrived at the club I put my reputation on the line and to make sure Leeds remained in this division. So far as I am concerned it is job done. “Everyone must be going in the same direction. If that occurs in this club you have a major chance.” McDermott also revealed he would be seeking assurances about bringing in new players for an assault on promotion from the Championship next season. He added: “I think we have to talk about who needs to come in. If we can add to the squad with good quality players who know this division we should progress. “Leeds were possibly in trouble when I came in. I am delighted with the boys. They played two games at home and we won them both. They were pressure games.” It’s better that Brian McDermott finds out now that some of the players left to him by Warnock are dross. We need width, pace and a striker for starters. Job one of staying up is completed. Job two of earning promotion whilst simultaneously raiding the accounts of GFH will be more difficult.


McDermott and Redfearn

Saturday April 20th 2013. McDermott building bridges with both players and supporters – Hay The cynic in you says that part of the appeal of Brian McDermott is the fact that he’s someone other than Neil Warnock. Deposed managers underwhelm on every level; their replacements benefit from helpfully-low standards. Better philosophy, greater vision, more in touch: McDermott’s reputation after a week at his desk. The same was said of Warnock, Simon Grayson and Gary McAllister. There is nothing at Leeds United like the optimism of a fresh start. But McDermott has played his first week as manager brilliantly, in public and in private. It’s a lesson in how to approach the job of placating a cheerless club. Attractive football is not his only trick, though it is plainly a reason why McDermott has been so well received. A different face on the touchline but a different tactician too, the contrast Leeds had to draw. Their owner, GFH Capital, was acutely aware of the perception of Warnock’s style. It was aware too of how empty Elland Road has been this season. There was nothing of Warnock about McDermott’s teams at Reading and little of Warnock in his first two games as United’s manager. Watch a replay of Rudy Austin’s goal against Burnley and ask when you last saw Leeds piece together a passage of football so slick or precise. It might yet pass as goal of the season amongst meagre competition. McDermott admitted himself that there was no great secret to it. He merely told the players to go and play; to rid themselves of any lurking doubt about their ability to manipulate the ball. His tactics were well chosen, particularly against Burnley, but what more can you do with footballers overnight than massage their confidence? His predecessor left behind a squad with none. So one bridge built with the players and another built with the supporters, albeit on the understanding that two games do not a full season make. The first month of Warnock’s tenure was memorable for rousing battles with Southampton and West Ham. But McDermott’s initial results were delivered under far greater pressure. And as Leeds promised he would, he has taken himself beneath the surface of first-team football, spreading himself across the club .The 52-year-old will lodge in a hotel until he buys a family home at the end of the season so you might ask what more he can do with his time than devote it to Leeds United. That said, he has not been precious about it. On Wednesday McDermott travelled to watch United’s under-18s play Sheffield Wednesday, involving himself in the half-time team-talk. Later that day he returned to Belle Isle in Leeds for a community event at Clapgate Primary School, organised by the Leeds United Foundation. McDermott once ran a Football in the Community scheme in Slough, many years ago. He started it from scratch and with no more guidance than his own wit and common sense. If he understands established footballers then he knows the minds of younger players too. Back when Reading signed a teenager by the name of Shane Long, McDermott insisted that the striker live with him and his family while he adjusted to life away from Ireland. Long later earned Reading a fee of £6m through a transfer which McDermott allowed grudgingly. “I owe the manager,” said Long as he prepared to join West Brom. They are too professional to say it openly but certain members of staff at United’s academy found Warnock’s interest in the youth-team operations at Thorp Arch less than inspiring. There is clear enthusiasm for McDermott’s arrival, helped – naturally – by his decision to engage and embrace the existing staff. Neil Redfearn becomes first-team coach and Richard Naylor continues with the under-18s. The change of manager has not adversely affected them. But then the blood-letting which often follows a sacking should never have run deep into Thorp Arch. The academy is the one thing that Leeds are getting right.Money and stability are United’s biggest weaknesses, as McDermott must have worked out before he signed his contract. The success and security of his three-year deal is intrinsically linked to both factors. But even money is a relative barrier on the basis of his previous employment. McDermott’s most expensive signing in the Championship is Kaspars Gorkss at an estimated £900,000. In general he dealt in much smaller fees. Reading under him were like Leeds after a fashion – they earned big money rather than spend it. Their owner, Anton Zingarevich, the Russian who sacked McDermott last month, said his manager had refused to invest in January but journalists in those parts think Zingarevich’s claim is questionable. They doubt there was serious money to spend. Two of McDermott’s many comments this week resonated most strongly: the first, that he had no intention of fighting with anyone at Leeds. The second, that the club have as much to gain as he does by giving him a fighting chance. “It’s never going to be about the club backing me,” McDermott said yesterday. “The club aren’t backing me. The club are backing themselves. “I don’t ever want it to be ‘we’re backing you’. No – you’re backing the players, the staff, everyone.” Just as he has these past seven days.


“Wasted Season”

