The Louth Branch AGM  took place in PEADARS (now McGuinness’s pub Ann Street, Dundalk ) at 8:30PM on Tuesday August 4th. The same committee was returned fro another year.  Many thanks to all of you who turned up on the night.

Aug 31st. Botaka completes deadline day switch Leeds are delighted to announce the signing of winger Jordan Botaka on a two-year deal from Dutch club Excelsior. The 22-year-old, a Congo international, has moved to Elland Road for an undisclosed fee. He becomes United’s eighth new arrival of the summer and the first on transfer deadline day. Botaka said: “I am very happy, it happened very fast. In two or three days everything was arranged, it was just crazy. “I knew Leeds were a big club. I looked a few things up and I heard from other people. This is a new adventure for me.” Botaka, nicknamed ‘The Wizard’ for his trickery and speed, began his professional career in Belgium with Club Brugge, but departed for Excelsior in 2013 after a brief loan spell at Portuguese side Belenenses. He quickly established himself as a regular with Excelsior and helped them to Eredivise promotion in his first season at the club. Botaka featured 33 times in the Dutch top-flight last term and had been ever-present so far this campaign. As a youngster he was capped three times at Under-19s level for the Netherlands, but he instead opted to represent Congo and made his full international debut for them earlier this year. Botaka is currently away on international duty with Congo and will link up with his new team-mates next week at Thorp Arch after facing Central Africa. Uwe Rosler had made no secret of his desire to bring in a winger before Tuesday’s 6pm deadline, and Botaka becomes the head coach’s eighth new addition of a productive summer for the club. The winger follows Charlie Horton, Lee Erwin, Sol Bamba, Chris Wood, Tom Adeyemi (loan), Ross Turnbull and Stuart Dallas through the door at Elland Road, and he could make his United debut against Brentford a week on Saturday after being given the number 20 shirt.Wolves’ clash with Charlton Athletic earlier today and manager Kenny Jackett confirmed that the Dutch 24-year-old was in talks with rival clubs. However, the YEP has been told that Leeds are yet to agree a fee with Wolves despite talks during the past 24 hours. A source described discussions as “miles apart”.

Sat 29th of Aug. Leeds close in on Botaka Leeds United are closing in on the signing of Excelsior winger Jordan Botaka after reaching a deal with the 22-year-old’s club tonight. Leeds have agreed a fee for Botaka and are working to finalise terms with the Congo international after offering him a two-year contract with the option of a third. The Elland Road club made a sudden move for Botaka after abandoning their bid to sign forward Fernando Forestieri from Watford. United gave up on Forestieri yesterday with the 25-year-old resisting a transfer to Leeds, despite the club agreeing a £3m fee. Forestieri joined Sheffield Wednesday this afternoon. Interest in NEC Nijmegen’s Anthony Limbombe also appears to be dead after Leeds refused to meet the Dutch club’s £2.5m asking price. United have switched their attention instead to Botaka, an ex-Club Brugge player who was born in Zaire and has been capped by Congo. He has played more than 70 times for Excelsior in the Dutch top flight, scoring six goals for the club last season. Excelsior have used him in this evening’s league game against De Graafschap despite United’s offer for him. Leeds, meanwhile, are understood to be considering signing a second winger ahead of Tuesday’s 6pm transfer deadline. The club are targeting a separate player already based in England and have been heavily linked with Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Rajiv van La Parra in the past 24 hours. Van La Parra was left out of Wolves’ clash with Charlton Athletic earlier today and manager Kenny Jackett confirmed that the Dutch 24-year-old was in talks with rival clubs. However, the YEP has been told that Leeds are yet to agree a fee with Wolves despite talks during the past 24 hours. A source described discussions as “miles apart”.


Rosler celebrates his first win with the travelling White army

Sat 29th of Aug Uwe delighted Uwe Rosler was full of praise for his United side after claiming a “much-needed” first win of the season away to Derby County on Saturday afternoon. It was very much-needed,” Rosler said. “Only a top performance today would have guaranteed us the three points. “The first half was exceptional. The tempo was raised in the second half and they scored in a very good moment for them. “The crowd supported them even more, but then we steadied the ship and pushed on for the win. “Today we got rewarded for all the effort we’ve put in since I walked through the door. “I’m very, very happy for the players, for the staff and for the supporters that we have something to show today. United now head into the international break on the back of an unbeaten start to the season, with the win at Derby ending a run of four consecutive Championship draws for Rosler’s men. “The performances have already been there,” he said. “We saw today how many good things we did but we also saw that we are still a very young side. “Sometimes we’re going to lose our concentration a little bit but we’re bouncing back. “This group of players have not accepted any defeat so far. “We made positive substitutions, we went for the win and we got rewarded.”


Tom Adeymi celebrates his opener


Screamer from Wood – His third and United’s first win of the season

Sat Aug 28th DERBY 1 (Martin 48), Leeds (Adeyemi 43, Wood 88) United team: Silvestri, Berardi, Cooper, Bamba, Taylor, Adeyemi, Cook, Mowatt (Antenucci 75), Byram (Murphy 69), Dallas, Wood. Subs: Turnbull, Wootton, Bellusci, Phillips, Doukara. Referee: D Bond Booked: Hendrick (Derby) Att: 29,386 (2,335) United’s final game before the first international break of the season was a trip to Derby County’s iPro Stadium for yet another televised lunchtime kick-off. And Uwe Rosler made two changes from the previous weekend’s 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday, bringing Lewis Cook back into the team in place of Kalvin Phillips after completing his three-match ban, as well as replacing Mirco Antenucci with Alex Mowatt in midfield. Despite the early start, it was a lively atmosphere as the two sides took to the pitch and this reflected in the pace of the game during the opening exchanges. United, in their all-yellow away strip, were the first to threaten after a flowing move started in midfield by Cook. He picked out Mowatt, who in turn found Sam Byram to tee up the arriving Chris Wood for a first-time effort which curled just over Scott Carson’s bar from the edge of the area. A stoppage in play then followed as Derby captain Richard Keogh received treatment for a head injury, needing a fresh shirt and a bandage, after being caught by Cook’s high boot. Rosler will have been the happier of the two head coaches during the early stages, with United putting the hosts under sustained pressure in the first 20 minutes. But Derby were able to hold firm, clearing a series of corners, before Stuart Dallas smashed well over the bar. Gaetano Berardi saw his stinging, low strike blocked, before Derby took their turn to assert some pressure as the game started to become end-to-end. The Rams’ clearest opening inside the first 30 minutes fell for Chris Martin, but the striker could only glance Johnny Russell’s left-wing free-kick over Marco Silvestri’s bar with a header. The deadlock was broken on the stroke of half-time and it was the travelling United fans who were sent into raptures as Tom Adeyemi powered in his first competitive goal for the club. The on-loan midfielder rose inside the area to meet Dallas’ inch-perfect cross from a short corner routine to send a bullet header beyond the flailing Carson in a deserved end to the first half. The two sides re-emerged unchanged and Derby made a rapid start to the second period as Russell blasted over the bar within just 20 minutes of the restart. ilvestri was then forced into his first save of the afternoon, flying across his line to spectacularly tip Jeff Hendrick’s goalbound strike over the bar. The onslaught continued and the Rams managed to pull themselves level on 48 minutes through Martin, turning on the edge of the area before firing into the bottom corner. It was soon becoming one-way traffic and, with the home crowd noticeably lifted, Derby continued to push forward. Hendrick again tried his luck from outside the area, only to see his low ChrisWoodvDerbycelebstrike bounce just wide of the far post. A combination of Silvestri and Liam Cooper then smothered at the feet of Martin as he looked to wriggle his way into a shooting position from a tight angle. Tom Ince fired over from range and Silvestri was forced into another superb stop to push away Russell’s half-volley. Rosler was then prompted into his first changes of the afternoon, replacing Byram and Mowatt with Luke Murphy and Mirco Antenucci. And Antenucci was involved almost immediately, carving out a golden opening for Wood to put United back in front, but he could only send his close-range header over the bar. Wood was able to make amends with just two minutes remaining on the clock, though, turning on the edge of the area before sending an unstoppable strike beyond Carson, who remained routed to the spot, to clinch United’s first win of the season in dramatic fashion. Excellent win. Apart from 20 mins in the second half we bossed the game. The substitutions were right on the money, brave and well rewarded. A promising start to the season and with new recruits promised before Tuesday things are certainly looking bright right now. Sat Aug 28th. Forestieri becomes an Owl Forestieri the man who didn’t want to travel north of London has signed a four and a half year deal with Sheffield Weds. What a clown !

Friday 28th of August United end interest in Forestieri Massimo Cellino has confirmed that the club’s interest in signing Watford forward Fernando Forestieri was ended earlier this week. Cellino says United are now pursuing other targets ahead of the transfer window closing next week (Tuesday September 1, 6pm).Forestieri had been the subject of much media speculation after reports had heavily linked him with a move to Elland Road. A fee had been agreed between the two clubs following successful negotiations, but United have opted not to take the deal any further. We decided on Tuesday that we would not be signing Forestieri, it was clear he didn’t have the right mentality needed to come to Leeds,” Cellino told I want players to show a hunger and desire to come here – but he did not.“It was not about the money. A player could cost £3million, £5m or be a free transfer, but if their mentality isn’t right then I will not sign them for Leeds.“Players like Wood, Adeyemi and Dallas are what we need here – they gave everything to show that they wanted to join Leeds. Look at Murphy, he showed a great commitment to the club. “All our new signings showed that they really wanted to play for Leeds.“We are building a team of players with the same attitude and the mentality needed to make Leeds successful again.“Forestieri did not show that and we have moved on. We ended the deal on Tuesday and we are now looking at different players.” I think Leeds prostituted themselves enough after the player and it was clear from the outset he didn’t want to leave London. His loss. Let him play in front of single figure crowds if he so chooses.



Lee Erwin at last may get some game time at Derby

Thursday 28th of August Erwin’s putting pressure on strike partners – Rosler An Uwe Rosler said Lee Erwin’s goalscoring display in a development-squad game on Monday had “put pressure” on other players at Leeds United as he hinted at a first opportunity for the striker away at Derby County this weekend. Erwin played and scored United’s first goal in a 2-1 victory over Sheffield United’s Under-21s at Elland Road and Rosler said he had “noticed that performance” ahead of Saturday’s visit to Pride Park. Erwin, 21, is waiting to make his competitive Leeds debut after joining the club on a three-year deal from Scottish side otherwell in June. The Scotland youth international was signed for a fee which will be set by a tribunal and is likely to amount to around £500,000 but he is yet to play this season, despite featuring on the bench in all five of United’s matches to date. Rosler used Souleymane Doukara as a late substitute last weekend as Leeds pushed for a winner in their 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday. United’s head coach said: “It’s often the case that when you come from a different league you come from a different level. Lee surprised us because he took to this level relatively quick in the beginning. “As a young player sometimes you have to be sure you’re patient and it’s important to throw him in for his first game when we know he can really do himself justice and when he can build his confidence. That’s what it’s all about. “He accepted his role and he’s been on the bench for every game. But I definitely noticed that performance on Monday. I’m driving all the time on competition. Lee put pressure on his strike partners.”


