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Leeds United News from The Sporting Life    Yorkshire Evening Post

September 30: David Healy returns from his 3-match ban, with Richard Cresswell needing a scan on suspected knee ligament damage next week with a negative result likely to rule him out for 8 weeks or more. Clarke Carlisle will not be allowed to take the field against his erstwhile employers after Leeds inserted a clause in his contract forbidding his appearance in either game between Leeds and Watford this season, although Matthew Spring is not constrained.

September 29: Leeds assistant manager Sam Ellis was very pleased with the team's form and attitude after last night's win over Derby. He said: "We've bounced back and showed a lot of character and we are delighted with that." Ellis has an eye on the big picture - but knows that the team need to keep their attention on each game as it comes: "We are more concerned about ourselves and our own players, and we'd like to think that if we keep playing like that then we will be up there with [Sheffield United]... We felt that the lads showed a lot of character out there, because it's hard work when we felt that we didn't get what we deserve against Ipswich on Saturday.

September 29: The FSA have cleared Ken Bates of any wrongdoing over the sale of Chelsea to Roman Abramovich. Questions had been raised over the share price movement of the Blues's holding company ahead of the Russian's offer for the club, but the FSA have indicated that Chairman Ken has done nothing wrong.

September 29: Time to get those votes in for the September Player of the Month. Vote online if you can or drop me an email.

September 28: Rob Hulse struck three goals in 12 minutes at the end of the first half tonight to give Leeds a decisive win over Derby at Elland Road. More later...

September 28: Simon Walton continued his comeback from injury with a goal for the reserves against Liverpool at Wrexham on Tuesday night. The young defender/midfielder knocked the ball home from inside the box after a poorly-cleared free kick fell to him. Another injury returner was Harry Kewell: the ex-Leeds star came on for the final half hour of the game for the Reds, but his main contributions were a glaring miss and being the subject of a yellow-card challenge from Walton.

September 27: The players know they've got to improve on the weekend's performance against Ipswich if they are to challenge for promotion - but they're not being too negative. Sean Gregan says that there were many positives to take from the game: "We dominated the game and had plenty of chances to win but two sloppy goals have seen us pay the price for not taking our chances... That's two games now where we've created plenty of chances, we obviously took a point from Brighton but nothing from this, now hopefully Wednesday will be a different matter." He went on: "Things like this happen in football but we are not going to get too downhearted because overall we played the better football and deserved something out of the game. If we create that many chances on Wednesday night we will win the game, if we can create as many chances for the rest of the season we will be fine, but we needed the ball to go in off someone's backside, shin or something like that." Eddie Lewis is a bit worried that the luck doesn't seem to be running in our favour right now: There are certain times when goals mean more than others, but it's not going our way. All we can do is carry on and try to clean up some of the problems at the back, but in general I don't think you can ask any more from the players or the management. We've got to eliminate some of this back-pedalling though because we have put ourselves under a little bit of pressure for the game with Derby County on Wednesday." As for the boss - well, he thinks there's not much more to be improved! "It's important not to over-react and start throwing the baby out with the bath water... Against Sheffield Wednesday, as a coach I could see what was wrong. Yet you come in after games like Brighton and Ipswich, dominate two decent sides so much and come away with just one point." The manager points to the key area of concern: "We do need to be more ruthless. We're now trying to find what is wrong but, whatever it is, it certainly isn't major."

September 27: Seth Johnson has nothing to prove when he returns to Elland Road - or that's what he thinks! He said: "I'm looking forward to it but I don't really think I've got anything to prove to anybody up there. I didn't produce half of what I could have done if I'd stayed fit but there wasn't really much I could do about being injured." But it seems he would like to get even with at least one person: "What the chairman [Bates] said obviously upset me. I'd never even met the bloke and he came out and said stuff in the press slagging me off, which I couldn't really believe. I obviously wasn't happy about his comments but I think he's gone through most of his career like that and there's not much I could have done about it. There's nothing I need to prove to him - I've moved on."

September 27: Just to make life easy for all us travelling fans, the trip to Plymouth has once again been made as incovenient as possible for Leeds supporters to attend. The game will still take place on January 2, but will now kick off at 5.15pm to be televised by Sky.

September 27: The reserves ran out 0-1 winners over Liverpool's second string tonight. More later...

September 26: The date for the Carling Cup game against Blackburn has been confirmed as Tuesday 25 October with an 8pm KO at Ewood Park.