Sat April 20th 2013. This season’s been a waste of time – McCormack Fans’ favourite Ross McCormack chats to Phil Hay about all things United and his hopes for next season under Boss Brian McDermott. Yorkshire prides itself on talking straight so Ross McCormack is well at home in the county. Leeds United’s previous management team saw his honesty in spades when, on a day of their dismissal, he reacted to a fine goal against Derby County by running in their direction shouting obscenities. He apologised later for X-rated words in celebration”, describing himself as “” on Twitter. But this is a season deserving of the McCormack treatment; a season without many redeeming features. If I’m being honest it’s been a complete waste,” he says. “Both personally and for the team. I could talk about luck or make excuses but I wouldn’t be kidding anybody.” Quite so. This time last year McCormack was sniffing around for his 20th goal of the season as Leeds laboured towards the end of an equally tepid term. Through his own form he earned consolation and the YEP’s player of the year award. But in the past nine months the niggles have been plentiful – eight goals, regularly used out of position and annoyed by Leeds’ inability to take advantage of a league which is still at the mercy of so many teams. At the end of Tuesday’s victory over Burnley, United lay six points behind the Championship’s play-off positions. This in a year when they have lost more games than they have won. Brian McDermott, their new and immediately popular manager, remarked ruefully that another six fixtures would be nice with United’s results turning for the better. “The trouble is, we’ve played 43 already,” McCormack concedes. “We are where we are.” His former club Cardiff City were promoted from the Championship on Tuesday and could win the title this afternoon. Reports from Wales depict a side who merit no higher praise than the word consistent. “From what I know of them, they haven’t been world’s apart,” McCormack says, “but when they don’t win games they pick up points. When they don’t play well, they pick up points. “These days that seems to be what the Championship’s about. You don’t have to catch the eye. You just have to get it right more often than not. It’s been there for the taking. “I look at the division even now and it’s so tight. I think about the opportunities we’ve missed and the games we’ve thrown away. I can’t say it’s bad luck that we’re not in the play-offs but I can’t remember a game where we’ve had a huge slice of luck either. I think that’s fair. But at the same time, I don’t want that to sound like an excuse. It doesn’t explain everything.”Explaining everything is an essay in itself. There are some who will see the failure of this season in the context of a takeover by GFH Capital which took seven months to complete, went through around Christmas and, as yet, has offered little assurance about the stability of the company’s ownership model. Others will argue, as they have all year, that the squad at Elland Road was never adequate for promotion. More recently, Neil Warnock – the manager sacked by Leeds on April 1, the day of McCormack’s goal against Derby – attracted the same criticism. Two games in, McDermott is already being seen as a breath of fresh air. “A hurricane,” as one member of staff at Leeds put it this week. McCormack’s relationship was Warnock was always difficult to gauge. Warnock attempted to sell him last summer but relented and offered him an improved three-year deal after the sale of Robert Snodgrass left the cupboard bare. The Scotland international played regularly under Warnock but often as a right winger. On the evening of Warnock’s last game as manager, a 2-1 defeat to Derby, McCormack started on the bench. His fiery reaction to his second-half goal seemed to speak volumes. So was their relationship awkward or strained? “Not at all,” McCormack says. “I signed a three-year contract under him and played a lot of games. We never had any arguments or anything like that and I never once moaned about him asking me to play right midfield.”Everyone assumes that because I spoke out at the end and said certain things, we must have fallen out. I’m just one of those people who if I’ve got something to say, I’d rather say it. But it wasn’t like there was a problem between us. It was just a difficult period.”For quite a few weeks we weren’t sure when the manager would go but you could tell that it was going to happen. He was saying so himself. I could see it affecting the fans too, during games. They were singing for the manager to go and for the board to make a decision and it gets harder and harder on the pitch.”Again, I’m not making excuses but it goes without saying that it’s easier to play when the fans are lifting the roof off the place. This isn’t me criticising them. All I’m saying is that the situation was hard. What’s going on in the crowd shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all but it does affect you. In the end, it was probably best for everyone that a decision was made.”McDermott’s style in two games as manager has shown a marked change from Warnock’s tactics: more patient, more fluid and altogether less desperate, perhaps because McDermott is not chasing promotion in the last-chance-saloon manner that Warnock did. McCormack started up front in both fixtures but dropped into the centre of midfield during the second half against Burnley. Even there, he felt more comfortable than he had on the right wing.”People judge me on goals and I’ll never get away from that but there’ve been other factors too,” he says. You have to take into account that I’ve played a lot of the season in right midfield. I got on with it because I’ll play wherever I’m asked to but I’m not a right midfielder. It’s not natural to me and I’m never going to beat two or three players with my pace. But the attitude you take is that if you’re asked to play somewhere, you do a job for the manager. You’re paid to play where he tells you to play.”In a more central position, it’s a bit easier for me to make things happen and I felt happier on Tuesday. It’s been a good week. All the players seem to have bought into the new manager’s ethos and when you’ve got someone coming through the door who won promotion last season, he commands respect straight away. As for my goals, I’d happily not score next season if it meant we got promoted. I’m not a player who wants to take all the credit. Promotion’s what we have to go for next season and if we’re not at least in the play-offs then we’ll be talking about another failed season. I think so anyway.”

Tues April 16th. Leeds 1-0 Burnley. Kenny, Byram, Lees, Pearce, Warnock, Green, Austin, Tonge, Diouf McCormack (Somma 84), Varney. Subs not used. Ashdown, Drury, White, Habibou, Poleon, Hall Leeds United made it back-to-back wins under their new manager Brian McDermott. Rodolph Austin was the Leeds hero with the only goal of the game on 62 minutes. Chances were few and far between in the opening half hour with neither keeper being tested.
Leeds had a great double chance to take the lead just past the half hour when Jason Pearce saw his effort cleared off the line and Luke Varney headed over from close range. Burnley came close when Ross Wallace saw his shot go just wide as they headed towards half time. Varney had a great chance to open the scoring in the opening seconds of the second half when he put his effort wide of the post from close range. He came closer minutes later when Lee Grant tipped his header over the bar. Leeds took the lead just past the hour when Rodolph Austin got on the end of a great ball from El Hadji Diouf. Paddy Kenny had been untroubled all evening, Chris McCann came closest to testing the keeper but he put his effort wide of the post. Despite dropping deeper in the closing minutesRudyvBurn, Leeds stood firm at the back to make it a great start under Brian McDermott. Brian McDermott talking to Eddie Gray post match : “I’m living the dream. I’m being interviewed by Eddie Gray. We have to control the game and we did with five minutes to go. Rudy’s finish was excellent. I thought we played some really good football. We dominated the game and it would have been an injustice if we hadn’t got the three points. (Re Diouf) I just said to him I wish I’d met him 10 years ago. He is a really nice person too. We played with a diamond. I just thought that suited the personnel. And I always play the system that suits the players. Luke Varney is excellent in the air. All in all we are delighted with the 3 points.(Re Morison not playing) I had a good conversation with Steve. He knows he is better than what he is showing now. I’ve known him since his time at Stevanage. Hopefully we will get him back in the squad on Saturday. I said to the players I’m looking forward to watching you play and the supporters pay a lot of money to watch you and you have to enjoy it too. The next stage is scoring that second goal and putting teams away. Re away wins I have no baggae. We will train hard on Thursday and and Friday and prepare for Birmingham”. Sean Dyche : “I am very disappointed in our performance. Our levels have been steady but that wasn`t good enough tonight,” Dyche told the Burnley official website. “They were the better side and trust me, I`ve seen them lately and they haven`t been playing like that! “But they have had a reaction and were on the front foot tonight. We weren`t!” Okay two swallows don’t make a summer. But I think we have all seen with our own eyes the difference Brian McDermott has made with the same players but also talking a lot of sense and picking out nobody to blame for anything (McCormack, Becchio and Lees were all picked out by Warnock for criticism) , unlike the previous farmer we had in charge. What a pity the guy didn’t take over six games ago. I’m convinced we could have made the play offs and by the sounds of it so is he.