Forestieri “deal not dead” according to Rosler

Thursday 27th of August Forestieri deal not dead – Rosler Uwe Rosler today confirmed that Leeds United are in the running to sign Fernando Forestieri but said he was in the dark about the striker’s intentions amid claims of a fresh offer from Sheffield Wednesday. United’s head coach admitted that Leeds had shown a “general interest” in Forestieri after the Elland Road club agreed a £3million fee for the 25-year-old forward late last week. United planned to finalise the transfer ahead of Saturday’s game against Derby County, making Forestieri their eighth signing of the summer, but the forward has stalled over a move to Leeds and is now the subject of bids from other clubs. Sheffield Wednesday, like Leeds, made an initial enquiry to take Forestieri on a season-long loan from Vicarage Road but that bid was rejected by Watford who plan to sell the ex-Udinese player before the transfer window closes on Tuesday. Wednesday are now reported to have tabled a £3million offer of their own and Reading remain in the hunt for Forestieri’s signature as next week’s FIFA deadline approaches. Asked about Forestieri, Rosler said: “I cannot update you because I am not involved in any negotiations whatsoever. I know as much as you know. “Obviously we have shown an interest in the player but where it is at this time I can’t tell you. I don’t know where we are. “I know there was a general interest. I think everybody knew that. But where we are now, today, I can’t tell you.” Forestieri’s reluctance to agree a move to Elland Road left United facing up to the prospect of abandoning negotiations in the early part of this week. The YEP understands that the club are continuing to pursuing a deal, however, despite believing that Forestieri is holding out for a different, more lucrative move. Rosler said: “I haven’t spoken to the player so I can’t tell you if the player is willing to come or not willing to come. I can’t tell you because I don’t know. Of course I want everybody committed to our football club. This is fantastic job, it’s a privilege to work for Leeds United and of course I want everybody coming into our football club to be 110 per cent committed.” Rosler has other transfer targets on his mind, including Leicester City defender Liam Moore who he watched in the League Cup on Tuesday night and who is available on a full-season loan. United’s head coach refused to comment on Moore specifically but said: “I was at Gigg Lane. I watched Leicester and Bury and I watched a lot of good players in that game from both sides.” One of United’s existing centre-backs, Giuseppe Bellusci, has been the subject of rumoured interest in Italy in the past 48 hours, though one of the clubs linked with him – Atalanta – have since signed two central defenders. Rosler said: “I’m personally not aware of (bids for Bellusci). I’ve not been told that there’s a club who’ve shown serious interest. “At the moment I have no knowledge of any player in our football who has serious interest.” Thursday 27th of August – Recruitment has been all about players not price tags Phil Hay- YP Money at Leeds United exists when Massimo Cellino chooses to spend it. That sounds elementary, like an owner’s prerogative, but the budget at Elland Road is a fluid structure. It all comes down to opportunities and circumstance. Cellino did not offer £3million for Fernando Forestieri because there is cash sloshing around at Elland Road, waiting to be burned. He saw Forestieri as a sound investment so he found the money Watford asked for and agreed to pay it. The reluctance of Forestieri to jump on the transfer will be goading Cellino to maddening heights but the fact remains that United are prepared to fund his fee. This is how the summer has gone: a close season in which Leeds have looked at signing specific players rather than spending a specific amount of cash. There are natural limits and players who Cellino cannot get into – Nottingham Forest’s Michail Antonio for example – but people around the Italian say he is more resistant to high wages than big fees. Fees he will pay because players vary in prices and clubs rarely trade on the cheap. Contracts can be incentivised or kept to a certain limit, a view which explains why negotiations with Sam Byram have not achieved much. The current wage bill at Elland Road is said to be around £13m; “not where most of our competitors are,” Rosler said on Saturday. It was breaking £20m when Cellino bought control of the club from Gulf Finance House 17 months ago. The signing of Chris Wood came about in July after Leeds agreed to pay well in excess of what Wolverhampton Wanderers were offering for him. Leicester City accepted both bids but knew which offer they wanted to come good. At the back end of July, no-one at Elland Road was talking about anything other than the importance of shifting Steve Morison – and to a lesser extent Nicky Ajose – off the wage bill. Leeds sounded like a club who were almost spent up. Then the door opened to Stuart Dallas and Cellino served up £1.3m for that transfer. The targets are the influential factor here, rather than the finance involved. The same could be said of other options, like Anthony Limbombe and Floyd Ayite. Younger than Forestieri and playing abroad, both have been interesting Leeds all summer but both are seen as riskier signings. Cellino talked valuations with Bastia, Ayite’s French club, but did not like their asking price. He offered around £1.5m for Limbombe, NEC Nijmegen’s 21-year-old Belgian, but received a cool response and has not bid again. It might be that the approach of the transfer deadline tempts him to try once more but while others at Elland Road were in contact with NEC last week, Cellino was thinking solely about Forestieri. That was the deal he wanted to happen. Leeds are evidently under a degree of pressure to make something happen in the final few days of the window. Their head coach for one would like a slightly bigger squad; attacking players as a priority but potentially another centre-back too. Depth is in slightly short supply. Rosler talked of Charlie Taylor operating like “a machine” on Saturday and the 21-year-old’s engine is something else but it could be argued that Taylor has played every minute of this season only because Rosler has no means of resting him. Gaetano Berardi is the closest thing to a spare left-back and Berardi is needed across the other side of United’s defence. The way the club speak, the way they are operating, suggests that most of this has registered with them. Forestieri would be another big outlay and a versatile addition to resources up front which cover the surface as much as anything. United stand to benefit from that deal but if Forestieri has doubts, he is better off expressing them now than waiting until the money has been paid. Otherwise he and Leeds will be fated for the same level of satisfaction enjoyed by Steve Morison. Forestieri’s reluctance is not in itself a reason to career into signing Limbombe, Ayite or anyone else. Given the way Cellino has operated this summer, it’s likely that the Forestieri-Limbombe consideration was not a case of either or. If the club wanted both they would have knuckled down and agreed a fee for both last week. Their interest in Limbombe seems slightly more cautious. Leeds would pay for him but only to a point. Likewise, a failed £3m bid for Forestieri should not automatically lead to an investment of £3m elsewhere, even though Leeds need a breakthrough or two before the window closes. Rosler spoke after Saturday’s win over Sheffield Wednesday about he and Cellino trying to sign “the right players at the right age at the right price.” Where the money is coming from only Cellino and a few others know. Millions of pounds were injected into the club during the close-season, all of it in exchange for equity. Whatever the source, the identity of players has mattered more than the price this summer. That’s recruitment as it should be.


Liam Moore could be arriving to partner Bamba

Weds Aug 24th. Leeds look to sign Moore from Leicester Leicester City defender Liam Moore is a target for Leeds United after Whites boss Uwe Rosler travelled to watch the defender at Bury last night. Rosler took in Moore’s performance in a League Cup tie at Gigg Lane, raising the possibility of a firm bid from Leeds to take the centre-back on a season-long loan. Leicester are to offers for Moore and United have kept an eye on the 22-year-old throughout the summer, without pushing to conclude a deal. Rosler, however, is keen to improve his choice of centre-backs and the move to scout Moore last night came as talk of interest in Giuseppe Bellusci arose in Italy. Serie A clubs Atalanta and Bologna are being credited with an interest in Bellusci who has three years left on his contract at Elland Road. Moore is well known to Rosler having worked with United’s head coach while Rosler was manager of Brentford in 2013. The 6’1” defender was sent to Griffin Park on loan by Leicester, one of three temporary moves completed by Moore so far. His career appearances for Leicester number more than 50 but he was rarely used in the second half of last season and his outing at Bury last night was his first of this term. The Whites are looking to strengthen their back-line this summer and have identified Moore as a top priority in that department. A number of Championship clubs have expressed an interest in signing the 22-year-old after he expressed a desire to move away from his current club on-loan this summer. As quoted by the Leicester Mercury, Moore said back in June that “I am a player who needs to be playing. I know it sounds silly, but for me to get to the point I want to be in my career it has to be playing regularly just to get that experience”.


Bellusci Looks like he will be spending his second season in Italy

Weds 26th. Bellusci looks to be heading back to Italy Two Italian clubs, Atalanta and Bologna, are being linked with a move for Leeds United defender Giuseppe Bellusci. Reports in Italy claim the two Serie A sides could bid for Bellusci before next week’s transfer deadline amid the belief that Leeds will listen to offers for the 26-year-old centre-back. Bellusci has already started three games for United this season but Leeds are considering signing a new central defender to partner Sol Bamba in their backline. Head coach Uwe Rosler has alternated between Bellusci and Liam Cooper alongside Bamba but is understood to have an eye on that area of his team with the transfer window into its final week. Leicester City’s Liam Moore – available on a season-long loan – is a player who Leeds have monitored since the end of last season, though United are yet to make a solid offer for him. Bellusci, meanwhile, has three years remaining on his contract at Elland Road and would command a sizeable fee having cost Leeds a reported £1.6m from Catania last August. He made 30 appearances for United last season but endured a controversial year, facing allegations of racism made against him by Norwich’s Cameron Jerome – an accusation which was dismissed by the FA – and becoming embroiled in the withdrawal of six foreign players through injury before Leeds’ 2-1 defeat at Charlton Athletic in April. Atalanta narrowly avoided relegation from Serie A last season while Bologna were promoted via the Serie B play-offs. Monday 24th of August Talks continue with NEC Nijmegen over Limbombe transfer NEC Nijmegen have indicated that they are open to the possibility of selling Leeds United target Anthony Limbombe but insist they will not be forced into a cut-price deal. The Dutch club moved to address Limbombe’s situation over the weekend after leaving him out of a league game against Ajax amid intense speculation about a move to Elland Road. NEC accused the Belgian winger of being “insufficiently focused” ahead of the match as talks between Nijmegen and Leeds about Limbombe continued. United bid £1.5m for him at the start of this month but are yet to increase their offer. However, they remain interested in the former Racing Genk player who scored 14 times as NEC cruised to the Dutch second division title last season. NEC director Bart van Ingen told Omroep Gelderland: “Anthony is an employee at the club and we have reminded him of his responsibilities. We are in discussions and we are not looking for conflict. “There is no concrete offer. If we can get capital which we can reinvest then we do that. If it’s not at the level we want, he continues to play.”


Forestieri at Loftus Road instead of Elland Road probably tells us where his head is at ?

Mon Aug 24th Forestieri ‘reluctant’ to move to Elland Road A bid by Leeds United to sign Fernando Forestieri is in the balance after the striker was named in Watford’s squad against Southampton yesterday. Forestieri unexpectedly appeared on the bench at Vicarage Road amid claims that he is reluctant to take up the offer of a move to Elland Road. Leeds and Watford have reached an agreement over a fee for Forestieri, leaving a decision over the move in the hands of the 25-year-old Massimo Cellino negotiated the deal personally with Watford’s owners, the Pozzo family, and he is ready to pay a fee of more than £3million for Forestieri, despite indicating last week that Leeds could not afford to finance a realistic bid. The Elland Road club have already invested more than £4m in Chris Wood and Stuart Dallas this summr but Forestieri was in line to become their third major investment of the transfer window. Leeds had hoped to finalise the signing in the next few days but they are yet to agree personal terms with Forestieri and the move remains some way from completion. Forestieri is rumoured to be looking for a club in the south of England. He was put up for sale by Watford after failing to feature in their first two Premier League matches. Leeds are one of a number of clubs, including Sheffield Wednesday and Reading, who have made an approach for him.Watford sporting director Nicola Salerno – employed by Cellino in the same capacity at Elland Road last seson – is understood to have been involved in negotiations over Forestieri’s future. Salerno attended last weekend’s goalless draw between Reading and Leeds and was pictured with Cellino at the Madejski Stadium. Forestieri, meanwhile, was spotted at Queens Park Rangers’ win over Rotherham United on Saturday while Leeds were fighting out a 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday. The forward is a close friend of QPR’s Alejandro Faurlin. Forestieri has played in England for the past two-and-a-half years, signed by Watford from Udinese, another club owned by the Pozzo family. His record shows 18 goals in 75 appearances for Watford and he featured heavily in their promotion from the Championship last term. The Vicarage Road club have made numerous additions to their squad, however, and Forestieri is surplus to requirements. Watford have used him in a variety of a positions and his arrival at Leeds would offer versatility to a head coach in Uwe Rosler who is anxious to secure more attacking options before the transfer window closes on September 1. Leeds initially asked to take Forestieri on loan but Watford were reluctant to release the forward on a temporary basis. Forestieri is midway through a lengthy five-and-a-half year deal and is tied to Vicarage Road until 2018. Rosler refused to discuss the proposed deal after Saturday’s draw with Wednesday, saying: “I can’t tell you what is agreed or not agreed with Watford. “I can tell you that Mr Cellino last season used his personal money to buy off all the debt so from this summer the club can move on. “I wasn’t aware we could (sign) Chris Wood. “Mr Cellino wants this club to do very well and he wants to back me and support me to bring in the right player at the right price at the right age. The signings show that. They’re all in the same bracket. Forestieri, who you spoke about, he’s 25, yes? So …”


It’s up to Forestieri now if he wants to play for a big club

Sunday 23rd of August Leeds to sign Forestieri and Limbome -Phil YEP Leeds United will attempt to seal the signing of Fernando Forestieri next week after thrashing out a deal to take the striker from Watford. Leeds and Watford have reached an agreement over a fee for Forestieri, leaving the move in the hands of the 25-year-old Italian with the transfer deadline 10 days away. Massimo Cellino, who has been negotiating personally with Watford’s owners, the Pozzo family, is ready to pay more than £3million for Forestieri, despite indicating on Thursday that Leeds could not afford to finance a deal. The Elland Road club have already invested more than £4m in Chris Wood and Stuart Dallas but Forestieri is in line to become their third major investment of the summer, provided United can agree personal terms with him. Forestieri was put up for sale by Watford after failing to feature in their first two Premier League matches and Leeds are one of a number of clubs, including Sheffield Wednesday and Reading, who have made an approach for him. Watford sporting director Nicola Salerno – employed by Cellino in the same capacity at Elland Road last season – is understood to have been involved in negotiations over Forestieri’s future. Salerno attended last weekend’s goalless draw between Reading and Leeds and was pictured with Cellino at the Madejski Stadium. Forestieri, meanwhile, was spotted at Queens Park Rangers’ win over Rotherham United today while Leeds were fighting out a 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday. The forward is a close friend of QPR’s Alejandro Faurlin. Forestieri has played in England for the past two-and-a-half years, signed by Watford from Udinese, another club owned by the Pozzo family. His record shows 18 goals in 75 appearances for Watford and he featured heavily in their promotion from the Championship last term. The Vicarage Road club have made numerous additions to their squad, however, and Forestieri is surplus to requirements. Watford have used him in a variety of a positions and his arrival at Leeds would offer versatility to a head coach in Uwe Rosler who is anxious to secure more attacking options before the transfer window closes on September 1. Leeds initially asked to take Forestieri on loan but Watford were reluctant to release the forward on a temporary basis. Forestieri is midway through a lengthy five-and-a-half year deal and is tied to Vicarage Road until 2018. Rosler refused to discuss the proposed deal after this afternoon’s draw with Wednesday, saying: “I can’t tell you what is agreed or not agreed with Watford.”I can tell you that Mr Cellino last season used his personal money to buy off all the debt so from this summer the club can move on. I wasn’t aware we could (sign) Chris Wood.”Mr Cellino wants this club to do very well and he wants to back me and support me to bring in the right player at the right price at the right age. The signings show that. They’re all in the same bracket. Forestieri, who you spoke about, he’s 25, yes? So…”In a separate development, Belgian winger Anthony Limbombe could also be edging closer to a move to Leeds after NEC Nijmegen left him out of their squad for a league game against Ajax on Saturday. United failed with an initial bid of £1.5m for Limbombe at the start of this month but discussions between the clubs continued last week while Cellino was pursuing the signing of Forestieri. A statement from NEC said Limbombe was “insufficiently focused” due to interest in him from Elland Road. “Therefore he has no place in the squad,” the statement added. Sat 22nd of Aug Rosler’s reaction to Wed’s game Uwe Rosler says he couldn’t have asked for any more from his players following Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday at Elland Road. United fell behind to what Rosler described as a “wonder goal” on 37 minutes, Marco Matias beating the offside trap before firing in off the underside of the crossbar to give Wednesday the lead. But a second-half goal from Chris Wood, forcing home Stuart Dallas’ low cross from close-range, ensured the spoils would be shared after a keenly-fought Yorkshire derby. Rosler said: “They didn’t really attack us in any shape or form. Yes, we played too many straight balls in the beginning of the game. “We weren’t patient enough but they didn’t have one chance in the whole game. “The goal came as a wonder goal. I think we have to applaud their player – I wouldn’t have even called it a chance. “I think it was a fantastic individual effort. Apart from that, I can’t recall any real efforts. “My players knocked on the door and did everything I asked them to do. “We made mistakes but we made up for it with endeavour, with character and everything that I could ask for. “The players reacted in the right way, coming back from 1-0 down – what more can I ask?” Rosler also praised in-form strike duo Wood and Mirco Antenucci, who again combined on several occasions as United pressed for a late winner. “I think both of our strikers did well, forcing corners and free-kicks, and also forcing the momentum which got us the goal,” he said. “Their goal was a big blow physcologically, especially what we were coming into the game on the back of. “They were already tired, the legs didn’t always follow what the brain told them. “At 1-0 down to a goal like that, you are thinking, ‘Where do we go from here?’ But we still came back. “We still pushed them for the win and I put another striker on to win the game. I can’t ask for more than that.”