September 25: Julian Joachim struck on the stroke of full-time to give Boston a share of the points at home to Grimsby after they had played 80 minutes with 10 men when they conceded an early penalty. Alan Maybury was shown the red card for Leicester as they went down 1-2 at home to QPR. Jody Morris picked up two yellow cards - the first for dissent and the second for a foul on Jason Koumas in the dying seconds of the game - as Millwall were held 0-0 at home by Cardiff.

September 24: Leeds have been drawn away at Blackburn in the next round of the Carling Cup. The ties will be played in the week of 24 October.

September 24: Richard Cresswell missed a penalty as Kevin Blackwell's side continued to build an inconsistent record. Blackwell said: "You can be critical about the finishing, but it just wouldn't seem to drop. And then when it did the goalkeeper made a great save or the bar and the post were in the way. But we've played well and put Ipswich under a lot of pressure. Despite all the effort and endeavour, the lads have got nothing to show for it. It's a cruel game. There's no doubt the team played well and on another day we would have won that game comfortably. We did everything but win the game."

September 24: Ian Morris has gone to Blackpool on a one-month loan. The Ireland youth international is nominally a left-sided midfielder or defender - but has played up front on occasion. He was on the bench for Blackpool's 3-2 win over MK Dons yesterday, with the Seasiders' first goal coming from the spot after former Leeds man Simon Grayson was fouled in the area.

September 23: Jonathan Woodgate finally made his first team debut for Real Madrid tonight - and it couldn't have turned out much worse for the ex-Leeds player. First off he picked up an early yellow card, then he diverted a cross into his own net from the edge of the box, and finally - with barely an hour gone - he committed another offence to collect a second yellow and take an early bath. On the positive side for him, Madrid beat Bilbao 3-1. He said: "I just can't believe I got sent off. I didn't think the second yellow card was right, you know, but it's the referee's decision... I want to thank the public, who were brilliant when I was walking off. They were all clapping and cheering."

September 20: David Healy has lost his appeal against his red card for kicking out at QPR's Mark Bircham. He will now miss the Carling Cup game against Rotherham and the league games against Ipswich and Derby at Elland Road: at least that means he'll not end up missing months and losing match fitness I guess.

September 20: Kevin Blackwell was understandably pleased to have cleared a potential banana skin for his side with a 0-2 Carling Cup win at Rotherham. He said: "In the end it was fairly comfortable. Richard Cresswell got a couple and to be fair he could have had four or five. We knew Rotherham would come at us after the break but to be fair they never caused us any real problems. I made five changes for tonight and was very pleased with the performance. It was a thoroughly professional performance."

September 20: James Milner was on the scoresheet twice as Villa came from behind to record and astonishing 3-8 win at Wycombe. Clarke Carlisle put the misery of the weekend's OG behind him to first equalise from Watford at Wolves, and then in injury time head home Matthew Spring's cross to put Adie Boothroyd's side through to the next round. Darren Huckerby scored from the spot to put Norwich in front on their way to a 2-0 win over Northampton.

September 18: I'm off for a couple of days - so no news updates until the back end of the week. Full catch-up and stats from the Rotherham game then.

September 17: A scrappy away win for Kevin Blackwell's makeshift virus-hit team today - but you can never begrudge 3 points brought back from an away game. Unfortunately this was a costly win with David Healy seeing the red mist and a red card after kicking out at Marc Bircham after seeming to receive a kick himself.

September 17: Michael Ricketts was on the scoresheet again today, scoring his second goal in two games to give Cardiff a win at home to Palace. James Milner opened his account for Villa against Spurs, and Robbie Keane squared the game in the second half. Less positive was the contribution of Clarke Carlisle, who contrived an own goal late on to allow Sheffield United a 2-3 win at Watford.

September 17: Carlton Palmer has resigned as Mansfield manager after a poor start to the season. He said: "I have had a good career and I don't need to take the abuse from the crowd. Keith Haslam, the Mansfield chairman, is a good mate of mine and I want to keep it that way so I will be stepping down as manager. I have told the players and Peter Shirtliff and will be formally speaking to the chairman. They are a great set of lads and I wish them all the best. I will take a holiday now and take stock of things."

September 16: Rob Hulse has apparently recovered from the virus that relegated him to the bench on Tuesday - but Kevin Blackwell isn't giving any clues as to which of his other first-teamers have gone down with it. He said: "We have a viral problem that has affected one or two players and I don't know how they will be in the next 48 hours, but it looks as if I will have a decision to make on Saturday." For Rangers, Kevin Gallen and Matthew Rose are likely to miss the game with injury, Tommy Doherty is suspended after being sent off last week, but Martin Rowlands could come back into contention.