Tuesday 16th. “Marching on together”. Brian McDermott : home to Burnley this evening, said: “I was so pleased with the crowd on Saturday. When it was one-all, I said to Nige (Nigel Gibbs): ‘This is alright, isn’t it.’ And it was. “They got right behind us and when we got it to 2-1 and with three minutes to go and they started singing “Marching On Together” that summed it up for me. That is how it has to be. “If I had a philosophy in life, that would be it. Marching On Together. I remember hearing that two years ago and it was just fantastic. “I wanted to get out early (on Saturday) just to hear that. But there is no point saying it and not doing it, for us, as a group and club. “I am really pleased with the whole environment and everyone wants to go in the same direction. “What I can’t have and won’t be involved in is a blame culture and moaning and gossip. I’ve no interest in that. “We all have to go in the same direction and be together. And that is from everyone – the chairman, chief executive, owners, myself. I will not gossip and do the best I can to get things right. “I will never do anything to the detriment of the football club. Anything I ever ask for will be for the benefit of the football club.” Not tolerating a blame culture extends to McDermott’s ethos regarding matters on the pitch. And the last thing Leeds fans can expect to catch him doing if a player makes a mistake is berate him. Mistakes happen with the reaction the thing that is more of paramount important to McDermott, who wants his players to express themselves under his watch and not be scared of making mistakes and be collectively responsible. He said:The most important thing is how you perform and I will try to get the players to enjoy the game and play with no fear. “I said at half-time on Saturday that the one thing I have no fear about is football and the result. As long as we go out and play with no fear and are all in it together, that is all I ever ask. And generally, if you have that ethos, you do well. “I think they expressed themselves in the second half and played some good stuff. And I want them to express themselves on Tuesday.”I want them to play without any no fear as there will be no blame culture here. If a player gives the ball away, run after it. It is very simple. “As long as the fans can see a reaction, there’s no problem if you give the ball away. It’s about good language and if we do that, I know the fans will buy into us. “There’s (Michael) Tonge, (El-Hadji) Diouf and (Ross) McCormack and a right-back who can attack for fun – and also two midfield players in there. There are players here who can express themselves and pass the ball. That is what we need them to do.” A positive environment served McDermott well during his managerial career at the Madejski Stadium, when he earned the respect of players, who virtually to a man were left shocked and upset by his dismissal last month. One senior dressing-room figure in Jason Roberts even elected to break ranks and express publicly his dismay at the controversial decision to oust him. Hurt by his sacking McDermott may have been, but he is by no means bitter. Yet he is the first to admit he will use the pain he felt at his sacking to fuel his desire to try and put Leeds back where most people in football belong that they belong. The Premier League. Hopeful players will buy into what he is now aiming to create at Leeds, he said: I want the players to come to work and think: ‘I can’t wait to get here.’ When they get here early, they want to train and do extra. I also want the staff to enjoy themselves; the board, fans – everyone. That’s really important. We had that at a smaller club in Reading. “I enjoyed every day of my 13-and-a-half years at Reading – the good times and the bad. We had some really good times and some times when it was difficult. You lose a play-off final and you find out about yourself and then you win a Championship the season after. “You have to be resilient, but whatever happens, I have told the (Leeds) players that while I might look miserable, I am not! We need to have a good time and enjoy playing and working together.” On his recent experiences at Reading, he added:I don’t mean to be disrespectful to an owner who got rid of me. But that will be my driver. I felt at the time I didn’t agree with that decision. But sitting here now, I am okay with it and it pushes me on again and Leeds have got a better manager off the back of what has happened to me.”


Huge win for McDermott’s Leeds


Varney winner v Wednesday

Saturday 13th of April. Leeds United 2-1 Sheffield Weds. Kenny; Byram, Pearce, Warnock (Tonge 85), Drury; Green, Norris (Diouf 46), Austin, Varney; McCormack, Moriso (White 61).Unused Substitutes: Ashdown, Poleon, Somma, Hall. Crowd – 23,936. A PRICELESS two-goal blast in the space of six second-half minutes from Luke Varney cast aside Leeds United’s relegation demons in a dramatic Yorkshire derby at Elland Road. Varney – who spent two loan spells at Hillsborough earlier in his career – cancelled out Jermaine Johnson’s 27th-minute opener with a bullet header three minutes after the hour mark, with referee Neil Swarbrick awarding a goal after the effort smashed off the underside of the bar and bounced over the line – before another well-placed header settled the contest on 69 minutes. The result means that Wednesday, who went into the game as the form side of the division and were seeking victory to rubber-stamp their safety, still have work to do to stave off the drop as they succumbed to just their second away league defeat since the start of December.In truth, they could few complaints after paying the price for a subdued second-half, with several changes from new Whites manager Brian McDermott paying off impressively. The introduction of El-Hadji Diouf at the interval for David Norris proved a masterstroke, as was McDermott’s decision to switch Varney to centre forward after replacing the ineffectual Steve Morison with Aidan White on the hour mark. The first-half proved a muted affair with an early chance fluffed by Morison, who cashed in on Lewis Buxton’s failure to clear a free-kick from skipper-for-the-day Stephen Warnock with the former Milwall man miscuing when well placed, with his meek effort blocked by Chris Kirkland. Aside from that and a few long-range efforts, United brought little to the table before the break, with Wednesday forging the lead after seizing on some dithering home defending three minutes before the half-hour mark. Kirkland’s punt forward was headed on by Jeremy Helan, when no home player challenged, with Jermaine Johnson latching onto it in an instant, stealing a march on Warnock before lifting the ball expertly over Paddy Kenny. At the other end, Ross McCormack’s free-kick was cleared close to the goaline by Miguel Llera before Leroy Lita went close at the other end. The half ended with Llera testing the reactions of Kenny with a free-kick as the visitors sought to double their tally. On the restart, no doubt cajoled by some words from McDermott, United looked a totally different and transformed side. Four minutes into the second period, Morison spurned a great chance to level after being profiting from Anthony Gardner’s error, but he criminally delayed too long in front of goal, with Reda Johnson making a saving tackle. Soon after, the hosts went close again, with Gardner this time saving the day after making vital clearance after Varney latched onto the rebound after Kirkland expertly parried a goalbound shot from McCormack. Leeds continued to press and they got their just desserts with a leveller on 63 minutes. McCormack’s cross was met with a firm header from Varney, whose effort bounced off the bar, but over the line with Kirkland helpless. United went for the jugular with Varney plundering his sixth goal of the season with just over twenty minutes to go after another impressive assist from McCormack. The Scot’s cross was headed in clinically by the former Portsmouth frontman – to the ectascy of most of the 23,936 crowd. After a limp half hour, the Owls gradually stirred into life and laid siege for a spell ten minutes before the end, which almost yielded a leveller following a frenetic mini-spell of action. First, a brilliant swivelled volley from sub Steve Howard after good work by fellow sub Chris Maguire hit the post before Reda Johnson went desperately close to a scrambled equaliser as the visitors laid siege. Despite a tense denouement, it proved United’s day as they ended a four-match losing streak with a welcome victory. Brian McDermott : I felt we needed to p[ass it more in the second half. For me it’s a good day for us. I’m very much about the group. We needed to be brave on the ball. I think this is a fantastic stadium and you (Eddie ) know better than me with that support what it’s is like.Well Luke Carney is very good in the air and he has that lace as well. Terrific ball from Ross McCromack who has realy quality for Luke Varney. What we need is everyone to pull in the same direction We all need to be living in the same area. I’m very excited about the challenge. The longer we got on in the game the more we got the ball down and passed it. This crowd want us to do well. They really are a fabulous crowd. I said to the players at HT this crowd wants you to do well. You have to be brave to play in this stadium and get on the ball. I have had such a good day today. Other crowds would have got on the players back when one down. They never got on the players backs when they were one down .At no point did they and they gave us a real lift. It’s a fantastic start and I have to say that Neil Redfearn and Richard Naylor were great. I wouldn’t to have come to any football club with five games to do but this club. I just wanted the opportunity to manage a fantastic football club. This club means a lot to Richard Naylor and Neil Readfearn and the Leigh Brombys of this world .It’s a great start and we’ll look forward to our next game against Burnley.