Chris Wood grabs his first home goal for Leeds

Sat 22nd of August Leeds 1 (Wood 61), Sheff Weds 1 (Matias 37) United team: Silvestri, Berardi, Bamba, Cooper, Taylor, Byram (Mowatt 56), Adeyemi, Phillips (Murphy 56), Dallas (Doukara 85), Antenucci, Wood. Subs: Turnbull, Wootton, Bellusci, Erwin. Referee: M Jones. Booked: Phillips, Berardi (United), Lees, Sougou, Hutchinson, Helan (Wednesday). Att: 22,597 (1,313). Sheffield Wednesday were the visitors for Elland Road’s first Yorkshire derby of the new season, and head coach Uwe Rosler made two changes from the midweek draw at Bristol City, recalling Gaetano Berardi and Liam Cooper in place of Scott Wootton and Giuseppe Bellusci. It was the Owls who the game’s first sight of goal, Marco Matias driving forward before hitting a low strike which was comfortably held by Marco Silvestri. But Rosler’s side soon started to ask questions, with Stuart Dallas drilling over the bar from 20 yards out following a good spell of pressure inside the opening 10 minutes. Otherwise, chances were scarce in a surprisingly ChrisWoodvSheffWeds2subdued start to proceedings as both goalkeepers remained untested. Mirco Antenucci did have Wednesday stopper Lewis Price scrambling across his line after unleashing a dipping, 25-yard half-volley which fizzed agonisingly wide of the far post after latching onto Chris Wood’s knockdown. A moment of magic would be needed to open the scoring and that came on the 37th mark, only in favour of the visitors. Matias escaped the offside trap, racing onto Vincent Sasso’s through ball, before unleashing a looping strike in off the crossbar to stun to Kop end. United looked to respond, with Dallas’ attempt taking the slightest of deflections off Wood as it flew behind, before Antenucci smashed over from a tight angle on the stroke of half-time. Both sides re-emerged from the break unchanged and it was United who began on the front foot, winning an early corner which captain Sol Bamba rose to head into the arms of Price. Rosler was then prompted into his first changes after 56 minutes, replacing Sam Byram and Kalvin Phillips with Alex Mowatt and Luke Murphy in a bid to get back on terms. And Leeds managed to do so just after the hour-mark courtesy of Wood’s second goal in as many games. Some brilliant wing play down the right saw Dallas nutmeg his marker before delivering a low cross for the striker to guide home from close-range to level proceedings. Silvestri then needed to be alert to hold Liam Palmer’s header, before Wood could have nodded United into the lead with a towering header from Charlie Taylor’s cross which flew just wide of the post. Leeds were the ones looking more likely to come away with a winner, and Mowatt curled a long-range free-kick into the arms of Price before Antenucci had two efforts blocked from the edge of the area in quick succession. A spell of late pressure followed as the fourth official indicated for five minutes of added time, but there proved to be no way through as the derby day spoils were shared. We lacked craft and invention to break down dull and resolute Weds side. When they got their goal theu ere always going to stay in their shell. The substitutions of Mowatt and Murphy offerd us much more, but I was diappointed we didn’t push on more for the killer three pointes after a very good equaliser. the positives are it’s another point. The negative is are it’s another two points dropped.


Time for Turnball to get a run

From Leeds all over Marco Silvestri needs to be dropped What was that? I’ll probably get abused for saying all this but my word. That was one of the worst performances I’ve seen by a keeper, only beaten by Rachubka. The first goal for Bristol City, beaten at his near post which is just massively average. However the second goal is where it’s at. What on earth was that? A corner, comes to Silvestri with not much power on it and he palms it straight back into the box and they score. One of the worst pieces of keeping I’ve ever seen, the fact that it was the 95th minute and it made it 2-2 when we were 2-0 up in the 89th minute just makes it more painful. To be fair, after the Doncaster game I wanted Turnbull to play, he commands his box and collects crosses like all good keepers should do. Silvestri cannot catch the simplest of crosses and puts us under immediate danger. People’s only defence of him is that he’ll get better, well, he hasn’t since he’s been here in that department. Yeah he’s a decent shot-stopper but so are most keepers, but a keepers job is more than just shot-stopping. Silvestri cannot do the basics and until he can he shouldn’t be playing for Leeds. I can’t say Turnbull is amazing but I know he can do the basics and he won’t put us under unnecessary pressure. Another thing from last night, why drop Liam Cooper after he puts in a class performance and we get a clean sheet? Mental. So feel free to abuse me for this if you want but if you really think about it I’m sure you’ll see that Silvestri needs dropping. People may say we’re unbeaten but we’ve drawn 3 games and got 3 points, we really need to win on Saturday now otherwise it’s been a poor start to the season. Ross Turnbull has to start. I couldn’t agree more.  comments Hugh Jarse : Said for some time now that Silvestri is a weak keeper, no command of his area,flaps at everything, poor distribution .the only saving grace is his shot stopping which is good. Needs some time on the bench so he can sit back and atch how real keepers go about their work. Terry Walls : Agree totally. However, in recent years have we ever been able to sit on a lead? We lose possession too easily, especially after good opening spells, and defending, although improving, is rather suspect. It is time to give Turnbull a chance Totally agree. Silvo nèds to take a back seat for a while until he can.prove he can do the keeper basics. I like Rosler but I too wonder why Cooper was not playing. Totally agree, but then I thought Turnbull should have been in goal at the start of the season! Cooper in for me too and Wooton is liability and think he would struggle to get in at Guiseley! James Park Totally agree , can’t think for the life of me why Cooper was dropped and Antenucci subbed ! Reply !00% agree with both points ie re Silvestri and Cooper! Also,why is Byram looking so disinterested? Sack the “Charlton six”!!!! Reply Rosler must take some of the blame with his team selection…..he says some players are tired…….so why bring them on as subs? Wooton shouldn’t be even on the bench never mind a starter. Stop rotating like he did at Wigan and play your best eleven to start. Why bring on Mowatt for Mirco …….why not use Erwin……he has not kicked a ball in anger but has kept the bench warm for four games. Beradi should have started along with Cooper…….Rosler needs to get his act together or ship out. Jan Whitehurst Can you expand on nonsense Maroonzio. MOTThinLizzyWhite Totally agree. Some inept management choices. I’ve seen Joe Hart, Buffon, De Gea and Cech all beaten at their near posts and drop crosses so do you think they are all “massively average” as well? Its easy to denigrate and scapegoat players – it helps to damage their self belief – is that what you want? Tom Lees is a recent example of what supporters like you can do to players. Look at him now. From this and your past comments I reckon your “problem” is that you don’t want any Italian players in the team. LeedsAllOver I don’t think me writing this will mean that Silvestri cannot catch the ball, that’s his problem. I like Antenucci and he’s Italian so there you go.agree. he is garbage. but so is wooten. Agree. Turnbull needs to be in the side. Don’t think anyone one can argue that Silvestri prefers to punch the ball away rather than catch it, if you do that, you’ve only a certain amount of control to where the ball goes, the opposition will always work on weaknesses, on the side Uwe picked its common knowledge with the games we have had he has rotated the squad in the best way he can, we all know in certain area’s where short i.e. LB, LW and RW but also midfield Murphy on his way back from injury and Bianci injured and Cook suspended, so we have to back Uwe in his decision making, some players maybe carrying knocks that we don’t know about. MOT 100% agree. Bob on. They’re apparently tired after 3 games of the seaso Totally agree. Turnbull in for Silvestri, Cooper in for Bellusci, Beradi in for Wooton. Don’t be apologetic about stating your opinion. Furthermore, most posters on here agree with you. If Silvestri cannot catch a ball now he never will. He may be the best goal stopper in the world but being a damn good all rounder and consistent is what we need. Turnbull must be brought in on Saturday. I’m sick and tired of the way we throw games away. Rosler needs to wake up. You field your best side and you keep it until you are certain of the outcome. All said, I think we will finish in the top ten, but forget promotion, its still a Pipedream. Liverpool did it and there keeper came back better than ever maybe silvestri would up his game if he had to fight for his place 19/08/15 Bristol reaction Rosler angerd by stoppage time.” The six minutes was one of the things I was asking about,” said Rosler, who marched over to referee Gavin Ward at the final whistle. I think there were there were two injury breaks – one on our side was a minute, one of theirs was one-and-a half-minute, and there were two goals 30 seconds each. “That makes four (minutes) to me but I think everybody in the stadium got very excited when they scored the first goal and that includes the referees. They got very excited. “The crowd couldn’t believe it when they saw six minutes, they thought it was carnival. “It gave them another boost but it was our third away game in six days and my boys have been terrific. “I have to be careful what I’m saying to the people who make that sort of arrangement, three games in six days, but at some point soon probably clubs and players will be suing somebody because of the amount of possible injuries.” City manager Steve Cotterill was unimpressed by Rosler’s complaints about the referee’s time-keeping and said Leeds only had themselves to blame. “The six minutes could have been seven as it took them three-quarters of an hour to take a goal kick in the first half,” Cotterill said. “If you’re going to do it – and they tried to kill time – you’re going to get burned by it. So don’t do it. “But I’m disappointed because we absolutely battered them and they found it very difficult. I thought we were excellent and deserved to win the game. “The referee has made a mistake on the penalty because he hasn’t touched him and we’ve undone ourselves on the second one and then it was a mountain to climb. “But we deservedly got something out of the game. Our football was fantastic and that’s how we want to play, and as soon as we get rid of those small errors we are going to be a force to be reckoned with.” City remain in talks with Brentford striker Andre Gray over what would be a record purchase for the club of around B#9million. But Cotterill declined to elaborate on the potential transfer, simply saying: “There’s nothing more to talk about on that one.” 19/08/15 BRISTOL CITY 2 (Agard 89, Flint 90+5), LEEDS UNITED 2 (Antenucci pen 39, Wood 52) Leeds United team: Silvestri, Wootton, Bellusci, Bamba, Taylor, Adeyemi, Phillips, Byram (Berardi 83), Dallas, Antenucci (Mowatt 65), Wood. Subs. Turnbull, Cooper, Murphy, Erwin, Doukara. Referee: G Ward. Booked: Fredericks, Hamer (City), Adeyemi, Byram, Wootton, Wood (United) Att: 14,712 (1,307 United) For the midweek trip to Bristol City, United head coach Uwe Rosler made three changes from the 0-0 draw at Reading three days earlier, handing starts to Scott Wootton, Giuseppe Bellusci and Mirco Antenucci in place of Gaetano Berardi, Liam Cooper and Alex Mowatt. As pre-warned by Rosler in his press conference ahead of the game, the hosts made a rapid start to proceedings and Sol Bamba was forced into a crucial clearance inside the opening two minutes, heading behind a dangerous-looking cross from Joe Bryan. A period of end-to-end play followed and a swift Leeds breakaway down the middle through Tom Adeyemi saw the midfielder inches away from being found in a glorious shooting position after exchanging passes with Antenucci out wide. The hosts then had their first sight of goal, Callum Robinson cutting inside from the left before firing well over Marco Silvestri’s bar. Adeyemi appeared to be covering every blade of grass at Ashton Gate and it was the midfielder who had the best of United’s early efforts as he headed Kalvin Phillips’ drilled cross over the bar. At the opposite end, Silvestri was called into action with a low save to keep out Jonathan Kodjia’s strike from inside the area, before Stuart Dallas hacked Aden Flint’s header off the line from the resulting corner. Silvestri was again alert to block out Joe Bryan’s effort at his near post before the City winger skied his second attempt. The hosts were enjoying the better of the chances but a swift United counter-attack presented Rosler’s side with a golden opportunity to break the deadlock, after onrushing goalkeeper Ben Hamer felled Antenucci inside the area as the striker looked to round him. Referee Gavin Ward had little hesitation in pointing to the spot and Antenucci dusted himself off to convert emphatically, sending Hamer the wrong way in front of the joyous travelling supporters. Sam Byram then saw his downwards header held by Hamer as United were buoyed by the opener, but City ended the opening 45 minutes strongly as Robinson was denied by Silvestri from point-blank range on the stroke of half-time. Both teams re-emerged unchanged from the break and the second half started in a similar vein to the first, with City quick to go into attack. Aaron Wilbraham turned strongly inside the area, only to see the legs of Silvestri deny his low strike. But another swift United breakaway resulted in the game’s second goal on 52 minutes, with Chris Wood netting his first for the club. Antenucci found his strike partner out on the right and Wood cut inside before firing an unstoppable strike into Hamer’s bottom corner to double the lead. It was counter-attacking football at its finest and Leeds suddenly looked comfortable with the two-goal cushion. Rosler decided to make his first change of the evening on 65 minutes, replacing the excellent Antenucci with Mowatt. City had half chances through Wilbraham, just failing to connect with substitute Bobby Reid’s left-wing cross, and Derrick Williams, smashing a long-range free-kick harmlessly over the bar. The hosts managed to pull one back and ensure a nervy finale as substitute Kieran Agard fired in off the near post from inside the area with just one minute remaining of the 90. Six minutes of extra-time were added on and Steve Cotterill’s side made them count, with Flint scrambling in a last-gasp corner from close-range to ensure the spoils would be shared. Two points thrown away. Defensive shambles but once again Silvestri should have done a hell of a lot better, beaten at the near post for the first and was a complete joke for the 95th minute equaliser. Time for a change.