September 15: Leeds midfielder Shaun Derry - one of the few players to come out of the defeat at Hillsborough with any credit - has told his team-mates that they have to bounce back from the defeat and put all thoughts of that game behind them with a win on Saturday: "We had a defeat against Cardiff and we had another against Wednesday, but if we respond in the same way we did last time then there will be many more pleasing performances around the corner. We have to make sure we do that and accept responsibility for a disappointing performance on Tuesday and make sure it does not happen in that vein again."

September 15: Kevin Blackwell was keeping his cards close to his chest today, but it seems that Rob Hulse's virus has been passed on to several other members of the squad, and unless they stage a rapid recovery, the boss could be faced with several selection posers on Saturday. Blackwell indicated that a doctor had been called in to look at the squad, but refused to identify which players had gone down with the bug.

September 15: The war of words between Ken Bates and the Krasner group intensified today as Bates publicly branded them "a disgrace" for their failure to complete the sale of the remaining 50% of the club that they still own. Bates said: "I'm sure the Leeds public would be appalled by the behaviour of these people, who claim that they love Leeds United yet they are seeking to avoid their obligations on a legal technicality that would not stand up in court. All these people want to do is make a fast buck for themselves. They are trying to wriggle out of a contract entered into in January and that's not the behaviour I would expect of honourable people." Melvyn Levi, Melvyn Helme and Gerald Krasner are all said to be in talks with their solicitors over Bates' comments and actions, with their counter-claim being that Bates failed to follow the letter of the option to purchase their holdings. Meanwhile Robert Weston - for whom Levi was a front man (begs the question - why?) wants his money back plus a stake in the new club, and you can guess how well that has gone down with the chairman. However Weston doesn't seem to have been the one leaking details of the impasse, and said: "As a supporter of LUFC who very quietly and privately put himself at some financial risk to help save the club from economic disaster in 2004, I would certainly not wish to do or say anything now that might cause the club any harm. Indeed, I applaud the apparent progress made during the last few months under the present management."

September 15: Leeds and Derby are said to be monitoring the form of Pompey's Senegalese international Aliou Cisse, who is out of favour at Fratton Park after suffering a knee injury last season from which he has yet to really recover.

September 14: Kevin Blackwell was less than happy with the way his side conceded the goal at Hillsborough last night. Blackwell said: "I didnt see much in the foul that led up to the free-kick. I just didn't think it was a foul, but then I would say that wouldn't I?" Errrr... if you didn't see it, how can you have an opinion on it? He went on: "We've been done by a Mickey Mouse goal. You ask your set play man to hit the post and if no one gets a touch on it, the keeper has a decision to make; stand still or go for it, and it just went in." Blackwell complained that the team were "caught cold" and they hadn't got to "derby pace". So what he's saying is that they were inadequately prepared and motivated - I wonder whose responsibility that might be? He did have a bit of praise for the team: "They chased every ball and got the crowd going and it's a great atmosphere at Hillsborough. From then on it was a a typical derby game payed at a derby pace; no tackles were shirked and fair play to them." Blackwell explained the absence of Rob Hulse from the starting line-up: "Rob Hulse had a viral infection and I thought I had to make one or two changes anyway. I dont think it affected us. Hulse hasn't trained and he wasn't allowed to travel on the bus because we were afraid he would affect the squad. The doctor said he would be ok, but even when he came on he still didn't look sharp, and that was the gamble." Captain Paul Butler apologised to the fans who had travelled down for the now ritual humiliation in Sheffield. He said: "It just wasn't good enough. We let ourselves down and it always happens in derby games. The fans must think we keep repeating ourselves but no one is more disappointed than us. It's like when we lost at Rotherham lost season when they hadn't won. We know these teams are going to raise their game and we've got to step up a gear. We've got to produce and we haven't done it again." The team left the field to a chorus of boos from the Leeds fans, and Butler can understand the frustration: "I feel for everyone. I know that the fans will say they've heard it before, but we've got to take a good, long, hard look at ourselves." Neil Sullivan was clearly embarrassed to concede such a soft goal after being recalled in place of Ian Bennett, who was relatively blameless for the 3 goals conceded at the weekend. He said: "It was a great ball in - it's just gone over everybody and deceived us really. I was expecting a header but that's the way these things go sometimes and there was still plenty of time for us to get ourselves back into the game." He went on: "It counts for nothing really, at the end of the day we've not won the game or got a point out of it - a local derby to boot - and so we just look forward to putting things right in the next one."