Sat 13th. April. “Macca comes on goodwill”. Goodwill has persuaded Brian McDermott to return to management after just a month out, he said at his unveiling as Leeds United’s new boss. The 52-year-old left Reading on March 11, with the Royals’ hierarchy worried about relegation from the Barclays Premier League, but was not out of the game for long, signing a three-year deal at Elland Road. He replaces Neil Warnock with the veteran boss having fallen on his sword last week after failing to deliver promotion. McDermott, who won the division with Reading last year, was approached immediately by Leeds’ owners with the intention of taking over in the summer but, with United not safe from relegation, the former Arsenal midfielder has been brought in now. McDErmottmeetsplayersHaving just been sacked by Reading, taking over a club whose off-the-field situation is not entirely clear – owners GFH are the subject of a takeover bid – would seem a gamble, but McDermott says he has put his faith in those who have employed him. “I was approached about 10 days ago and the conversation was about coming in the summer,” he said.”But things have escalated, I spoke to Shaun Harvey (chief executive) who wanted to put a manager in place now and that was something I had to think long and hard about for a couple of days, and it feels right. The whole place feels right.”I wouldn’t have taken a job at this stage of the season anywhere else. It’s a massive club and I don’t need to be told about the history.” Leeds have acquired a reputation for selling their best players over recent years and the futures of some of their leading names – such as Sam Byram and Tom Lees – are expected to be in McDermott’s in tray. The club have also been accused by some of their fans of not investing in the playing staff and, with McDermott yet to discuss budgets, he admits to having taken a leap of faith. “The question about money available will be answered, I don’t know the answer and have come here on a lot of goodwill,” he said.”I want to take this club forward, but no one person can do that on his own. Everyone has to be going in the same direction. “But I live in the real world. At Reading I lost Gylfi Sigurdsson, a player who scored 20 goals for me and I lost Shane Long. When he left I thought there was no way we could win the league, but we did. And that showed me you can never rely on one player.”But I don’t want to lose anyone. The best place for the young players is here, playing in front of these fans.”McDermott will get his first taste of the Elland Road supporters tomorrow. He said he will be “right in amongst it” against Sheffield Wednesday in a game Leeds know they need to win if relegation fears are to be allayed. The first thing we have to do is look at the game tomorrow and get a result,” he added. I have managed 200 games and have never had an easy one. We have to play with no fear and have an atmosphere. I have been here with Reading and thought to myself ‘we’ll do well to get a result here’.” Harvey, the man who made the move to recruit McDermott, admitted that his club’s perilous position – five points above the drop zone and without a win in seven – meant he could not afford to wait until the summer to get his man. We have to make sure we don’t get relegated. We don’t want to take that gamble,” he said. People may think this is knee-jerk but, we identified a number of targets and this is the only man we offered the job to. Brian has taken us on face value and has a positive attitude to take us forward.”


Harvey introducing new manager

April 12th. Press conference. Goodwill has persuaded Brian McDermott to return to management after just a month out, he said at his unveiling as Leeds United’s new boss. The 52-year-old left Reading on March 11, with the Royals’ hierarchy worried about relegation from the Barclays Premier League, but was not out of the game for long, signing a three-year deal at Elland Road. He replaces Neil Warnock with the veteran boss having fallen on his sword last week after failing to deliver promotion. McDermott, who won the division with Reading last year, was approached immediately by Leeds’ owners with the intention of taking over in the summer but, with United not safe from relegation, the former Arsenal midfielder has been brought in now. Having just been sacked by Reading, taking over a club whose off-the-field situation is not entirely clear – owners GFH are the subject of a takeover bid – would seem a gamble, but McDermott says he has put his faith in those who have employed him.I was approached about 10 days ago and the conversation was about coming in the summer,” he said. “But things have escalated, I spoke to Shaun Harvey (chief executive) who wanted to put a manager in place now and that was something I had to think long and hard about for a couple of days, and it feels right. The whole place feels right. “I wouldn’t have taken a job at this stage of the season anywhere else. It’s a massive club and I don’t need to be told about the history.” Leeds have acquired a reputation for selling their best players over recent years and the futures of some of their leading names – such as Sam Byram and Tom Lees – are expected to be in McDermott’s in tray. The club have also been accused by some of their fans of not investing in the playing staff and, with McDermott yet to discuss budgets, he admits to having taken a leap of faith. The question about money available will be answered, I don’t know the answer and have come here on a lot of goodwill,” he said. “I want to take this club forward, but no one person can do that on his own. Everyone has to be going in the same direction. “But I live in the real world. At Reading I lost Gylfi Sigurdsson, a player who scored 20 goals for me and I lost Shane Long. When he left I thought there was no way we could win the league, but we did. And that showed me you can never rely on one player. “But I don’t want to lose anyone. The best place for the young players is here, playing in front of these fans.”McDermott will get his first taste of the Elland Road supporters tomorrow. He said he will be “right in amongst it” against Sheffield Wednesday in a game Leeds know they need to win if relegation fears are to be allayed. “The first thing we have to do is look at the game tomorrow and get a result,” he added. I have managed 200 games and have never had an easy one. We have to play with no fear and have an atmosphere. I have been here with Reading and thought to myself ‘we’ll do well to get a result here’.” Harvey, the man who made the move to recruit McDermott, admitted that his club’s perilous position – five points above the drop zone and without a win in seven – meant he could not afford to wait until the summer to get his man. “We have to make sure we don’t get relegated. We don’t want to take that gamble,” he said. “People may think this is knee-jerk but, we identified a number of targets and this is the only man we offered the job to. Brian has taken us on face value and has a positive attitude to take us forward.”

12th of April. Macca becomes new Leeds boss. Leeds United have confirmed Brian McDermott as their new manager on a three-year deal. The 52-year-old replaces Neil Warnock at Elland Road less than a month after he was sacked by Premier League club Reading. McDermott left the Madejski Stadium on March 13 but Leeds have moved to appoint him just 12 days after parting company with Warnock. Caretaker boss Neil Redfearn will remain in charge of the first team for tomorrow’s Yorkshire derby against Sheffield Wednesday, with McDermott set to take to the touchline for the first time during Tuesday night’s clash with Burnley. Leeds are just five points clear of the Championship’s relegation places with five matches to play. David Haigh, deputy chief executive of GFH Capital, told the club website: “We are delighted to have appointed Brian as our manager. He is a man with a proven track record of success and shares our vision of the best way to return long terms and sustainable success to this great football club. “Obviously the immediate aim is a return as soon as possible to the Premiership. Brian’s success in taking Reading to the Premiership last year was a key factor in our decision to hire him.” I thought this may come in the summer and not at this point, but it just feels right for me now,” McDermott told Sky Sports News. “There’s probably no club that I would have gone to apart from this one. “Having been around the place, and seeing the stadium and the training ground, everything about it just feels really right for me.” “I want our players to play with no fear, that’s really important to me,” McDermott said in a press conference. “I remember coming to this stadium a couple of times with Reading and thinking ‘wow, there’s an amazing atmosphere at this place, we’ll do well to get a result here.'”That’s what the fans can generate, they can generate an atmosphere and the players will love coming to play at home. That’s what we want to try to create here.”