Rosler stands in front of the best set of fans in world (bar none)

Sunday Aug 16th Rosler happy with point Uwe Rosler was content to come away from the Madejski Stadium with a point following Sunday afternoon’s goalless draw with Reading. United, three days after their gruelling Capital One Cup tie at Doncaster, battled out a largely uneventful 0-0 draw with the Royals after a game of few clear-cut chances for both sides. Rosler made six changes from Thursdays’s visit to Doncaster amid a testing schedule of fixtures for his side, including recalls for Sam Byram, Sol Bamba, Tom Adeyemi and Chris Wood. “We had 48 hours less recovery time than they did – I thought there was nothing between the two teams,” the head coach said. “I felt we were relatively stable in our organisation – our goalkeeper only had to make two saves from two free-kicks. “We weren’t in a position to play a high-intensive power game with running and high intensity. “In terms of creating chances, we didn’t have many apart from a very good one from Stuart Dallas in the first half. We looked more like scoring than they did. “In the second half both teams started to look tired – that surprised me a little bit on the Reading side. “My players dug deep to get the result. We had fantastic support from our supporters – they realise the schedule we have and we are desperate to give them something back. “I’m taking a point and hopefully our supporters are taking a point.” With Lewis Cook serving the first of his three-game suspension, Rosler handed a first start of the season to youngster Kalvin Phillips in midfield. “I thought he did well,” Rosler said.. Missing Cookie is a massive blow so we had to find a solution. “One solution was to trust Kalvin and he gave me everything back. “He needed a little bit of time in the first 10-15 minutes – like we all did – but after that he adapted to the tempo. “He adapted to the physicality and he’s a player who doesn’t show many nerves. I expect him to make big strides throughout the season and today was the start.” Rosler also praised the contribution of Chris Wood, with the striker leading the line tirelessly as he waits to open his United account. “Chris did a very good job in terms of giving us a platform to play on,” the head coach said. “He’s very, very important. “I promise that throughout the season he will get goals and the team will get goals. “Today was my first game where we haven’t scored but we got the clean sheet and that was important”. The undoubted highlight of the afternoon was the support shown throughout by the 4,131 travelling Leeds fans, something which Rosler is keen to make sure his players fully appreciate. “We spoke about it in the dressing room before we went out and I think it’s very important that we don’t take that support for granted,” he said. “There aren’t many clubs in the UK, including in the Premier League, who would have over 4,000 people coming on a Sunday like our supporters did. “They helped us, there’s no question about it. The players dug deep and I think they liked what they saw.” Sunday August 16th READING 0, UNITED 0 United team: Silvestri, Berardi, Cooper, Bamba, Taylor, Adeyemi, Phillips (Murphy 72), Mowatt (Antenucci 72), Byram, Dallas, Wood. Subs. Turnbull, Wootton, Bellusci, Erwin, Doukara. Referee: C Kavanagh Booked: Norwood (Reading), Bamba, Adeyemi, Murphy (United) Att: 21,581 (4,131 United)


Bamba and Cooper played central defence v Reading

United’s first Championship awayday of 2015/16 – a Sunday afternoon visit to Reading’s Madejski Stadium – saw head coach Uwe Rosler make six changes from the midweek cup exit at the hands of Doncaster Rovers. Marco Silvestri, Sol Bamba, Tom Adeyemi, Sam Byram and Chris Wood were all recalled to the starting line-up, while youngster Kalvin Phillips was handed his first start in midfield since April. It was the hosts who had the game’s first sight of goal after just two minutes as a Bamba foul on Hal Robson-Kanu, which resulted in an early booking for the Leeds captain, handed Reading a free-kick on the edge of the area but Oliver Norwood curled a harmless effort straight into the arms of Silvestri. Stuart Dallas then threatened for Rosler’s men at the opposite end, drilling a low strike on target which goalkeeper Jonathan Bond was equal to after space had opened up for the United winger. It was an end-to-end start to proceedings in Berkshire but chances of real note were few and far between for both sides inside the opening stages. Silvestri comfortably held Robson-Kanu’s powerful strike from distance on the half-hour mark but, otherwise, the two goalkeepers remained untested. Gaetano Berardi smashed a first-time effort wide from a tight angle after the ball had fallen kindly into his path, while Dallas looped a header over the bar following a well-worked move between Alex Mowatt and Byram down the right. It meant a strong end to the opening 45 minutes for United but referee Chris Kavanagh’s half-time whistle shortly after meant it remained goalless at the break. The two teams re-emerged unchanged and the second period began in a similar manner, with United enjoying plenty of the ball inside the Reading half but without testing Bond between the sticks. Adeyemi’s speculative strike from distance was blocked by the outstretched leg of Norwood, while Paul McShane towered a header over the bar from a corner as the game approached the hour mark. Resolute defensive displays from both sides meant that clear-cut chances continued to be scarce, but Wood snuck behind the Reading back line on 70 minutes as he looked to latch onto a long ball over the top, only to smash his half-volley into the side-netting. Orlando Sa then did similar at the other end just moments later, trying to beat Silvestri at his near post with a low strike. Rosler was prompted into his first changes of the game after 72 minutes, replacing Phillips and Mowatt with Luke Murphy and Mirco Antenucci in a bid to claim a late winner. And that almost came with just four minutes remaining on the clock through the tireless Wood. The striker collected a long ball on his chest and turned, before unleashing a dipping half-volley which skimmed the roof of the net. Three minutes of stoppage time were added but neither side were able to make a dramatic breakthrough as the spoils were shared after a goalless afternoon at the Madejski.


Luke Murphy will come in for Lewis Cook

Friday 15th of August Rosler prepares for Reading Uwe Rosler plans to add “freshness and energy” to his United side for Sunday’s trip to Reading (3pm) following a gruelling Capital One Cup tie at Doncaster just three days earlier.United played 120 minutes at the Keepmoat Stadium – 83 of them with 10 men following Lewis Cook’s red card – before a 4-2 defeat on penalties confirmed their exit from the competition at the first hurdle. Rosler made five changes on the night, handing starts to Ross Turnbull, Liam Cooper, Scott Wootton, Souleymane Doukara and Mirco Antenucci, while Luke Murphy also returned to first-team action as a second-half substitute. Midfielder Tom Adeyemi was rested as a precaution to a knock picked up earlier in the week, but Rosler is confident of having him back in contention for Reading. The head coach is also eyeing several recalls to his side at the Madejski Stadium. “We’ll get Tom right, Sol Bamba will be available, Sam Byram and Chris Wood will be available from the start,” he said. “Mirco Antenucci was very good on Thursday, so we will add players to it. We will add freshness and energy to it. “Some players had to go to the limit on Thursday and we’ll see how they recover and then we’ll make a selection. “It’s not good to be physically tired and also mentally – we need to pick up the players and the players have to pick themselves up. “We’re looking forward now to the next three games.” Murphy had played an hour for the Under-21s on Monday, his first game back from a pre-season hampering knee injury, and ended up staying on the pitch for the same amount of time at Doncaster as the game headed into extra-time. Rosler said: “Luke played 60 minutes on Thursday which was a little bit more than planned. I think he still needs a little bit more time as well.” On whether Murphy could start at Reading, the head coach added: “We are very thin in that department now. “It was very important that Luke got the minutes, we’ll see how he recovers and then we’ll make a decision.” Friday 14th of August Whites cup exit could be a blessing says Whelan FORMER Leeds United striker Noel Whelan believes Thursday night’s exit from the Capital One Cup could be a blessing in disguise admitting: we never would have had a strong enough squad to win it.”United crashed out of the competition at the first hurdle with a gut-wrenching 4-2 loss on penalties at Doncaster Rovers who looked in trouble after trailing 1-0 to an early Lewis Cook opener. Yet Leeds then hit the self destruct button with Cook given his marching orders for a late tackle before Scott Wootton conceded a penalty that was converted by Andy Williams. Annoyingly, United still held Doncaster at bay for the remainder of the 90 minutes – and even went close to winning the tie through Mirco Antenucci in extra-time – only to exit the competition on spot-kicks after Sam Byram and Chris Wood ballooned penalties over the bar. Leeds must now dust themselves down quickly in time for Sunday’s Championship clash at Reading – where Cook will begin a three-match ban – but Whelan can see a positive side to being booted out of the Capital One Cup. Whelan told the YEP: I think it’s more fitness wise and the mental side of things that will be draining for them. “Once you get to extra-time and penalties you want to go on and win it. But it’s probably a distraction we don’t need to be quite honest and we never would have had a strong enough squad to win it.The main aim this season is the Championship and getting as close to promotion as possible. “If it’s not automatic then I think we do have the squad to at least be in and around the play-offs come the end of the season if we keep them fit. “The cup, to me, is not a priority. I think the lads just need to brush themselves down. The games are coming thick and fast at the moment so they’ve got to prepare themselves mentally. The cup game’s gone now so move on to Reading and put things right there.”


Lewis Cook out for three games

Weds Dec 13th Rosler defends Lewis Cook Uwe Rosler leapt to the defence of Lewis Cook after the midfielder’s red card helped condemn Leeds United to an exhausting League Cup defeat at Doncaster Rovers last night.Cook scored his maiden Leeds goal at the Keepmoat Stadium but was shown a red card towards the end of the first half following a two-footed tackle on Rovers’ Aaron Taylor-Sinclair as United lost on penalties and went out in the League Cup’s first round for the first time in their history. The 18-year-old is facing a three-match ban, ruling him out of forthcoming Championship games against Reading, Bristol City and Sheffield Wednesday, and although Doncaster failed to take immediate advantage they reached the second round with a 4-2 victory on penalties. Rosler said: “I think we should not be too harsh on Lewis. He scored his first goal in senior football and he was very excited. In that split second he was probably a bit too excited. So I’m not too harsh on him. “He’ll feel low at the moment and we have to pick him up. The players have to pick him up. Lewis needs to keep himself fit and come back strong.” Rosler described the red card as an “unnecessary” foul and admitted Leeds had shot themselves in the foot when Scott Wootton conceded a penalty with a clear trip on Doncaster’s Cedric Evina. Rosler said: “The red card made it much more difficult. It was unnecessary to concede the red card and to concede a penalty but the players have given me everything. “I didn’t wish to have this in a period of four games in 10 days but we move on. The supporters were fantastic and they’ll forgive mistakes on the pitch because we have a young group of players. We lost our heads once or twice and that can happen. As long as we respond in the way that we did, we will turn things in better situations in the future.” August 13th. DONCASTER 1 (Williams pen 31), UNITED 1 (Cook 14) (Doncaster win 4-2 on penalties) United team:  Turnbull, Berardi, Bellusci, Cooper, Taylor, Wootton, Cook, Mowatt (Byram 74), Doukara (Murphy 67), Dallas (Wood 67), Antenucci. Subs: Silvestri, Bamba, Phillips, Erwin. Referee:  K Hill Sent off: Cook (United) Att: 8,361, (3,394 United)


Berardi consoles Sam whose penalty has just landed in Oriel Park

United’s Capital One Cup campaign began with a Yorkshire derby at Doncaster Rovers’ Keepmoat Stadium, and head coach Uwe Rosler made five changes from the opening day draw with Burnley five days earlier. Mirco Antenucci was rewarded with a start after being on target against the Clarets, while Ross Turnbull, Liam Cooper, Scott Wootton and Souleymane Doukara also came in, with Cooper captaining the team. It was a frantic start to proceedings in front of a lively crowd, with United backed by a large away following of over 3,000, but chances were scarce during the opening exchanges as both sides looked to find their feet. That was until the 14th-minute mark when Antenucci was sent hurtling down the left. His curling effort was pushed away by a fine Thorsten Stuckmnann save but only as far as Lewis Cook, who gratefully tucked away his first senior goal for the club from close-range. Doncaster looked to mount a quick response and only some heroic defending from Giuseppe Bellusci, hacking the ball off the line with an overhead kick to keep out James Coppinger’s lob, kept United ahead on 21 minutes. At the opposite end, Alex Mowatt was inches away from connecting with Doukara’s dangerous low cross inside the area, but the hosts managed to pull themselves level from the penalty spot on the half-hour mark. Wootton was adjudged to have tripped Cedric Evina inside the area and Andy Williams dispatched the resulting spot-kick, squeezing the ball into Turnbull’s bottom left corner. United were reduced to 10 men after 37 minutes after goalscorer Cook was shown a straight red card for a challenge of Doncaster’s Aaron Taylor-Sinclair. Coppinger could have fired Rovers ahead on the stroke of half-time after bursting through the United defence, but the scoreline remained level at the break as he fired a low effort wide of Turnbull’s post. Both sides re-emerged unchanged and it was Doncaster who enjoyed the better of the early second-half exchanges, Coppinger blasting over from distance before Williams forced Turnbull into a superb flying save to push away his strike on the turn. With United seeing little of the ball since the restart, Rosler was prompted into his first changes of the evening after 67 minutes, introducing Luke Murphy and Chris Wood in place of Doukara and Dallas. Turnbull comfortably held Rob Jones’ header after the defender rose to meet a long ball inside the area, before United’s third and final change saw Sam Byram replace Mowatt in midfield. The hosts began to pile on the pressure as the game entered the final 10 minutes, with Williams turning a back-post header narrowly wide shortly after Coppinger had seen his low effort deflected behind. United were just about holding on and Turnbull continued to have his work cut out between the sticks as he palmed away a strike from substitute Nathan Tyson before Harry Forrester smashed over the rebound. Coppinger lashed wide before a last-gasp United break almost resulted in late drama, but the game headed into extra-time. Leeds made a bright start to extra-time and could have retaken the lead within five minutes of kick-off as Antenucci strode forward before slotting Byram through on goal, but a strong right hand from Stuckmann pushed away his effort. Cooper then blazed over from inside the area after being teed up by Wootton as Rosler’s men dominated the first period of extra-time. On the stroke of half-time, Antenucci almost squeezed the ball home but Stuckmann cut a relieved figure as he fumbled the striker’s low effort onto the post. There proved to be no way through in extra-time and a shoot-out was needed to separate the sides. Antenucci and Murphy both dispatched their spot-kicks but misses from Byram and Wood and a 100 per cent conversion rate from Doncaster saw the hosts progress with a 4-2 win on penalties.


