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Leeds United News from The Sporting Life    Yorkshire Evening Post


January 30: Terrible performance at The Dell. Simple chances missed by Jimmy and soft goals conceded to one of the worst teams in the league. Sounds like another typical Leeds season.

January 29: Yet another twist in the long-running David Batty fitness saga: further setbacks in training mean that he's now likely to remain on the sidelines for 4-5 more weeks. Meanwhile Martin Hiden has started his recuperation after his knee op, but we're still not likely to see him back this season.

January 29: Andrew Quinn has been released from his contract after failing to break into the first team. The 19-year-old is now free to seek his future elsewhere.

January 29: Lucas Radebe, Alan Smith and Lee Bowyer should return on Saturday after international duty and suspension. Danny Granville and Stephen McPhail are both injured, so Alfi Haaland will probably take his place in the defence.

January 28: Leeds launch the Leeds United Racing Club - the chance to buy a share in a racehorse along with other fans of the club. Rumours that Carlton Palmer has been seen moving in to the Easterby stable at Malton have so far been strenuously denied. "We said racehorses not carthorses", someone close to the club is alleged to have said.

January 27: Clyde Wijnhard's already slim chances of featuring in the next round of the FA Cup were blown away as he picked up a 5th yellow card of the season in the reserves defeat by Nottingham Forest last night.

January 25: Former Leeds striker Phil Masinga scored South Africa's goal in their 1-1 draw with Mauritius in their African Nations Cup game. Thankfully Lucas Radebe looks set to return unharmed from this international sortie.

January 24: The 5th round draw pits us against Wimbledon or George Judas Graham's Spurs, but at least we're at home.

January 23: Rumours circulate that Juventus are casting their eyes over Harry Kewell and Lee Bowyer. The interest is flattering, and if it's real must be beaten off with a large stick. We've spent a lot of time and effort developing these players and must hang on to them when they come good if we're to have a hope of competing at the top level.

January 23: After a heart-stopping blip after 10 minutes, Leeds' makeshift side came good to hammer five past Portsmouth. Notable also was the first team debuts of Tommy Knarvik and Matthew Jones - further demonstrating David O'Leary's faith in the youth. And although Jimmy once again missed goals that he should really have bagged, Clyde Wijnhard's goal may go some way to restoring his confidence. Unfortunately JFH's booking means he misses the Newcastle game (from which Alan Shearer will also be absent for the same reason).

January 22: With 12 first-team players unavailable due to injury, suspension and international calls, it's anybody's guess what the starting line-up will be on Saturday. Jon Woodgate is likely to partner David Wetherall in the centre of defence, with Danny Granville and Ian Harte in the back four. David Hopkin, Harry Kewell and JFH are more or less assured of a start, but the remaining places are up for grabs with Bruno Ribeiro, Willem Korsten, Gunnar Halle, Stephen McPhail and Clyde Wijnhard all in contention. We should be able to get past Pompey, but on their own ground in front of passionate local support, it won't be the walk-over that the difference in league position would indicate.

January 22: Mark Beeney could be forced to end his playing career after his Achilles snapped again after the original operation to fix it.

January 20: So when is David Batty due to return? Contradictory reports on his fitness abound, and rumours are circulating that he may be available to play in Saturday's Cup tie.

January 19: Although Gary Kelly and Alan Maybury are now back training and playing for the reserves, it's unlikely that they'll be back in the first team for another month.

January 19: Lucas Radebe will miss Saturday's FA Cup tie against Portsmouth after the South African FA decided that they needed him for their African Nations Cup qualifier against Mauritius.

January 18: David Batty has been told to take at least another 10 days of complete rest, since his eagerness to return to training have probably contributed to his failure to regain full fitness after his injury in January.

January 18: Good news from Howard Wilkinson: Wilko has now said that he never intended to take youth players who were first team regulars to the FIFA youth tournament in April, so we won't be robbed of Woodgate, Smith and Robinson for that crucial month. It remains to be seen if his Irish counterpart will similarly release Stephen McPhail.