New Leeds manager, Brian McDermott

The Life of Brian: The lowdown on Leeds United’s new manager – Leeds United today appointed Brian McDermott as their new boss, meaning the city now has two sporting clubs with managers of the same name. Six-time Super League champions Leeds Rhinos are also led by Brian McDermott and, in another curious twist, both teams have wingers called Ryan Hall. To avoid any confusion, here are the key differences. Personal details (United first): Brian James McDermott, born Slough, April 8 1961; Brian G McDermott, born Wakefield, March 16 1970. Playing career: Arsenal, Fulham, IFK Norrkoping, Oxford, Huddersfield, Cardiff, Exeter, Yeovil, South China, Playing honours: Second Division title (Oxford), Fourth Division title (Exeter); Managerial career: Slough, Woking, Reading;

Thursday 11th of April. Macca to be the man. Brian McDermott is on the verge of becoming Leeds United’s new manager today, the Yorkshire Post understands. Betting on United’s next boss was suspended late last night amid intense speculation that McDermott had won the fight to replace Neil Warnock at Elland Road. The former Reading manager is understood to have been interviewed by Leeds last week after featuring on the shortlist of candidates drawn up in the wake of Warnock’s sacking. United and Warnock parted company less than a fortnight ago, with Leeds initially hinting that the appointment of a new boss could wait until the summer, but indications of McDermott’s swift arrival come with the Championship club embroiled in a relegation battle. McDermott, 52, was widely seen as a leading contender for the post at Elland Road having been sacked by Premier League side Reading last month. His four-year reign at the Madejski Stadium saw Reading reach the Championship play-off final in 2011 before winning the title in 2012. McDermott received the backing of former Leeds and Reading midfielder Andrew Hughes in yesterday’s YEP, with Hughes saying: “Of the candidates out there who Leeds could speak to here and now, I can’t see beyond Brian McDermott. “No-one can deny that he knows how to manage players in the Championship or that he knows how to get out of it. Reading were play-off finalists the year before they won the league.” Owen Coyle is also thought to have been spoken to by Leeds, while the Elland Road club made tentative enquiries about Brighton’s Gus Poyet, a coach protected by a £2.5m release clause. United are nearing the end of a torrid season having failed to challenge for the play-offs and slid to within five points of the Championship’s bottom three. Their first-team squad are presently in the hands of caretaker boss Neil Redfearn who oversaw a 2-1 defeat at Charlton Athletic last weekend. They host Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, the first of five remaining games. Centre-back Jason Pearce conceded that the club had fallen short of expectation this season, saying: “We have underachieved. Everyone has to look at themselves. We could have done better.”You make your own luck but I do think we’ve been a bit unlucky and we could have been better off in the table than we are.”United were stung by a 95th-minute winner at Charlton Athletic last weekend, losing their first game under caretaker manager Redfearn with the last chance of a tight contest. The club had previously experienced defeat in the last three matches of Warnock’s reign as boss and an extended run of poor results has pulled United within reach of the glut of sides near the foot of the Championship. They are currently 17th in the table. Leeds later gave a nod to McDermott’s impending arrival with a short statement ahead of a scheduled Redfearn media conference. It read: “The process of appointing a permanent replacement for Neil Warnock has progressed significantly this week and when all matters are finalised we will be in a position to make a formal announcement. Neil Redfearn will remain as caretaker manager until such time when an appointment is made, and he is being kept informed of the situation by the club’s board.”

Sat 6th of April. Charlton 2-1 Leeds. United in freefall – YEP. Jonathan Obika scored a last-gasp winner as Charlton rounded off a miserable week for Leeds United. Neil Warnock’s resignation in the wake of their Easter Monday defeat to Derby saw United travel under the caretaker pair of academy boss Neil Redfearn and former club captain Richard Naylor. But neither could prevent the Whites from slipping to a fourth straight league defeat as they also extended their winless run on the road to 11 games. Luke Varney cancelled out Johnnie Jackson’s opener before substitute Obika stole it at the death as Charlton recorded their third win in five matches. Athletic boss Chris Powell made just one change to the side that held Brighton to a goalless draw in midweek, Lawrie Wilson making way for the experienced Ricardo Fuller. Redfearn, beginning his second spell as caretaker boss, made four changes to the side beaten by the Rams, including recalls for Michael Tonge and top-scorer Ross McCormack. The visitors were incensed shortly after the start when midfielder Paul Green hit the deck after running into a cluster of red shirts inside the penalty area. Referee Stuart Attwell waved away the protests before Addicks forward Fuller was next to try his luck at the opposite end. Green whipped in a dangerous ball as Leeds took the game to their opponents but Steve Morison failed to beat Ben Hamer who showed good handling. The hosts were almost gifted the lead on 12 minutes when Whites defender Jason Pearce sliced a cross towards his own goal but Paddy Kenny did well to push the ball away under pressure. Yann Kermorgant was next to test Kenny with an acrobatic scissor kick but again he held firm as the hosts began to find their feet in the final third. Their best chance of the half fell to Dorian Dervite, whose low effort was beaten away by Kenny before Michael Morrison lifted the rebound over from close range. Both sides looked better going forwards than defensively, and Leeds carved out another opportunity on the break as Morison played in Green but the Republic of Ireland international could only fire over the top. Addicks winger Callum Harriott showed good pace just before the break as he broke clear of the defence but could not control his shot as he fired wide of goal. The deadlock was broken immediately after the restart when Andy Hughes, a former cult hero at Elland Road, saw his effort diverted in by Jackson for his 10th goal of the season. Leeds responded through Morison just after the half-hour mark when the striker fired against the post before Dervite bravely headed the ball clear. Tonge fired over the top shortly after as the visitors began to get on top and Redfearn introduced former Addick Varney to bolster his attack. The decision paid dividends when the winger thundered in an equaliser nine minutes from time after Stephen Warnock’s delivery was not cleared away. Charlton protested there was a handball in the build up and were soon questioning Attwell again shortly after when Kermorgant went down inside the area under pressure from Whites skipper Lee Peltier. Chris Solly saw his effort blocked as the hosts pushed forward for a late winner and they reaped the rewards in the sixth minute of added time when Obika headed home a Rhoys Wiggins cross.

Tues April 3rd. “Let Hughes destroy another club of mine” – Warnock. Former Leeds United manager Neil Warnock wants Mark Hughes to replace him at Elland Road so he can “destroy another team of mine”. The Welshman took over from Warnock at Queens Park Rangers in January 2012 and has been out of work since leaving Loftus Road in November. Hughes, 49, has been linked with the managerial vacancy at Leeds following Warnock’s departure on Monday. Warnock told talkSPORT: “I personally hope Mark Hughes follows me again and destroys another team of mine. “I don’t think it’s a club for a young manager. There is so much going on behind the scenes it is ridiculous really. It needs somebody who has seen it all and done it all. “I laugh when I see some of these names. A) We can’t afford the compensation and B) do you think Mark Hughes would want Leeds United at the moment? It’s a hard one but there are a lot of applicants.” Warnock, 64, hinted that his managerial career may be over but he is likely to remain in the game for some time. He added: “I’ve got a young family and I want to relax a bit. But I do feel now, especially with the tenure of managers being so short, that there is a massive gap between the owners of a club and the manager himself and I don’t think there is enough expertise in between those two roles. “I do think, even if it’s only a couple of days a week, I can help somebody. I’m sure there is somebody that would be crying out for that sort of role.”It seems you did a good enough job yourself, Colin in destroying the side.