United look for a 2nd winger

Weds Aug 8th United bid for Belgian winger Leeds have made a bid for talented winger Anthony Limbombe, report Fox News Netherlands. Limbombe plays for Eredivisie side NEC Nijmegen, who he helped win promotion as champions from the second tier last season. The bid from Leeds is worth a reported two million Euros, converted at £1.4 million. Fox News Netherlands report NEC Nijmegen have rejected the offer and have no plans to sell. Limbombe is a 21-year-old winger from Belgium who has previously represented his country at under-19 level. He has a contract until 2017, and was signed from Genk just last summer. Last season he was prolific, scoring 14 goals in league games, 16 in all competitions, with a further 11 assists along the way. The move is a sign of positive ambition from Leeds, who last week signed winger Stuart Dallas for a similar fee. It remains to be seen whther Leeds will return for Limbombe and if they can afford to tempt the Dutch side into a sale. Weds 12th of August Byram contract talks back on Leeds United and Sam Byram are back in talks about an extension to his contract amid further indications that the winger wants to stay at Elland Road this season. United have instigated fresh discussions with Byram’s agent in the past fortnight and the 21-year-old is understood to have told the club that he is not looking to move on before the end of this transfer window. Byram’s long-term future is up in the air with his existing contract due to expire next summer and no agreement in place over a new deal. United previously opened negotiations with him before Christmas but talks broke down rapidly after owner Massimo Cellino asked Byram to accept a lengthy extension to his deal on a reduced weekly wage, in keeping with the contract signed by midfielder Luke Murphy last month. Cellino has been working to cut the wage bill at Elland Road since buying a majority stake in Leeds in April 2014. The latest discussions between the parties are yet to break the impasse but Byram appears increasingly determined to see out his existing contract despite interest from elsewhere. Newcastle United are one of the teams monitoring Byram and the Tyneside club sent assistant manager Ian Cathro and head scout Graham Carr to Elland Road to watch his performance in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Burnley. Newcastle are considering adding a right-back to their squad before the transfer deadline but they are also ready to use their remaining transfer budget to lure striker Charlie Austin to St James’ Park from Queens Park Rangers. Everton and Aston Villa have also followed Byram’s situation this summer, though Leeds have not received an offer for the talented 21-year-old. Byram is more than two years into the three-deal deal hesigned in 2013, a reward for his dramatic breakthrough from United’s academy in 2012. He is the leading appearance-maker in the current squad at Leeds and passed the 100 mark away at Derby County last season. Speaking last month, head coach Uwe Rosler, who is using Byram as a right winger this season, said: “He’s under contract, he has a manager who really believes in him and he has a chairman (Cellino) who really believes in him. He’s found his home. “We’re not looking to sell him. We’re looking to build a future around our young players and he’s a big important part of my way of playing and of the idea of this club going forward.”


Milos Veljkovic may be joining Leeds on loan and could add badly needed pace to our back four

Sunday 9th of August Cornman hapy with Leeds Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino said he was “proud” of Uwe Rosler’s players and delighted to be back inside Elland Road after watching the club fall narrowly short of an opening-day win over Burnley. Cellino praised a “fresh team” and said there was “nothing to regret” following the late equaliser which denied Leeds victory at Elland Road on Saturday. The Italian attended his first match since completing the ownership ban imposed on him by the Football League last season and a brilliant Mirco Antenucci goal looked to have earned United a 1-0 win seven minutes from time. Burnley, who were relegated from the Premier League in May, responded through a Sam Vokes header three minutes later but Cellino cut a satisfied figure as he analysed the club he bought in April 2014. “I loved it because I was out for six months without seeing a game,” the Italian said. “Burnley played to not let us play. That’s good for us. Two beautiful goals came from good strikers, not because of defensive mistakes, and ours was down to pure football skill. There was nothing to regret. “Burnley were very much scared of us today. They just focused on not letting us play football and that is something that makes me proud. It means that the coach of Burnley (Sean Dyche) understands football. They knew it was a very dangerous game for them.” Writing in the matchday programme on Saturday, Cellino talked up Rosler’s ability, describing his head coach as “someone with experience in the Championship, who can get the best out of the players no matter where they are from.” Cellino also hinted that further signings were possible, saying: “We will continue to strengthen our squad when the right players become available.” Leeds spent more than £2m on the signing of striker Chris Wood last month and invested £1.3m in winger Stuart Dallas last week. Speaking at full-time, Cellino said: “It’s a long season. It’s tough in the Championship. I don’t know (about further signings), let’s see. It’s a fresh team, we have changed players and they are growing. Every day they change. We can get much better with Dallas and (Sam) Byram down the wings. I think it is better to have 20 good players than 50 average players. If you have too many players it can make things difficult. We’re still building the confidence, the class, everything.” Rosler also revealed that he was continuing to monitor the transfer market after making Dallas his seventh signing. “We’re always looking to improve the team, whether that’s buying a player or loaning a player with the option to buy,” he said. “When the right player become available for the right price, I think we’re still capable of doing something.”

Sun 9th of August Leeds to get Veljkovic on loan Tottenham youngster Milos Veljkovic is set to join Leeds United on a season-long loan, according to reports. The 19-year-old is primarily a centre-back, but can also play as a defensive midfielder. He has made 40 appearances for Tottenham’s under-21’s, scoring one and assisting four. He has also made three appearances for Spurs’ first team, including an appearance in the Europa League. He is also capped as an international player, representing Serbia at every level from under-17 to under-21. He joined Middlesbrough on-loan in October 2014 where he made 4 appearances. The defender also has other experience of Championship football, joining Charlton on-loan in January of last season, there he made three appearances. With Massimo Cellino’s policy of buying players at the end of their loan spells, it is expected that Leeds will have a clause put in place that allows the Whites to buy Veljkovic if he is successful. Leeds United’s executive director had said previously that Leeds will be looking to add two more players to the squad before the end of the transfer window. If Veljkovic


Rosler proud of his Leeds players – average age 23

Aug 8th of August Rosler proud of his team Uwe Rosler was upbeat following his side’s opening day 1-1 draw at home to Burnley, saying “the players did themselves very proud”. Rosler, taking charge of his first league game, opted to take the positives from a draw against one of the division’s favourites for promotion. The players did everyone proud,” the head coach said. “Coming on the back of a season where we finished 15th in the Championship and flirted with relegation, we played against a team who had been in the Premier League and more or less had the same squad of players. “I don’t think you could see any difference whatsoever today. In terms of the amount of chances, we should have won the game. “We’ve got one of the youngest squads in our division – maybe the youngest. “We have three or four players who are still learning the game. If I am going to be realistic and fair as a coach, I cannot expect that every little detail is perfect. “We are learning the game and we will make mistakes. The way I see it, our performance was spot on against a top team. “Unfortunately we lost two points with five minutes to go but the players did themselves very proud.” Rosler was also full of praise for goalscorer Antenucci, who replaced debutant Stuart Dallas in an unfavoured wide position. Rosler explained: Mirco was very honest early on. He came to me and said ‘Gaffer, I’m not really a wide player’. “We tried to find a way to fit him in and in pre-season he came on for 20, 30 or 45 minutes in that scenario. “The way he is training and the way he conducts himself every day is fantastic. “I knew when I brought him on that we had a chance of winning the game.” On Dallas, who impressed during his 70 minutes on the pitch, Rosler added: Stuart is a little bit behind schedule – he didn’t get a lot of match minutes when he was at Brentford. “I was thinking of not even starting him today but he’s looked very good in training since he joined us. “I thought he would give me a good hour or maybe more. It was a good debut. “Our supporters got very excited about him – he could have scored two goals and he worked very hard for the team.”


Mirco Antenucci lit up ER with something a little bit special today

Saturday 8th of August Leeds 1-1 Burnley Leeds United: Silvestri; Berardi, Bamba, Bellusci, Taylor; Adeyemi, Cook (Wootton 89), Mowatt (Doukara 89); Byram, Wood, Dallas (Antenucci 70). Subs not used: Turnbull, Cooper, Phillips, Erwin. Referee: Kevin Friend. Attendance: 27, 672. LEEDS UNITED began the new Championship season with a frantic 1-1 draw against Burnley at Ellan Road on Saturday lunch-time – as Sam Vokes MircoAntenuccicurlervBurnleycMircoAntenuccicurlervBurnley1ancelled out Mirco Antenucci’s stunner inside a madcap last seven minutes.Substitute Antenucci looked to have bagged United all three points with his 83rd-minute peach but former Whites loanee Vokes spoiled the Elland Road opening day party with his header three minutes later. New head coach Uwe Rosler opted to give a home debut to new signing Stuart Dallas over Souleymane Doukara who he had contemplated starting but instead opted for Dallas as Sam Byram sat behind lone striker Chris Wood in a 4-3-3 or 4-5-1 formation, depending on how United utilised it. And Leeds began in bright fashion with a Tendayi Darikwa’s foul on Chris Wood getting the massive crowd going but the free-kick came to nothing. Then, at the other end, Burnley went close when Lukas Jutkiewicz fired over with an overhead kick inside the area with the striker believing he was being held back by Charlie Taylor. But on ten minutes the Elland Road faithful thought their side had taken the lead when new signing Dallas saw his effort tipped onto the crossbar by Tom Heaton. Sam Byram’s fine cross had caused pandemonium in the box and Dallas looked to have picked up the pieces after Wood miss-timed his shot but Burnley were saved by their shotstopper amidst a frantic few seconds which ended with Sol Bamba clattering into Jutkiewicz. Bamba, United’s captain, was booked under the nose of Clarets boss Sean Dyche but moments later Leeds went close again when Alex Mowatt’s cross found Dallas whose low effort was saved. But Burnley continued to carry a threat and their fans were incensed when appeals for a handball from Giuseppe Bellusci in the area were waved away following a 17th-minute counter attack that was followed at the other end by a couple of Whites corners that ended with a long range effort from Bellusci being saved. And Leeds continued to press with the quick, flowing and pressing football that Rosler promised with Sam Byram looking particularly impressive with Wood just seeming to need a little more support from midfield runners. A game that always looked destined for goals so nearly got one after half an hour when a dangerous Burnley attack ended with a low shot from Michael Kightly that squirmed narrowly wide past Marco Silvestri’s left hand post. Then, from a corner that followed, Silvestri’s unconvincing handling led to a scramble that resulted in Jelle Vossen firing just wide, a chance so close that the Burnley end thought they had taken the lead. Leeds needed to regain their stranglehold on the game but instead Silvestri was forced into a fine low save from Jutkiewicz from range. Leeds hit back as a Byram cross carved out a half-chance for Dallas whose control let him down for only a corner which ended with Bamba failing to cash in on a fine Mowatt cross. From range, Gaetano Berardi then blazed over and the two sides then swapped only half-chances in the remaining minutes of a fast and furious first period. After a half-time interval that involved Lucas The Kop Kat attempting to save penalties, Leeds caused early nerves in the second half when first Bellusci and then Bamba mis-controlled to allow Burnley to break but the Whites survived. At the other end, Wood failed to control a raking Berardi pass that would have created a clear chance and Burnley then picked up their first booking as Scott Arfield scythed down Lewis Cook as Leeds broke from a corner. And United then squandered their second clear-cut chance of the game as Mowatt was found in space in the area and fizzed a shot agonisingly wide of the right-hand post. As Leeds continued to the up the ante, Tom Adeyemi fired just over from another promising move while Burnley replied with a shot on the turn from Jutkiewicz that Silvestri dived to smother. But United then squandered their third glorious chance of the afternoon as Wood blazed over from the edge of the area after Byram’s knock-down. With Leeds looking so threatening, Burnley boss Sean Dyche opted for a double substitution as Sam Vokes and Marvin Sordell replaced Jutkiewicz and Vossen. Rosler, meanwhile, withdrew impressive new recruit Dallas for Antenucci who joined Wood upfront as Dallas left the field to a standing ovation. Antenucci was then immediately involved as a jinking run ending with him firing over. After a scrappy period of play, a Burnley free-kick then caused a mini panic in the Whites area with United eventually clearing before the visiting side’s Kightly was booked for pulling back Berardi. But with time running out the threatening Antenucci blew the Elland Road roof off by curling home an absolute beauty with six minutes left. The striker received the ball in acres of space on the right hand side of the area and didn’t need a second invitation to curl home a gem into the far left corner. The home faithful went wild but just three minutes later there was a painful sting in the tail when a Burnley counter led to a Darikwa cross finding former Whites loanee Vokes who headed home to level. Seeking to regain the advantage, Rosler used his last two substitutes as Souleymane Doukara and Scott Wootton replaced Mowatt and Cook with Burnley swapping Kightly for Matthew Taylor as the crowd were informed of five minutes injury time. But there was to be no third twist in the tale as the two sides shared an opening day draw as part of a pulsating game of opening day football

