Saturday, 22 September 2012

Warnock: " if we only concede six goals today it will show we are making progress."

Extracts from Leeds United manager Neil Warnock's column in today's Independent

Someone said to me this week if we only concede six goals today it will show we are making progress. I think they meant it tongue-in-cheek, but we are playing Nottingham Forest, who beat us 7-3 at Elland Road last season. Since then they have spent millions under their new owners and Sean O'Driscoll has put together a cracking side which is unbeaten this season. Meanwhile, we have lost four of our best players, including star striker Ross McCormack, who could be out until Christmas. It doesn't sound very promising, does it? But one of the reasons I have been in football so long is that I love challenges like this. Besides, when you see the news, what with Hillsborough and the terrible death of the two lady police constables in Manchester, it makes you realise how lucky we are to get paid for playing and managing in this wonderful game. Any manager will tell you it is always the better players that get injured. McCormack, who had an operation yesterday, is obviously a major blow, especially coming after losing Adam Drury, Paul Green and David Norris. We also have a few more doubtful after the Hull match in midweek so it's all hands on deck. When I was a younger manager I wouldn't be able to sleep at night with losing players through injury or suspension, but as you get older you realise that these things happen and hope someone else grabs the opportunity. With all these injuries it has not gone unnoticed that the takeover of the club is an ongoing saga, but I am hoping a conclusion will be forthcoming soon and we can strengthen the squad to give us a chance of moving up the table. While today's game pits two big names against each other, Tuesday's televised Capital One Cup tie against Everton will bring back even more memories of the glory days for our fans, who I am sure are relishing the occasion. It will be nice to see Phil Jagielka, who played for me at Sheffield United, but I hope he doesn't have too good a game. I usually rest a few in this competition but there is no selection dilemma this time: I'll be picking everyone who is fit.

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