Weds April 3rd. Poleon recalled. Caretaker manager Neil Redfearn has recalled striker Dominic Poleon from his loan spell at Sheffield United. he 19-year-old, who scored his first goal for the club against Forest in September, had joined the Blades on loan until the end of the season with a recall clause after the first 28 days. Poleon has made seven appearances for the Blades, but will return to Thorp Arch ahead of Saturday’s trip to Charlton Athletic. Poleon figured prominently in the Under-21s under Redfearn earlier in the season, scoring six goals in six games to thrust himself into contention with the first team squad. Having made seven senior appearances, six as a substitute, Dominic joined Bury on loan before joining Sheffield United in February. I think that’s a wise decision by Redfearn.


Gamble that hasn’t worked out


Larry – Never backed financially the year they were promoted from League One and yet still finished 7th in the Championship


Not a chance do we want this Bluffer back


Disastrous spell with QPR having spent a fortune

Tues April 2nd. So what now ? – by GC It’s never nice when a manager loses his job, and I’m not going to be dishonest to say that I’m not unhappy that Neil Warnock is no longer Leeds United manager. The critical question is as follows : “Has he left the club in a better position than when he arrived ?” If the answer is “No”, then that becomes a little less sad, unless you had to endure that 14 month tenure as a Leeds fan. The sad fact remains that he still thinks the answer is “yes”. This Leeds team has lost 16 league games this season and are closer to the bottom three (5 points) than they are to the top six (9 points). It is true that the on/off saga of Leeds seven month take over was a handicap to the manager. That said, it was over emphasised in a mediocre Championship, where Cardiff will become champions with perhaps their worst team over the past six seasons. The money Warnock had was invested poorly. Did we really get value for money spending £1.3M between Pearce and Peltier ? Can you really convince me that any of the following : Austin (£300K) Varney (£300K) Norris (free) Tonge (£250K) are better additions than Adam Clayton ? Luciano Becchio on 19 goals was traded for the ineffective and blunt Steve Morison. Our leaky defence but offensive and free scoring football under Grayson was traded for an even leakier defence and no scoring football, where Leeds continued to lose heavily 1-6 at home to Watford and 0-3 against a normally very blank Ipswich etc etc We never ever really got near the play offs despite each of our competitors doing their best version of “after you” in what most observers believe is the worst Championship in living memory. Look at the side that lost to Derby County : Kenny; Byram, Peltier, Pearce, Warnock; Diouf (White 65), Green, Austin, Dawson (McCormack 57); Varney, Morison. Look at the side which defeated Bristol Rovers in the final game of season 2009/10 : Higgs, Lowry (Howson 54 Bromby Collins Doyle Kilkenny Johnson Hughes Gradel Beckford Snodgrass 90+2) 10 Becchio yellow card (Watt 87)Leeds have been allow to regress. A side with Kilkenny, Hughes, Gradel, Johnson, Howson. Beckford, Becchio and Snodgrass would not only have easily qualified for the play offs, they would have won this division. Remember, Crowe at right full and a fully fit Kisnorbo were also part of the side that defeated Man United four months earlier. Instead of giving us a side that are “two or three players short “ of a promotion winning side, the new Leeds manager must dismantle a crusty and extremely average team, most of whom aren’t fit to wear the white of Leeds United. Bates dragged Leeds into the depths of sub-Premiership football with austerity after austerity. GFH in his wake look rudderless and lifeless. Our best hope is for a Yorkshire controlled buy out. Hopefully this is sooner rather than later. Who will become the next Leeds manager hinges on these take over talks that are occurring closer to Dubai than London. Poyet, O’Neill, O’Leary, McDermott and Hughes are some of the main names in the frame. In the meantime we need another four or five points to possibly stay in the division. Redfearn wasn’t a safe pair of hands the last time he was caretaker manager. But I would rather wait for the right candidate who ever that may be. Bolton, Wolves, and Blackburn all came down last season with the parachute payments, and one would have gotten long odds about none going immediately back up. That now looks to be the case. I remain convinced that the right guy for Leeds armed with £12M to £15M of a transfer chest and knowledge of how this division works, would bring us up automatically next season. It’s heading for 10 years since we were a Premiership club. Leicester and Wolves were relegated with us. They might have been back since, but it’s long time to be in the abyss away from Saturday night Match of the Day. It is true that there may be more managerial options in six weeks time when clubs learn their fate. Have we already lost out best chance, with Nigel Adkins grabbing the Reading job, guaranteed of at least two season at the tenure and a relegation war chest if and when his new charges get relegated. Would Paul Lambert be available if Villa don’t avoid the trap door ? This is a man who knows what Leeds are about having competed against them for consecutive seasons at Norwich and doing a herculean job at the same time through back to back promotions ? Martin O’Neill (8/1) was Ridsdale’s number one choice over ten years ago. How would Poyetit have turned out if he had come and not O’Leary ? At 61 is he too long in the tooth, especially without his right hand man, John Robertson. Has football moved on from the gazelle jumping former Minor star’s time ? Surely no right thinking chairman (when have we last had one of them ?) would appoint former striking Man United nemesis, Mark Hughes (12/1) to be the man at the helm at LS11 ? Could Dave “My Babes” O’Leary finish his “Unfinished business” at Leeds ? Please God no, but he still lives in Harrowgate and on Sky tonight he was “thankful for all the Leeds letters”. Don’t worry Dave, none came from Culhane Street ? Former Leeds number 2 Gus Poyer (9/2) is a manager known for attacking football and has an affinity for Leeds United. Could he be persuaded to leave play off headed Brighton for a bigger project ? Then there is Mr McDermott (2/1)who looks more like a young Doctor than an experienced Championship escapologist. Apart from attractive football, he may tick most of the boxes. This is Leeds United. Leeds United remain the biggest one club city in the world. We don’t do things easily, but we’ll enjoy the ride none the less.