Friday 7th of August MATCH FACTS Leeds v Bunley Leeds have won five of their last six home matches against the Clarets, though they lost the last meeting at Elland Road. There has not been a draw between these two sides in their last 18 meetings (five wins for Burnley). Leeds attempted the highest percentage of shots from outside the box in the Championship last season (48%), as well as scoring the highest percentage of goals from outside the box (26%). The Yorkshire side conceded 13 penalties in 2014-15; no Championship side gave away more. Burnley have not scored more than one goal in any of their last 14 league matches, failing to score on nine occasions. Leeds have lost only once on the last 16 occasions they’ve opened the season at home (W11 D4) – 2-1 v Derby in 2010-11. Friday 7th of August Noel Whelan: Promotion is attainable for Leeds United if players buy in The former Leeds United striker is the Evening Post’s latest signing. Here is his first column of the season. It has been a positive summer for Leeds United and the signing of Chris Wood has been the headline one for me. It seems like the club want to finally move forward and give it a good go this season. That is all Leeds fans want to see – that we are spending a bit of money and giving it a bit of a go and getting players who can be here for three or four years. There is more optimism than there has been for the past couple of seasons at Elland Road because we are putting our money where our mouth is a little bit. Instead of just getting loans and average players who are not really going to make much of a difference to us, we have gone out there and spent some money to give ourselves half a chance on the likes of Wood. That’s what we need. I think Wood will be a great asset for the club and if we can keep him fit and scoring goals, then we will have a good season. Looking at Wood, I have seen him play a few times. He’s a strong boy who can hold the ball up and run in behind and he’s good in the air too. Ahead of the summer, I thought we’d need to spend money on a few areas if we are to make an impact and one area was certainly up front. If you are going to be challenging in this division, you have got to spend good money and we have with Wood. There is pressure on him, but it’s good pressure and you need people with the right attitude to step up and relish it. Because the rewards at the end of the season if you deal with it properly and are consistent enough are huge for everybody. Hopefully, Wood will be the centre-forward who bangs in 20 goals for us. That’s what we need. There is always pressure on a striker and you are in one of those positions where the spotlight is always on you, along with the goalkeeper’s. One miss and it’s your fault and one poor goal that you let in, its your fault and you lose and win games in those positions. But no matter what striker you bring in, we will need to get the service to him from the wing and if Stuart Dallas can provide the crosses, there’s no more excuses there. He is the out-and-out winger we wanted and with him on one wing and Sam Byram on the other, we have two dangerous players on each side of the pitch who can score goals as well. But the rest of the players need to also realise that we need a contribution from all 11 players who start games, and the entire squad throughout the season. I do think the key for us for the season is keeping as many of our main players as fit as we can and playing week-in week out. We need consistency in terms of the team and formation, it’s the same for most sides in the Championship. Many don’t have big enough squads or the luxury of having seven or eight quality players to come in who they can choose from. Maybe one or two who have come down from the Premier League such as QPR will have that quality across the squad. But for us, it’s important that the core of the team is fit and avoids long-term injuries. For me, Lewis Cook is the one that we really need to keep fit for the whole season, in particular. I love the way he plays football and the range of his passing and movement. He’s tenacious when he needs to be and has got a little bit of something about him and we missed him in the later stages of last season when he was injured. He makes a difference. You need your special players like Lewis. But as a team, you also need that mental strength and attitude in your head of not getting beaten and being consistent. Sometimes, it isn’t about the prettiest play, but having that little bit of steel and never-say-die attitude and saying: ‘Listen, we aren’t coming away from here with nothing, we are getting something.’ I think we lacked a little bit of that in the group of players last season when to be honest, we were all a little bit too nice, for me. We want to play football the right way and I am all for that, that’s great. But sometimes, you have to fall out with each other and I don’t think some of the players wanted it enough. When you are losing games, you can see some people have a row and that isn’t a problem to me because I am the sort who would be wanting to fight people because I want to win and not lose. You can be mates afterwards, but if something needs saying, you have got to get it out your system or people aren’t going to learn from your mistakes. If you show you want things enough, that attitude breeds as well and it’s like a disease. If you get ten players having that mental toughness about them rather than going through the motions and saying: ‘Ah well, we’ve lost’, that’s what you need. Players need to buy into everything and not realise they are here for a jolly-up. They are here to do a job. If you want to do a job someone else, do it here first because if you do that, a club will come in with £2m or £3m and we can then get someone else in for you. All players need to buy into what we are trying to do and achieve as a club. Looking at last season, the formation was good for the players we had. But I just felt that people like Mirco Antenucci and some of the other strikers were doing far too much work outside of the box. They were never in the places you needed them to be in when the crosses were put in. Strikers need to be in the box; that’s where you score goals. It’s no point doing all the horrible work running the channels when there’s no-one in the box. Uwe Rosler is the new man in charge and I don’t like to judge managers until the end of a season ideally. But nowadays, it’s all about the nitty-gritty of results. He has to be given a fair crack of the whip and at the moment, it seems he is being given a helping hand in terms of the players he wants to bring in. There’s positivity before the start of the season and our opener is against a team who have come down from the Premier League in Burnley, who are one of those sides who I think will have that mental toughness and we saw last season that they had those players who can dig in when they needed too. They seem to have a group of players and manager who have that belief and toughness about them. Burnley will be hard to beat and it’s a very hard test and good one in terms of finding out where we are. But I do think promotion is attainable for Leeds this season. Friday 7th of August Unted remain best supported away team in football league Leeds United fans have retained their position as the best supported away team in the Football League, while Sheffield United and Middlesbrough have once again proved they are among the best supported clubs in the country. As fans around the country prepare to head to the first games of the new season this weekend, The Football League has released analysis of match attendances at games last season. A mass of information has been released regarding attendance figures, with many of the Yorkshire clubs performing well. As well as Leeds United having the highest average away attendance, Sheffield United boasted the best home support in League One, closely followed by Bradford City. Leeds and Middlesbrough were among four teams to achieve a home attendance above 30,000, while Middlesbrough enjoyed the highest attendance for a single match of 33,463 on the final day when they faced Brighton. Sheffield United also had the most season ticket holders in League One, while the 6,857 Middlesbrough fans that travelled to Blackburn Rovers in December made for the highest away following for a single match. The Sky Bet Championship also remains the fourth best attended division in Europe, with Sky Bet League 1 and Sky Bet League 2 crowds much higher than their equivalent divisions in other European countries. Fulham’s Craven Cottage was named the most popular away ground to visit in the Sky Bet Football League last season (2,788 visiting fans on average). Milton Keynes Dons was most visited by away fans in Sky Bet League 1 (average of 980 visitors per match) and Oxford United’s Kassam Stadium the most popular away trip in Sky Bet League 2 (an average of 948 visiting fans per match). Attendances

  • The club with the highest average attendance was Derby County, followed by Norwich City and Brighton & Hove Albion.

The highest in Sky Bet League 1 was Sheffield United, followed by Bradford City and Bristol City.

  • In Sky Bet League 2, Portsmouth had the highest average, followed by Luton Town and Plymouth Argyle.
  • Eight clubs averaged over 20,000 attendees per match.
  • Thirteen clubs achieved at least one match attendance higher than 25,000 last season. Four clubs, (Middlesbrough, Derby County, Leeds United, Nottingham Forest) achieved match attendances over 30,000.
  • The highest attendance for a single League match last season was marginally up on last season at 33,463 (Middlesbrough v Brighton & Hove Albion on the final day of the season).
  • The biggest growth in attendances was seen at Coventry City (+264%) following their return to the Ricoh Arena. Brentford (+40%) saw the second biggest growth, with Fleetwood Town (+25%) third.
  • Norwich City had the highest occupancy rate (97%). Bristol City (88%) had the highest in Sky Bet League 1, and LutonTown (88%) in Sky Bet League 2.
  • The total match attendance for an average round of 36 fixtures was 357,222.
  • The largest cumulative total of tickets sold for a single weekend of Football League matches was 476,161 for the 36 fixtures played over the final weekend of the season.
  • The lowest crowd variation was at Brighton & Hove Albion where the lowest home gate equalled 95% of the highest home gate of the season – followed by Blackpool and Brighton & Hove Albion. The highest in Sky Bet League 1 was Bristol City (84%), and in Sky Bet League 2, Luton Town (81%).

Season Ticket Holders

  • Total 2014/15 season ticket sales were the highest on record at 463,518.
  • The average number of season ticket holders per club was 12,236 in the Championship, 4,570 in League 1 and 2,507 in League 2.
  • Most number of season ticket holders for a club was 21,857 at Derby County. Sheffield United had most in League 1 (14,053) and Portsmouth (11,175) in League 2.
  • Coventry City had the biggest growth in season ticket holders (471%), followed by Milton Keynes Dons (+88%) and Brentford (+87%).
  • The average crowd proportion of season ticket holders was 65%. Milton Keynes Dons had the highest proportion, followed by Brighton & Hove Albion and Hartlepool United.

Away Fans

  • Away crowds at Sky Bet Football League matches totalled 1.4 million last season .
  • The average number of away fans at games was 847, a rise of 1%.
  • Average away fans at Sky Bet Championship games was 1,400, in Sky Bet League 1 it was 668 and in Sky Bet League 2, 473.
  • The biggest average away following at games was for Leeds United (2,774), followed by Middlesbrough (2,237) and Derby County (2,165). Sheffield United (1,687) had the biggest away following in Sky Bet League 1, and Luton Town (1,231) topped the away following table in Sky Bet League 2.
  • Around half the clubs that remained in The Football League from 2013/14 saw an increase in the number of their fans travelling to their away games.
  • Bristol City (+77%) saw the biggest increase in travelling fans, followed by Southend United (+74%), Wycombe Wanderers (+64%) and Middlesbrough (+57%).
  • The biggest away following in each division as a proportion of the number of fans that attend home games was Brentford (Sky Bet Championship), Rochdale (Sky Bet League 1) and Luton Town (Sky Bet League 2).
  • Highest recorded number of away fans at an individual match was the 6,857 Middlesbrough fans that travelled to Blackburn Rovers in December.
  • Fulham’s Craven Cottage was the most popular ground in The Football League for away fans to visit (2,788 visiting fans on average). Milton Keynes Dons was most visited by away fans in Sky Bet League 1 (average of 980 visitors per match) and Oxford United’s Kassam Stadium the most popular away trip in Sky Bet League 2 (an average of 948 visiting fans per match).
  • The biggest increase in visiting fans last season was the number going to Rochdale’s Spotland (+102% increase compared to 2013/14), followed by Brentford’s Griffin Park (+98%) and Chesterfield’s Proact Stadium (+86%).

Weds August 8th. English Championship – The Runners and Riders


Bournemouth @ 25/1 outsiders are the role model to follow if you want to win this league

Hull City

History tells us that despite the massive parachute payments relegated teams rarely go straight back up


There is no doubt that on paper Boro have the best squad having definitely splashed the cash again in the summer, but the favourites rarely win this division. Can they get over their play off hangover ? This was a side Leeds took six points from last season.

With an estimated £130million windfall waiting for each of the three clubs winning promotion to the Premier League, the incentive to get up into the top-flight is as alluring as ever. Picking the winner of the ultra-competitive Championship is never easy and task in hand is highlighted by the fact that 21 teams can be found at 28/1 or shorter in the betting. Below I’ve tried to pinpoint a few key trends to watch out for when deliberating over an ante-post punt. Looking back over the past decade, we can see the average price of the league winner was 14/1. Last year’s champions Bournemouth were the biggest winners at 25/1 (coincidentally the same piece as a certain Leeds United this season) alongside Reading’s 2005/06 vintage whilst Newcastle (2009/10) West Brom (2007/08) and Sunderland (2006/07) copped at 8/1, the shortest. This term, both Derby and Middlesbrough top the charts at cramped 6/1 odds. The standout duo share favouritism and it’s worth pointing out that Manchester City in 2001/02 were the last ante Burnley QPRlogo-post favourites to take top honours in the second tier with QPR, West Ham and Newcastle all failing to oblige when heavily fancied by the bookies. However, there is a flip-side – four of the last seven pre-season favourites won promotion, so they’re not normally a million miles off. Derby were 6/1 at this stage last season and were top of the table in February before inexcusable failing to even finish in the top-six. The wally with the brolly. Steve McClaren was sacked and former Chelsea, PSG, and Real Madrid coach Paul Clement handed his first stint in football management. Clement’s credentials are impressive and there’s no doubt he’s a quality coach but so many similar candidates have failed to make the transition to number one previously, there has to be question marks. Sure, Derby’s squad is bigger and stronger than last year – Tom Ince and Darren Bent have made their loan moves permanent having scored 21 league goals between them from just 29 appearances, Andreas Weimann adds pace and quality to an already bustling midfield and forward line whilst defenders Alex Pearce, Jason Shackell and Chris Baird have been brought in to bolster a disfunctioning defence. But the jury will be out on Clement from the get-go. The new boss is well aware of the expectation around Pride Park to deliver the goods after two seasons of agonising failure. The club’s in healthy shape, the squad is suitably stocked full of talent but early reports suggest the players are struggling to adapt to his ideas with accusations being banded about that Clement has no clue as to what his best XI is yet. The uncertainty is enough warning to steer clear of the Rams 6/1 (Bet365) quotes and look elsewhere. Middlesbrough have seen a wave of interest following a headline-grabbing off-season of recruitment. The 11/1 from the beginning of July has long gone and the Teesiders now find themselves chalked up at 6/1 (Bet365) co-favourites. And despite early protestations regarding price and previous favourites’ performance, Boro should be taken very seriously. It takes a very special team to go the distance in the Championship. A gruelling nine-month slog requires the leading lights to boast plenty of steel, options and genius and some obviously think this time around the likeable Aitor Karanka’s charges have what’s needed to realise their promotion dreams. In four of the last seven campaigns the previous year’s play-off finalists have finished in the top-six and twice they’ve topped the division. The Teesiders may tick those boxes, nut will they suffer a play off hang over ? The boot was put into Boro on plenty of occasions last season and although the same issues may haunt their promotion push again in 2015/16, chairman Steve Gibson is doing everything possible to help support Karanka’s. Defence was their best weapon – they kept clean sheets in 21 Championship fixtures, conceding eight goals fewer than the next best – although they were also the lowest scorers in the top-eight. They were offered Sol Bamba for free but chose not to take him. Will that be a wise or unwise choice ? Last year’s top marksman and Championship Player of the Season Patrick Bamford is no longer about but their ambition to sign Jordan Rhodes sent a serious message out to title rivals. If the Teesiders can marry that sound backline base with a ruthless streak in front of goal, they’ll take some stopping. Boro really do mean business. Last season was their best league finish since relegation in 2009, the football was attractive for the most part and homeboy Stewart Downing has returned to bolster an already solid squad.Downing, by some distance, was the leading English player in the Premier League last season for chances created and along with fellow newcomer Christian Stuani, is too good for Championship level. Stuani scored 15 goals for Espanyol last term and should pose plenty of problems for opposition defences and having finished eight points ahead of Derby (as well as beating them both home and away), Middlesbrough must be considered the best bet to take the title at 6/1. Looking back over the past 15 seasons, on 10 occasions the eventual winner was chalked up at a double-figure price whilst three of the previous four champions were involved in the play-offs the previous year. A healthy 47% of play-off teams managed to reach the top-six again over the most recent five years.


Brentford beat Leeds twice last season easily and Eddie Gray said they were the best side to come to ER but selling their best players isn’t a formula for promotion and they look over priced by the bookies


Ex White Jonathon Douglas at 33 has swopped Brentford for Ipswich, but for the Tractor Boys to compete again they will need Murphy to bang in another 25 plus goals and I don’t see that happening


I’m too long in the tooth to be getting totally carried away by a few decent signings, but at some stage we will be back in the Premiership. Why not next season ?

