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Copy from Football Unlimited of 17/03/2003.
Leeds fans are not always a subject for sympathy but it was difficult not to admire the loyalty of their numbers on Saturday, only 600 fewer than saw them beat Manchester United in September, when Leeds were third and optimistic under a new manager. It is no fun being a fan now.
Peter Ridsdale greeted them with "total commitment to deliver". Presumably he was wearing his plc hat. He did not go so far as a road map, the campaign plan de nos jours, uncertain perhaps whether to show Manchester or Gillingham. Leeds may need six points from their last eight games to feel safe.
When Boro made it 3-1 Leeds fans sang "Ridsdale, Ridsdale, what's the score?" By then the chairman was watching events unfold on a TV in the boardroom after retreating there at half-time to evade the insults. Confronted by one irate fan just before the break, Ridsdale had finally had enough. The supporters know how he feels.
Copy from Football Unlimited of 16/03/2003.
Boro secured their third away win of the season with stunning goals from Juninho and Geremi. Mark Viduka got a couple for Leeds courtesy of goalkeeping errors by Mark Schwarzer, but a Massimo Maccarone penalty separated the sides.
Leeds were hoping to end a three-match sequence of defeats in the league and Cup but their manager, Terry Venables, faced a familiar shortage of fit players. Midfielder Seth Johnson requires knee surgery. Defenders Dominic Matteo, Gary Kelly and Michael Duberry are unfit, along with strikers Harry Kewell and Michael Bridges. It's arguably true that since his arrival the Leeds manager has not been able to select his first-choice side.
Boro, unbeaten in four games, were pleased to see Juninho pass a fitness test and their only noticeable absentee was left-back Franck Queudrue, who was replaced by teenager David Murphy.