No denying Lambert has workes miracles on small budgets

April 2nd. Betting for Leeds job. Sky sources understand that former Reading manager Brian McDermott is on the shortlist to take charge at Championship side Leeds. The Elland Road outfit are on the hunt for a new boss after Neil Warnock stepped down in the wake of Monday’s 2-1 defeat at home to Derby. McDermott is one of the leading candidates for the post, having been dismissed, harshly in the opinion of many, by Premier League strugglers Reading last month. McDermott led Reading to the Championship title last season and Leeds may see him as the ideal man to mastermind a promotion campaign in 2013/14. Warnock says he always intended to step down when the play-offs were out of reach this season and decided that moment had arrived on Monday, the loss to Derby having left Leeds 12th, and closer to the drop zone than the play-off spots. McDermott is the even-money favourite with Sky Bet to become the next permanent boss at Elland Road. Other names in the frame include highly-regarded Brighton manager Gus Poyet (9/2) and Martin O’Neill (8/1), who has only just been fired by Sunderland. Owen McDermottCoyle (10/1) and Mark Hughes (12/1) are also managers with Premier League experience who are currently out of work. Less likely candidates to get betting quotes include former Leeds stalwarts Lucas Radebe and Tony Yeboah, who are both 100/1. Steve Kean, hugely unpopular with the fans during his time in charge of Blackburn, which came to an end earlier this season, is also considered a 100/1 no-hoper

Tuesday April 2nd. O’Neill to be Leeds manager – The Sports Locker. Leeds United will offer former Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill a swift return to management by making an ambitious move to appoint the Northern Irishman,according to the Daily Telegraph. The Whites need a new manager after they parted company with Neil Warnock on Monday following a 2-1 home defeat to Derby County. That loss was their third on the bounce, leaving Leeds with more chance of relegation than battling into the playoff places. O’Neill was sacked by Sunderland after losing to Manchester United on Saturday, having been replaced by Paolo Di Canio and it was thought he was ready to take a short time out from the game. Leeds have other ideas though and they will offer him the role till the summer, before appointing him on a permanent basis at the end of the season. The 61-year-old has turned down the Whites before, notably before David O’Leary was appointed in 1998 after George Graham’s departure. He would still be an excellent appointment, despite his poor spell with the Black Cats. O’Neill boasts a wonderful CV, having worked wonders with Leicester, Celtic and Aston Villa previously in management. Leeds are looking for the man to guide them back into the Premier League and O’Neill could do just that. He may not fancy dropping into the Championship by taking over at Elland Road, but Leeds are eager to persuade him to take the role. Former Bolton manager Owen Coyle is also a possibility.

Tuesday 2nd of April 2013. From The Scratching Shed – Next Leeds United manager: Reading fan makes the case for Brian McDermott. Speculation surrounding the next Leeds United manager seems to be focused on Gus Poyet and Brian McDermott. Since we already know plenty about Poyet, The Scratching Shed asked Dan Wimbush from Reading FC blog The Tilehurst End to give us a rundown on Brian McDermott. The case for Brian McDermott When the eds asked me to write a piece for Brian McDermott getting the Leeds job, I have to say I felt torn. It’s a bit like asking someone to write a piece about why their ex-girlfriend should get with that bloke from the pub that you don’t really have a lot of time for because he tried to lump you one night after an argument…. Truth be told, while I’ve always respected Leeds, the game at the Madejski last April left a bitter taste in the mouth so hands on heart it’s a little difficult trying to make a case for why a Reading hero should end up at Elland Road just a year later. Anyway, now that that’s out on the table I’ll try and put across an honest viewpoint on Brian’s three-and-a-half years at Reading and why he’d be a great fit for Leeds United. Man-management While the Premier League may have been too steep a learning curve at this stage in his career, there’s little doubt in Brian’s ability to get the most out of players. Jimmy Kebe, Mikele Leigertwood, Matt Mills, Shane Long, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Adam Le Fondre, all have enjoyed some of their best form while under McDermott’s management. One thing that’s consistently come out of the dressing room is how good the spirit was at the club and while there were a couple of high profile fall-outs this season, 99% of the time he’s great at galvanising a squad and getting the very best out of them. Just look at the Reading team that won promotion last year ahead of far more fancied teams such as West Ham, Southampton, Leicester, Middlesbrough. Transfers As chief scout Brian was influential in helping recruit Kevin Doyle and Shane Long for around £80k (a pair that were sold for a combined £13m). Since his time in the manager’s chair he’s helped turn cast-offs like Ian Harte and Mikele Leigertwood into Championship winners while taking Adam Le Fondre from League Two and seeing him become a Premier League player of the month just 18 months later. He specialises in getting good value out of low cost signings but there are some question marks about his ability to get the most out of those £1m-£3m middle tier transfers. While he was a scout we signed duds like Greg Halford and Emerse Fae, while as manager he bought and then dumped the likes of Chris Gunter in quick time, as well as failing to get the best from high wage earners like Pavel Pogrebnyak, Nicky Shorey and Danny Guthrie. Tactics McDermott’s first and favourite tactic is 4-4-2, something we saw in the vast majority of his games at Championship and even Premier League level. He liked to play with a solid back four, two pacey wingers and two holding midfielders, one to break up the play such as Mikele Leigertwood and the other to run around and do the dog work like Jay Tabb or Jem Karacan. Up top it was your standard two, with a stronger player like Shane Long or Jason Roberts, partnered with a nippier player like Noel Hunt or Adam Le Fondre. However he did dabble a bit in 4-5-1 or 4-2-3-1, especially when Gylfi Sigurdsson was here, using Siggy as the free-roaming attacking midfielder behind a strong frontman such as Long. This season he again went back to 4-5-1 but didn’t have that key link player to really make it work. Style It’s not pretty and don’t expect Barcelona style play from the former Arsenal winger. Reading haven’t exactly been able to buy technically gifted players and have instead relied on buying solid players who can get the ball quickly to quick wingers or strong frontmen. It’s not quite long-ball but it’s far from possession orientated football. The Results While Steve Coppell probably just shades the vote for our most successful manager, Brian McDermott will come a pretty close second. His first season saw a run to the FA Cup Quarter-finals and taking us from 21st to 9th in the Championship. Then despite losing Gylfi Sigurdsson, we still managed a run to the play-off final, as well as a second successive FA Cup quarter-final, only losing 1-0 at Man City. Then in just his second full season he helped us win the Championship despite losing skipper Matt Mills and 20-goal striker Shane Long. This season may have gone wrong for a good number of reasons but there’s no disputing his pedigree at Championship level. Overall I think he’d be a great fit for Leeds. He’s had nothing but success in his two and a half years at Championship level and while the step up the Premier League was a bit too much, he’ll certainly be wiser if he gets another crack at it. Having played and managed at the top level he won’t be afraid of the job and his down to Earth simple approach with players and the media should help level a ship that from the outside has looked far from steady recently. I think Leeds would be lucky to have him and part of me is scared that he’ll end up coming back to haunt us next season…..
Tues April 2nd. Warnock shown exit door.