Some expect Brentford to make another serious assault but at 12/1 (Bet365), there’s not enough meat around the bone to entice. Chairman Matthew Benham’s statistical analysis-based vision has brought Marinus Dijkhuizen into the head coach role but with Alex Pritchard’s loan expired, Jonathan Douglas being banished to the youth team (and has now moved on to Ipswich Town) and new signing Josh McEachran’s out of action for three months, the Bees may suffer from a sluggish start. I know little about the bulk of the new faces so it would be unfair to suggest punting the Londoners. Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich may offer value at 20/1 (Bet365). The Farmers may still be operating on a restrictive budget but the squad looks stronger than last season and should the Suffolk side continue their year-on-year progress under Big Mick, they may be there or thereabouts when May rolls around or then again maybe last year was their one chance for an ageing side. Tyrone Mings’ £8m move to Bournemouth included Scottish winger Ryan Fraser and proven goalscorer Brett Pitman arriving in the other direction whilst 17-year-old wideman Ainsley Maitland-Niles has joined on-loan from Arsenal. That’s bloody good business, if you ask me. I’ve always been a fan of solid, consistent and stable clubs and Ipswich are surely towards the top of that list. Town improved on their previous year’s performance for the fourth successive season in 2014/15 and McCarthy’s now seen the team he’s in charge of improve on their previous year’s performance in eight of his last 11 full seasons at the helm. Now that’s ridiculously good. Ipswich boasted the best home record in the league and have managed to hold onto Daryl Murphy – scorer of 38% of their league goals. If Mick can improve upon an away record of W4-D7-L9 when excluding relegated teams, Suffolk may be smiling come May. What about the relegated clubs ? None of them will win the league. I don’t fancy Burnley, Hull City nor QPR.  It’s happened just twice in 13 seasons (a relegated team bounced back as champions) with the average position of a relegated club standing at eighth across the past 10 seasons. Taking that 10-year sample, we can see the average price of the three teams to win promotion to the Premier League is a rather hunky 28/1. Obviously Burnley (80/1 in 2013/14) and Crystal Palace (80/1 in 2012/13) have pushed the average up but in each of those 10 campaigns, a team quoted at 20/1 or bigger has won promotion. In fact, 43% of those 30 promoted sides were 20/1 or larger. Brighton fans might laugh this off but some seem reasonably confident the Seagulls could well be the big-priced side that takes the second tier by storm this year. Albion are 25/1 (Bet365) to top the division but perhaps an outside bet on promotion at 8/1 (Bet365) may be worthwhile. It’s 32 years since Brighton were a Premier League club and after a hugely disappointing season, they should return to par, if not better. The Seagulls went dramatically backwards following successive play-off semi-final defeats but – with Chris Hughton having replaced Sami Hyypia as manager in December – survival was ensured despite a seven-match winless streak to end the campaign. The club’s recruitment has failed a little too often in recent years. January’s capture of Beram Kayal was one of few bright spots and in Tommer Hemed, Albion may have finally found a goalscoring gem. The Israeli striker is hoping to be the missing piece to the Brighton jigsaw; only Sheffield Wednesday (43) scored fewer goals outside the bottom three than Brighton (44) and it’s an area that required serious surgery.If the Seagulls can keep hold of Lewis Dunk then the centre-half partnership with Gordon Greer remains resolute, allowing the team to build from the back. The league’s best defence has not finished outside the top-eight in the past 10 years and you’d assume Albion will continue to give little away to opposition teams. The unavoidable departure of Young Player of the Year Joao Teixeira is the only black mark against their off-season. With a new training facility, the club is ‘Premier League ready’ off the pitch and in Hughton they have a manager experienced in Championship promotion to guide a challenge on it. They’re in a more stable and healthier position than 12 months ago and I certainly don’t see another season of toil. But nobody is mentioning Leeds, who at 33/1 and 25/1 to win promotion is speculative but can be had at an average of 15/2 for promotion. We have an experienced and tactically sound coach in Uwe Rosler at this level . If Chris Woods clicks up top alongside Lee Erwin and Mirco Antenucci goals should follow. New signing Stuart Dallas provides that much coveted width we lacked, whilst Byram (if he stays) Mowatt, the newly signed Adewemi and Cook offer energy, youth and ability, although we perhaps still lack experience in the middle. We are told our spending or loan signings have not yet finished. The squad looks a little light, but not too light and thankfully the culture of Italian signings has been banished thus far.  Defensively we look sound although Silvestri needs to be more consistent. Adam Pearson offers security as a CEO and maybe, just maybe 15/2 looks to be spot on for promotiuon. If we are in with a shout at Christmas, I think we will strengthen in the right areas and utilise the loan market correctly. After all, who would have thought that little old Bournemouth at 25/1 last season would win the Championship. Maybe, just maybe this pre-season we have snuck in under the radar. Aug 5th Dates & times for forthcoming Leeds United games to be screened live on TV. Sky Bet Championship Sat 8th Aug Home v Burnley 12.30pm Capital One Cup Thu 13th Aug Away v Doncaster Rovers 7.45pm Sky Bet Championship Sat 22nd Aug Home v Sheff Wed 12.30pm Sky Bet Championship Sat 29th Aug Away v Derby County 12.05pm Sky Bet Championship Sun 27th Sep Away v Middlesbrough 1.15pm Sky Bet Championship Sat 7th Nov Away v Huddersfield Town 12.30pm


Adam Pearson – Could prove to be Cellino’s finest signing

Weds 5th of August Adam Pearson on Leeds, signings and promotion Leeds United executive Adam Pearson hinted that further signings were on the cards after the club sealed the capture of Stuart Dallas from Brentford and allowed Steve Morison to join Millwall on a busy day at Elland Road. Pearson admitted last night that the club were open to the possibility of more deals before the end of the transfer window but said United and head coach Uwe Rosler were “very satisfied” after Dallas became their seventh summer signing. The 24-year-old winger put pen to paper on a three-year contract yesterday, joining Leeds from Brentford for a fee of around £1.3m. In a separate development, United –who stand to receive around £500,000 via a sell-on clause following Max Gradel’s transfer from Saint Etienne to Bournemouth – reached an agreement to sever the final year of Morison’s contract, freeing the 31-year-old to take up a one-year deal at League One Millwall. United said Millwall had paid an “undisclosed fee” to complete the signing but that money is understood to have been used to pay Morison off. The striker was one of United’s highest earners with a deal worth close to £20,000 a week. The rebuilding of Rosler’s squad is almost complete with a busy close-season almost at an end but asked if other incoming players might arrive before the FIFA deadline on September 1, Pearson told the YEP: “There’s possibly one more to come and maybe a loan deal as well, just to give us a bit of strength in the centre of midfield.” Leeds have lost midfielders Luke Murphy and Tommaso Bianchi to knee surgery in the past month but their recent search for new players has been largely fixed on candidates to fill the left wing. Dallas has plugged that gap in Rosler’s team but Pearson suggested more cover would follow, saying: “We’re still looking. Whether that’s a wide player or not remains to be seen.” Dallas, who played 38 times in the Championship for Brentford last season, is in line to make his Leeds debut during Saturday’s Championship opener at home to Burnley. The Northern Ireland international said: “Coming here is a fresh challenge. I can’t wait to get going. “Leeds United is a massive club and the chance to play here was one I couldn’t turn down. I know a lot about the club. I think everybody knows a lot about Leeds United. We’ve got a young squad here – it’s a young, fit, hungry squad. Everything is looking good for the first game on Saturday.” Rosler’s preferred 4-3-3 formation was heavily dependent on the arrival of an out-and-out left winger and the United boss was pleased to land a player who he first signed while manager of Brentford in 2012. “Finally we got our wide player,” Rosler said. “Stuart Dallas is a very exciting young player. “Like the other signings we’ve made, he has his best years in front of him. He can play on the left and on the right. Leeds is a big challenge, to play at Elland Road in front of 30,000, but he’s a player who can wear that heavy shirt.” Pearson said: “We’re moving in the right direction and I think we’re all very satisfied with the business we’ve done, Uwe included.” Morison, meanwhile, took his leave of United yesterday afternoon after two-and-a-half difficult seasons with the club. Leeds invested heavily in him when they signed him from Norwich City in 2013, a swap deal for Luciano Becchio and £200,000, but he rarely found his feet and spent the whole of the 2013-14 season on loan at Millwall. He played 41 times for Leeds and scored five goals, including two in the final month of last season Weds 5th of August Stability the key – Adam Pearson A new head coach, money spent on the team, season ticket sales up and the experienced Adam Pearson helping to run the club. Phil Hay reports on the rising optimism at Elland Road at the dawn of a new season. When Adam Pearson became Leeds United’s executive director in May, the questions started. Was he walking through the door as the first stage of a takeover? Did he understand the trouble he was getting into? And was he really so desperate for work that he’d risk his reputation by jumping into bed with Massimo Cellino? Back then Pearson described his job in simple terms. “I’m here to take a bit of weight off Massimo,” he said by way of an introduction. In three months he has done just that. Cellino tapped into the 50-year-old’s boardroom experience and found that giving Pearson authority dramatically eased his own stress levels. The appointment might come to be seen as the Italian’s saving grace. Cellino spent the past fortnight in Italy on a trip which mixed business and pleasure. He returned to England from Sardinia yesterday. Activity at Elland Road used to grind to a halt whenever the club’s owner disappeared abroad but Billy Sharp was sold in his absence and a deal to sign Stuart Dallas from Brentford was put in place last week. United’s ability to function has not been compromised as it was at junctures last season. On the outside much credit for that is being given to Pearson. Either the former Hull City owner has contributed to a new sense of direction or the progress at Leeds during a healthy summer is a complete coincidence. It seems a long time since Pearson was sat to the left of Cellino, fighting through his boss’s maddening end-of-season press conference. The new season begins on Saturday with optimism oozing. Pearson still maintains that while Cellino has kept himself in the background since May, his influence has been overwhelming and positively so. “He’s got his finger on every pulse,” Pearson said. “It’s completely wrong to think that he’s taken a back seat or stepped back. He’s involved in everything and dictating everything. And quite right if it’s your money funding the club. If I’ve made a difference then I’m pleased about that but it’s more the case that Massimo’s put in place key people who know how to keep the club running – the coaching staff and Stuart Hayton, the club secretary. It’s taken the weight off his shoulders in terms of transfers and they’ve been done in a far more calm and efficient manner. “Last summer he was doing so much of the work himself. To be honest, I think a lot of lessons have been learned from last season. Football’s such big business in England and you have to have people with the right skill sets in the right areas. If things look better from the outside then they probably should.” It is still natural to wonder why Pearson saw a worthwhile project at Elland Road at a time when Cellino was returning from a Football League ban, to a club in disarray. United’s chairman was largely without friends or support when Pearson took up his post a few short weeks after joining a “sporting committee” at Sheffield Wednesday. “My history with Leeds is well known and I wanted to make a difference,” Pearson said. “It did look a bit crazy from the outside but when you get into the club, you find a core of staff who’ve been here for a long time and know what they’re doing. Suddenly it doesn’t feel so zany. In general the club’s functioning well. The wage bill’s where we want it to be. The club can wash its face without needing external money. The transfers we’ve done have been completed efficiently. I have to say as well that if we’re talking about the transfers Massimo and Uwe Rosler were looking for, we’ve got virtually everything we wanted.” The football side of United’s business was crying out for some care and attention after a grim campaign in the Championship last year, but the club’s commercial arm has been improved too. Catering at Elland Road was brought back in-house having been sold to Compass in 2012. The launch of a new kit by manufacturers Kappa was a resounding success, albeit in the knowledge the Leeds remain trapped in a legal dispute with previous supplier Macron. Another argument with Enterprise Insurance has left the club without a shirt sponsor. There was fall-out too from the departure of former head coach Neil Redfearn, but Cellino did find a way to build bridges this summer. The club have sold almost 13,000 season tickets, an increase on last year. They are trying to hike up average crowds which, while the fourth highest in the Championship in 2014-15, sat below 25,000. “We’re just below 13,000 season tickets and we’re looking at a crowd of 29,000 for Burnley this weekend,” Pearson said. “Considering how last season finished, I’d say that’s extremely good. “I’d like to see our crowds go up and it all comes back to maximising your potential. Things like bringing the catering deal back in house are so important. As it was, we were only taking a small percentage of the money made. That’s a poor deal for the club. Now we’re in a position where every pound spent by a Leeds supporter comes to us.”Pearson did not quantify the exact amount of money spent on new players in the transfer window but the fee for Chris Wood was in excess of £2m and Dallas, who joined from Brentford yesterday, came in at £1.3m. The cost of appointing Rosler as head coach in May was heightened by his request for a large backroom team including three other coaches and a dedicated head of recruitment. Rosler’s work has been deliberate and methodical, producing a team who impressed a home crowd by beating Everton in a friendly last Saturday. Rosler said afterwards that he hoped the performance would tempt more supporters – and potentially lapsed supporters – through the gates for the first game of the Championship term this weekend. Pearson remarked on the day of Rosler’s appointment that it was his responsibility, among others, to make sure the German did not go the way of other coaches under Cellino. Cellino is onto his fifth boss at Elland Road already but within the club there is a sense that Rosler is more secure than any other coach before him. Speaking on Sunday, Cellino said pre-season had been “just as we wanted.” “We need to give Uwe and his staff the support and the opportunity to make it work here,” Pearson said. And time? “And time. If we continue to operate in a way that gives the club no stability on that side of things then we’ll never get anywhere. I’m quite happy to say so. That’s probably the lesson that needed to be learned more than any other. There had to be some thought about the longer term, not just what happens from one day to the next. “Uwe’s made a big impact already. He needs our support.”


Sol Bamba is the Leeds captain for the new season – definitely the right choice

Weds Aug 5th Bamba named as new captain Leeds United have named defender Sol Bamba as club captain for the new season. The Ivory Coast international will lead United into the 2015-16 campaign in a move which head coach Uwe Rosler described as a “natural” choice. Bamba captained Leeds while on loan at Elland Road from Palermo last season and also acted as skipper in a number of their summer friendlies. He admitted last month that he was ready to take on the responsibility if Rosler offered it to him full-time. Rosler, who signed the centre-back on a permanent deal from Palermo in June, told United’s official website: It’s natural to Sol. “He’s been in England and he understands the English culture and mentality of the Championship. “He’s also been in Italy and speaks several languages and can bridge the gap. He can unify the dressing room. That’s very important. “It’s a long season and in the Championship you need mentality and morale.” Jason Pearce, Stephen Warnock and Liam Cooper all held the armband at stages of last season, a campaign in which the armband changed hands regularly. Bamba finished the term as captain and speaking to the YEP last month, the 30-year-old said: It would be a huge thing for me to be captain of a big club and it would be an honour and a privilege. “I’m not asking for it. If the gaffer thinks I deserve it then I’ll take it with pleasure.”