January 18: Another former Leeds player on the move: Carlton Palmer looks set to be Ron Atkinson's first recruit to try to dig Forest out of the relegation mire.

January 16: A good three points for us here with a depleted side, but another good game for Smith - scoring one and setting up another one. Willem Korsten makes his debut, replacing Smith for a quarter of an hour at the end of the game.

January 13: Well, at least that's got us past one potential embarassment. A couple of good goals from Alan Smith and a cracker from Jimmy offsetting the early pinball-style goal from Heggs. Good to see the reception Chris Whyte received when he came on as a sub in the last minutes for Rushden: he was a great player in the Championship-winning side and he'll always be well-received whenever he returns.

January 13: Leeds are trialling a Slovenian centreback at Thorpe Arch at the moment. Aleksander Knavs may have problems getting a work permit since he's a non-EC player who has only played 60% of the national side's games and you need to be in 75% to get a work permit, but Leeds may be able to persuade the Department of Employment to relax the restriction.

January 12: It now looks like David Batty will be out for at least another month. Batts is willing to play through the pain barrier, but the club don't want to risk his long-term fitness.

January 11: Alan Maybury, Gary Kelly and Lucas Radebe had hoped to continue their comebacks in the reserves tonight, but the match was put back to Thursday due to the frosty state of the ground. There's still no sign of David Batty who has only played for 60 minutes since he rejoined Leeds from Newcastle.

January 11: The thigh injury picked up by Jon Woodgate at Ewood Park now seems certain to rule him out of the FA Cup replay on Wednesday night. The centre-back jinx strikes again.... Woodgate is also due to miss next Saturday's game against Boro through suspension.

January 10: From zero to hero in a week: Lee Sharpe plays for Sampdoria and nearly scores a winner against Bologna in Serie A.

January 09: Keith Gillespie slots a winner for Blackburn 2 minutes before Tim Sherwood gets a red card and removes any chance we might have had of winning. We're crap against 10 men and today was no exception: we've lost that winning edge and with the continuing disruption at the back we can only hope to squeak through on Wednesday and get that hurdle out of the way. Meanwhile Haaland and Bowyer get booked and now face suspension.

January 07: Alan Maybury and Gary Kelly played a half each in last night's 3-1 reserve team win over Birmingham. Lucas Radebe was also on the pitch for 70 minutes as Lee Matthews - who's been carrying an ankle injury for a month himself - scored a pair. Unfortunately Alan Smith picked up a yellow card in the game and will now serve a one match ban, since he's picked up a total of five (but only one for the first team).

January 06: Leeds have confirmed their interest in two Spanish players: Daniel Garcia Lara and Marcellino Elena Sierra of Spanish League leaders Mallorca are reported to be attracting the interest of David O'Leary.

January 06: Leeds are expected to confirm the signing of Holland U-23 international Willem Korsten from Antwerp on loan until the end of the season after a 2-week trial. Great. Another left-sided midfielder. Just like Lee Sharpe. Or Ribeiro. or Kewell..... Maybe he's fine, but I just can't see the point.

January 05: David O'Leary returned from a trip to Portugal to watch Ronaldo (no not that one) and a couple of other defensive players. The Stubbs rumours continue (and continue to be denied) but if Maybury and Kelly are on their way back, the urgency may pass somewhat.

January 05: Happy Birthday Vinnie Jones - 34 today!

January 05: Former Leeds player and long-term lard-arse Tomas Brolin was involved in a car crash in Sweden when he hit an elk. I'm sure there's a joke here somewhere but the elk didn't find it funny.

January 04: Long-term injuries Alan Maybury and Gary Kelly may join David Batty playing for the reserves against Birmingham on Wednesday in an effort to get them back to match fitness.

January 04: The FA Cup replay against Rushden is put back to Wednesday January 13 for TV - tickets on sale now priced at an almost sensible £5 and £10.

January 02: No excuses - they just defended very well, and once we were down to 10 men, we understandably closed up a bit. Even so, you've got to win games like this - and more worrying is the fact that Jon Woodgate now faces a suspension leaving us with no recognised centrebacks at all.

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