NEIL WARNOCK last night insisted growing discontent among Leeds United supporters was behind his exit as the search got under way for his successor. The 64-year-old’s near 14-month reign at Elland Road ended in the wake of this defeat to Derby County that prompted the board to act and pull the plug. A shortlist has already been prepared with Brian McDermott, Gus Poyet and Owen Coyle believed to be among those interesting the club’s owners, GFH Capital. No timescale has been put on the search and Academy manager Neil Redfearn, who had an unhappy stint in temporary charge last season, has been handed the reins ahead of Saturday’s trip to Charlton Athletic. Warnock said: “I told the club they should go with Neil Redfearn and (technical director) Gwyn Williams as his assistant. Let them take it on board until the end of the season. That will allow the owners to take their time because this is a big decision. They have to come up with the right answer. “I don’t think the club know who they want to come in. Nigel Adkins would have been a decent shout a few weeks ago, but there will be more available in three or four weeks’ time than there is now. “That is why I don’t think they should rush into getting a manager now and panic. The club has got to make the right decision.” Chief executive Shaun Harvey added: “The search for Neil’s replacement is underway. There is no fixed timescale, as securing the services of the right person is the primary objective.”Last night’s managerial upheaval followed an already disappointing season for the Elland Road club taking another turn for the worse courtesy of a ninth straight defeat to Derby. Ross McCormack’s 67th-minute strike had put the home side ahead in the tea-time kick-off only for goals from Paul Coutts and Jake Buxton to cap a stirring fightback by the Rams that leaves Leeds sitting 12th in the table with 52 points. United should not, of course, get dragged into trouble from such a seemingly secure position at this stage of the season. However, with the bottom clubs recently having shown form more akin to title challengers, there is every chance that at least one unfortunate team could go down with more than the 52 points which failed to save Leicester City from the drop to League One in 2008 or Millwall 12 years earlier. Certainly, it would take a brave man to bet against Peterborough, Huddersfield, Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley claiming at least two wins from the final month of the season – meaning Leeds could still need another win to guarantee safety. Warnock, who has been followed through the exit door by assistant Mick Jones and first team coach Ronnie Jepson, said: “The fans have possibly influenced the owners. I think fans do. “It is quite easy to get carried away but only time will tell. I have been a manager for 33 years and this is the hardest 12 months I have had anywhere.”It is easy to criticise. But this is not an easy job. Just look where Blackburn are (in the table). They have a caretaker, or interim, manager. And they have a £35m wage bill.”It is not a piece of cake, especially as it is going to be a record number of points to stay up this year.”Pressed on whether he felt bringing a temporary manager in was the right move for United at this stage of the season, Warnock replied: “I don’t think it is the right move, no.”You have to be careful what you wish for, haven’t you. It is quite easy to get carried away but only time will tell.”For me to have stayed would have had to be down to the fans. If the fans had said, ‘Stay on Neil, and do this, that and the other’ then it is a different ball game.”I would say the majority of fans at Elland Road appreciate the job I have done. But, unfortunately, there is also a minority.”Buxton’s late headed winner sparked chants of ‘Warnock, time to go’ and calls for the 64-year-old to go back to his Cornwall home. With the manager’s future understood to have been under review by the club’s board since last month’s defeat to Huddersfield Town, it was no surprise when the axe fell following the club’s third straight Championship defeat. Warnock, whose 62 league and cup games in charge yielded 23 wins, added: “I have given it my best shot. We have been unlucky in a lot of situations and we could have been far higher up”. “But, if I am honest, we have not been good enough in the final third. That is the only area the new manager has to work on. I do wish the new owners had come in earlier (than December), but that is because I am selfish. “I wanted the money to spend and I wanted success yesterday. The club should have a right go next season because I don’t see anyone coming down from the Premier League who should be better than Leeds with two or three signings.”

April 1st. Warnock gone. Neil Warnock has quit as manager of Leeds after admitting that it would appease the fans if he was not in charge for the remaining games in the season. Their 2-1 loss at home to Derby meant it was three defeats in a row and Leeds are now looking behind them to make sure they avoid relegation rather than chasing down a play-off place. A statement on the club website said: ‘Leeds United have parted company with Neil Warnock with six games of the season to go. The decision has been taken with a view to preparing for the 2013/14 season and Neil Redfearn will be asked to take control of first team coaching until a permanent appointment is made. This may well be after the end of the season dependent on the availability of the club’s preferred choice to become the next manager.A short-list has already been prepared as Neil was always going to leave at the end of the season in the event that we did not get promotion. However, with availability of suitable candidates changing all the time then we will adopt a flexible approach, so as to ensure that we make the right appointment. Chief Executive Shaun Harvey said: ‘We would like to thank Neil for his efforts during his time as our manager and share his disappointment that we could not achieve promotion this season.’We now need to look to the future and the search for his replacement is underway, for which there is no fixed timescale as securing the services of the right person is the primary objective, so as to give us the best chance of promotion next season. ‘We would also like to thank Mick Jones and Ronnie Jepson, who will leave the club with Neil, for all their hard work since coming to the club.’


Cheerio Colin

April 1st 2012. Leeds 1-2 Derby Co .Kenny; Byram, Peltier, Pearce, Warnock; Diouf (White 65), Green, Austin, Dawson (McCormack 57); Varney, Morison. Unused substitutes: Ashdown, Brown, Tonge, Norris, Habibou. Jake Buxton’s 87th-minute header earned Derby a ninth successive win against a Leeds side who are starting to look anxiously over their shoulders towards the npower Championship drop zone. Buxton’s bundled effort came just seconds after the Rams were denied a penalty when Michael Jacobs was brought down in the box. Prior to that Paul Coutts had netted the rebound from a missed Conor Sammon spot kick, which came just six minutes after substitute Ross McCormack’s 67th-minute opener for United. As a result of the win Derby remain comfortable in mid-table and, although Leeds are one of the other sides in and around them, they are starting to slide. This was their fifth game without a win and their unpopular manager Neil Warnock was serenaded with a number of expletive-laden chants throughout. The lively finish to the game belied a dismal opening hour which offered little and showed just why neither of these sides have challenged the pacesetters this season. Sammon received no backing as he appealed for an early penalty – he looked to have slipped as Jason Pearce approached – and that was the only noteworthy incident until the first shot came in the 33rd minute. Leeds’ Luke Varney had it, dragging well wide of Frank Fielding’s goal after he got into some space on the left of the box, and although poor, the effort at least sparked the game up a little. Minutes later Leeds’ teenage debutant Chris Dawson helped tee up former Derby man Paul Green who cracked the bar from the edge of the box, while at the other end Paddy Kenny was quick off his line to close down Sammon after he beat Pearce to a neat through-ball from Chris Martin. The momentum did not quite carry over into the second half, though, and it took until the 55th minute for another shot, with Kenny at his best to keep out Davies from the edge of the box and Lee Peltier mopping up the rebound as Martin closed in. Derby, improving more than their hosts, thought they had taken the lead with 63 minutes gone, as Peltier put a Martin cross through his own goal, but Sammon, no more than an inch ahead of him, was called offside. Leeds brought McCormack off the bench as a bid to liven things up and the move reaped immediate dividends as the Scot opened the scoring with his first touch. Stephen Warnock’s corner from the right was not cleared and fell to McCormack, who, from his position just outside the area, cracked a first-time curler beyond Fielding and into the top corner. Leeds’ advantage would last just six minutes, though, as Derby got themselves deservedly back on level terms. Not for the first time Pearce was found short of pace and he bundled Martin to the floor, leaving Roger East with a simple decision to make. Sammon took the responsibility of taking the penalty but proceeded to roll it onto the post, although fortunately for him Coutts was on hand to quickly adjust his body and whip in the second ball. A second penalty should have followed as White brought down Jacobs six yards inside the area – East awarding a free-kick – but, after Davies’ effort was saved by Kenny, the winger’s subsequent corner was nodded in by Buxton.