Dallas at last becomes a White after a family bereavement held up the deal

Tues 4th Dallas can’t wait to get started Latest summer signing Stuart Dallas is “looking forward to a new challenge” after joining from Brentford on Tuesday afternoon, saying “the chance to play here was one I couldn’t turn down”. The 24-year-old winger became United’s seventh new pre-season addition, penning a three-year deal with the option of a fourth at Elland Road. “Coming here is a fresh challenge, it’s a massive club and something I’m looking forward to,” he said. “I can’t wait to get going. “I know a lot about the club. I think everybody knows a lot about Leeds United – they’re a massive club. “We’ve got a young squad here – it’s a young, fit, hungry squad. Everything is looking good for the first game on Saturday.Asked about targets for the new season, Dallas said: It’s Leeds United, they’ve got to get back to where they are supposed to be. They’re a massive club. “Hopefully this season we can push on to be as high up the table as we can. From what I’ve seen this morning, the squad is looking in good shape.” The Northern Ireland international has linked up again his former Brentford boss Uwe Rosler, the man who brought him to English football from homeland side Crusaders back in 2012. “I knew the gaffer from Brentford,” said Dallas. He brought me in at Brentford and I enjoyed my time there under him. “He was a big factor in coming here as well. He knows me, I know him and we know what we are getting from each other. He had a big part to play in it. “I’d come from part-time football to Brentford and at first it took me a while to get used to things and adapt into the full-time game. “I went on loan to Northampton. I think that did me good and I came back and I played from Christmas onwards in League One with Brentford. “We got promoted and I played a good part under Mark Warburton last season. But I’m here and I’m really looking forward to a new challenge. “I really enjoyed my time at Brentford, they helped me a lot. Everybody there was fantastic and I made friends for life there.”


Dallas played with Crusaders in The Irish League before Rosler took him to Brentford and is a right footed player who likes to come in from the left with an explosive shot

Tues 4th of August Dallas signs for Leeds in 1.3M deal Leeds United have completed the signing of winger Stuart Dallas on a three-year deal from Brentford. The 24-year-old finalised his £1.3m move after passing a medical at Thorp Arch yesterday and he is in line to make his debut in Saturday’s Championship opener against Burnley. Leeds agreed terms with Brentford and Dallas on Friday but his transfer was held up while Dallas travelled to Northern Ireland to attend a family funeral over the weekend. It was put on hold again yesterday after power shortages at Griffin Park delayed completion of the paperwork but he became United’s seventh signing of the summer this morning. His three-year contract includes the option of a fourth season at Elland Road. Dallas – a Northern Ireland international – is linking up with United head coach Uwe Rosler for the second time having joined Brentford from Irish club Crusaders while Rosler was manager at Griffin Park in 2012. He made 75 appearances for Brentford, including 28 in the Championship last season, and scored 10 goals.


Morison scored in pre-season. Unfortunately during match time he rarely hit the target. Moving on was always the only option.

Tues 4th of April Morison’s contract terminated Striker Steve Morison has parted company with Leeds United, the YEP understands. Morison left Elland Road earlier today after agreeing to sever the last year of his contract. United spent several weeks attempting to remove Morison – one of their highest earners – from the wage bill and a settlement has been reached with 12 months of his deal remaining. The 31-year-old is now expected to complete a free transfer to his former club Millwall. Morison’s departure ends a difficult spell at Elland Road in which he struggled to find his form and produce goals. Brought in from Norwich City as part of a swap deal for Luciano Becchio in 2013 – a deal in which Leeds also received a fee of £200,000 – he scored five times for United in 41 appearances. His contract, however, placed a serious financial burden on Leeds, worth in the region of £17,000 a week. Morison figured heavily in the club’s recent pre-season campaign but United were determined to move him on following heavy investments in striker Chris Wood and winger Stuart Dallas.


Max Gradel’s move to the Cherries delivers a 500K bonus to Leeds

Tues April 4th. Gradel signs for Cherries Bournemouth have announced the signing of Max Gradel from St Etienne, subject to Premier League approval and international clearance The former Leeds United forward has signed a four-year contract with the Cherries for an undisclosed fee, becoming Eddie Howe’s seventh summer signing as the manager prepares for the club’s first ever Premier League campaign. The 27-year-old Ivory Coast international is already familiar with life at the south coast club, having spent two loan spells with Bournemouth during the 2007-08 season, while he also has previous experience of working with Howe during his time as a coach at Leicester. Gradel returns to the Cherries on the back of a successful season in France, scoring 17 goals in 23 starts to help St Etienne finish Ligue 1 in fifth place and qualify for the Europa League. Leeds received circe 500K because 10% of anything over 2Million pounds goes back to Leeds. Tues Aug 4th Bianichi “here for long haul” Thursday Tommaso Bianchi was talking about his optimism for the season ahead. On Friday Leeds United decided to send him for knee surgery. He had an operation yesterday and will spend up to six weeks getting himself fit again. That’s football as the saying goes but Bianchi will feel aggrieved as he sits with a leg up this week. The midfielder was looking forward to the start of the season. His head coach, Uwe Rosler, made regular use of him in pre-season and talked Bianchi up. “I felt Tommaso was one of the players who really came on,” Rosler said. “It’s a pity.” The Italian can take comfort from comments like that. Back in May, before Rosler was named as Leeds’ head coach, it was hard to know if Bianchi’s face would fit. Even he admits that the transition from Italy’s Serie B to the Championship was a culture shock and as his first year at Elland Road wore on, he became increasingly anonymous. A cruciate knee injury ended his season early in February. His latest problem is less serious and Leeds expect that Bianchi will return from cartilage surgery at some point next month. Bianchi for his part is itching to get involved. I want to stay in Leeds,” he said. “This year we have more experience, especially the international players. “The first year was difficult – getting used to a different culture and the type of football. We understand how they play football here in England now. It’s better for us. I think we’re going to have a very good season.” How happy Bianchi has been in his 12 months at Elland Road is for him to know. He signed a four-year contract last summer, joining United from Sassuolo, and played regularly during the first half of last season. United’s form was up and down and by Christmas the club were in serious trouble. Bianchi shone in patches at Elland Road but looked less sure of himself away from home. When the January transfer window opened, it seemed that Bianchi might be heading home. Massimo Cellino, United’s owner, said the midfielder had asked for a transfer in the event that Cellino was hit with an ownership ban by the Football League. Cellino was duly disqualified that month. Modena’s coach, Walter Novellino, also suggested that the 26-year-old wanted to resume his career in Italy. Bianchi disputes both of those claims. “I don’t understand why there was this news about me, and also this summer, about the chance (of a transfer),” he said. “I never spoke to the president (Cellino) or to the coach of Modena because I wanted to stay in Leeds and show how I can play. “Maybe in Italy there was news – the coach of Modena wanted me – but it’s not the same as me saying I want to go. There was a misunderstanding maybe. I want to stay here and try to help the team have a very good season.” Bianchi was happy with his form at the start of last term but conceded that the intensity of the Championship found him out eventually. Nonetheless, he was unfortunate to damage knee ligaments on the night in February when Neil Redfearn, then the club’s head coach, gave him a rare opportunity in a 2-0 win at Reading. “It was difficult for me because of the change of country, the philosophy of the football, but I think I started well at the beginning of last season,” Bianchi said. After December I went down because of my fitness and after that I lost my position because the coach changed the system and the team played better. Then I had some bad luck with the tackle at Reading and after the surgery it was hard. “But I hope this season will be better. I don’t want to say too much but I’ll continue to work hard and try to play hard.” That is very much Rosler’s style of play; “heavy metal” as the German – and Jurgen Klopp before him – calls it. Divisions in United’s multi-national dressing room were evident last season but Rosler has run a tight, disciplined ship since his appointment May. Numerous players, Bianchi among them, have spoken of a more healthy atmosphere at Thorp Arch. “The coach is very good with a lot of experience,” Bianchi said. He’s trying to build a good team with good team spirit. “We have a very good team spirit – better than last year – and we’ve signed a lot of good players. “We have more organisation in the team and we try to play in two or three systems. If we play 4-4-2 or 4-3-2-1, I play in the middle and that is my role. If we play 4-3-3 I also play in the middle and I’m happy with this coach because I play in the right position. In Italy I played every time in the middle, every match.” Bianchi sat with Luke Murphy – another midfielder who is recovering from knee surgery – during Saturday’s 2-0 win over Everton at Elland Road, a rousing performance which caught the imagination of a crowd of more than 17,000. Whatever Rosler’s squad are truly aiming for over the next nine months, the players all agree that the club should be finishing higher up the Championship than they did last season. “If we stay together in the bad moments – because it’s a long season and bad moments are possible – we can go up the table,” Bianchi said. It will be a very hard season but we’ll try to do our best and try to get into the top six.”


Wood fancies himself to score in the Championship for Leeds and why not

Aug 2nd Wood back himsel for goals Chris Wood was glad to net his first goal in Leeds colours during Saturday’s 2-0 win over Everton, and the striker ChrisWoodVEverton1has backed himself to continue finding the net when the Championship season gets underway this Saturday. Wood, adding to Alex Mowatt’s opener, wrapped up the pre-season friendly win at Elland Road with a long-range strike which was aided by a deflection as it looped over the head of helpless Toffees goalkeeper Joel Robles. “It’s nice to score but I wasn’t worried because, ultimately, I know I can score goals in this league,” the 23-year-old said after netting for the first time since his summer switch from Leicester City. “I know I can do that come the start of the season.” Wood led the line in impressive fashion at Elland Road and the goal proved to be his final contribution of the afternoon as he left the field to a standing ovation from the home crowd, with Steve Morison replacing him in attack. After his move to West Yorkshire last month, the New Zealand international admits that expectations of him are high for the new season, and he is well aware of the competition for places within the squad. “As a striker you’re always going to be under pressure and we’ve got a whole squad back at the training ground who are working hard to get the shirts off us,” he said. “There’s competition throughout the squad but it doesn’t bother me who’s scoring as long as we’re winning games.” Wood’s pre-season campaign was hampered by a hamstring strain which saw him miss the friendlies with York City and Eintracht Frankfurt, but the striker insists he is now in “good shape” and ready to face Burnley should he get the nod. He also believes his team-mates are in good shape to get the new season underway after impressing against Everton. Reflecting on Saturday’s win, Wood said: “It was a good performance by everybody. “The team played well, we did what we needed to do and we got a positive result. “I think we’re ready. We’ve progressed well and I’m feeling good, getting there week by week. “I missed a few games but I’m in good shape. Everybody’s very excited. We want the season to start.”


Rosler and Martinez with the former getting his first win of the season as a Leeds manager

Aug 1st Rosler on Everton result Uwe Rosler hailed Saturday’s 2-0 friendly win over Everton as “another step forward” for his side. Second-half goals from Alex Mowatt and Chris Wood sealed the victory in an impressive United display at Elland Road. “I think it was another step forward, we continued improving,” the head coach said. “We’re not where we want to be, but we are coming closer and closer. “Everton had some younger players in, but some experienced players in also. “But we also have an Under-23 team with some experienced players so it was a good account of ourselves. “We finished our pre-season in style and we are now concentrating from Monday onwards. “The main thing is that we are all marching together in the same direction and from day one that has been the case. “We can’t lose our feet on the ground when we win against Everton, but we also can’t lose our head when we lose a game.” 17,057 supporters were in attendance for Rosler’s first taste of the home dug-out at Elland Road, leaving the head coach overwhelmed by the support.”We filled the stadium today,” he said.It’s something new for me in a friendly. “The atmosphere was fantastic. I’m not used to 17 thousand fans at a pre-season friendly – it inspired the players.” On Wood’s goal, the striker’s first in Leeds colours, Rosler added: He deserved it. “In the first half he was really strong and held the ball up for us under pressure. “Everybody in the stadium could see that we’ve signed a quality striker. “He earned the goal and I’m really happy for him that he’s off the mark.” Aug 1st Leeds United 2 (Mowatt 57, Wood 80), EVERTON 0 United team: Silvestri, Berardi, Bamba, Bellusci, Taylor, Adeyemi (Wootton 81), Cook (Phillips 70), Mowatt (Antenucci 81) , Byram, Doukara (Erwin 72), Wood (Morison 81). Subs. Turnbull, Coyle, Cooper, Sloth, Horton. Everton team: Joel, Robinson, Pennington, Browning, Jones, McCarthy (McAleny 45), Barkley (Ledson 76), Oviedo, Dowell, Naismith (Mirallas 76), Kone (Cleverley 45). Subs. Stanek, Osman, Grant, Walsh. Referee: M Atkinson Booked: Byram (United) Att: 17,057 (1,734 Everton)


The new captain v Everton


Chris Wood lets fire against the Blues


Cook in the thick of the action


Rosler embraces Marinez


Mowatt celebrates his goal


Erwin and Doukara


Adeyemi in action v the Blues

United’s final pre-season friendly of the summer saw Premier League opposition visit Elland Road, with Roberto Martinez bringing his Everton side to West Yorkshire as preparations for the new campaign entered the closing stages. It was Uwe’ Rosler’s first taste of the home dug-out and his side looked to start brightly in front of an impressive 17,057-strong crowd. Fellow home debutant Chris Wood found himself forced wide after an early counter-attack, before the summer signing from Leicester had his first sight of goal on eight minutes, stinging the palms of Everton ‘keeper Joel Robles with a ferocious half-volley from 25 yards. It was a lively start to proceedings and United – wearing their new all-yellow away kit – carved out another good, early opening after a bursting run down the left from Charlie Taylor. His low cross was just stolen from the toes of Wood and the loose ball rolled into the path of the arriving Alex Mowatt, but he could only lash over the bar from the edge of the area. At the opposite end, Everton came close through youngster Kieron Dowell, his low strike just deflecting behind for a corner, but it was United who were enjoying more the ball during the opening exchanges. Mowatt then had Joel sprawling across his line with a 25-yard effort which curled just wide of the Everton goalkeeper’s far post after strong hold-up play from Wood. Rosler’s men had seen the better of the opportunities come their way and they did have the ball in the back of the net after 40 minutes, only for the linesman’s flag to deny Wood from opening the scoring. Everton made two changes at half-time, introducing Tom Cleverley and Conor McAleny for Arouna Kone and James McCarthy, while United returned unchanged for the second period. McAleny thought he had opened the scoring with a goalbound header on 56 minutes, but a superb, sprawling save from Silvestri somehow kept the midfielder at bay. And despite finding themselves somewhat under the cosh since the restart, United took a deserved lead through Mowatt’s cool finish after a neat one-two with Sam Byram inside the area, slotting the ball beyond the helpless Joel. Another fine move moments later saw Byram clip the ball over Joel’s bar after being picked out by an inch-perfect pass from Wood, before Rosler made his first changes of the afternoon, bringing Kalvin Phillips and Lee Erwin on in place of Lewis Cook and Souleymane Doukara. The lead was then doubled on 80 minutes as Wood let fly from 25 yards out, with his strike taking a deflection as it looped over the helpless Joel in front of the Kop. The Everton defence somehow held firm to deny Morison on the line and scramble clear in the closing stages, keeping the scoreline to just 2-0 as United ended the 2015 pre-season with an impressive home win.