September 14: Ian Moore, Matthew Kilgallon, Dan Harding and Danny Pugh should start tonight for the reserves against Bolton. The game will be played at South Leeds Stadium as will most of the second string's matches this season.

September 14: The reserves were beaten 0-1 by Bolton at South Leeds stadium tonight. Fullback Simon Madden deflected a shot past Mark Wilberforce to give the visitors the only goal of the game.

September 13: Today's Daily Mirror, the paper of choice for all Leeds fans with an Andrex shortage, endeavours to stir things up at Elland Road by saying that Robbie Blake is unsettled and unhappy with being relegated to the bench. He is said to want a regular start, and to be unhappy that a bid by Southampton was blocked (although it doesn't mention that Saints offered less than we paid for him a couple of months ago).

September 13: I find it very hard to believe I'm writing this, but Ken Bates has backed down! The Bearded One has withdrawn a libel action against Owls chairman Dave Allen. The action arose from remarks made by Allen in a letter sent to Wednesday shareholders and season ticket holders after Bates failed to complete a takeover at Hillsborough. No comment has been made on who will be picking up the six-figure legal bill thought to have been accruing for both sides.

September 13: Neil Warnock has clearly been giving his city rival Paul Sturrock a few lessons in how to wind up Leeds boss Kevin Blackwell. Sturrock ignores basic maths and reckons that his club are bigger than Leeds: "If you look back at history, and the things that they have been involved in down the years, that would sway me but, as far as fan-base is concerned, there is no competition - we are miles ahead of them." After stirring the pot, he says he's hoping for calm on the terraces: "There will be a lot of comments made about the leadership of both football clubs but I think that is unimportant to this event. I don't think that it will have any influence at all on the football pitch. We want a good game of football played in a derby spirit. The most important thing is to win a football game." And Sturrock hopes to turn around their relegation form with a win tonight: "We have done a lot of soul-searching over the last month-and-a-half to assess where we have been going wrong. We are going back to playing ugly football," he added. "People said those words could not be used in this league but I have watched six games now and I think it can. I am going to simplify the game for the players. I want us to play a bit quicker and with a bit more penetration... I am going to put out 11 players who will roll their sleeves up, battle, and bite and scratch."

September 13: Out-of-favour midfielder Jermaine Wright has joined Millwall on a 3-month "emergency" loan. League rules allow clubs to sign players if they have an urgent need for cover - although it was expected that the rule would mainly be used to pick goalkeeping cover. Wright started his career as a trainee at Millwall, and it seems he's never really settled at Elland Road or delivered the goods with the match-winning performances his talent could surely produce.

September 13: Kevin Blackwell's fears that his team would find derby games tough proved to be justified tonight. Despite making changes to his line-up that many fans could understand - and would even have encouraged - tonight's performance by Leeds was an order of magnitude worse than anything we've produced this season. Neil Sullivan - recalled in place of the largely blameless Bennett - let Chris Eagles' free kick sail in, but did pull off an excellent stop from the head of David Graham. Back to the drawing board: Saturday brings us new challenges and three points we need to grab if we are to keep the pressure on the top half of the table.

September 13: So we ship out Michael Ricketts and Jermaine Wright, lose our game and it's inevitable that both of them will score, isn't it? Ricketts headed home a Koumas corner to give Cardiff the points against Leicester, and Wright hammered home an equaliser for Millwall as they came from behind to beat Wolves 1-2. And Marlon King scored for Watford in their 2-1 win over Norwich.

September 12: Leeds striker Richard Cresswell reckons that the team should have taken all three points on Saturday after dominating the game for long periods. He said: "The lads are disappointed because these are the games at home we need to win. But I thought we showed some determination and managed to get a result... The positives are we never gave up and the lads kept going to the end. We will look at the things we need to improve on over the week and put them right." He added: "We have to look at ourselves, we have to defend better from the front all the way through the team it's not just about forwards, the whole team has to defend and I'm sure we'll be looking at that this week."

September 12: Kevin Blackwell is putting David Healy's goals down to his good management - in part anyway. He said: "It was a fantastic week for David and he showed what a player he is. I left him out a couple of weeks ago because there were aspects of his play I wasn't happy with, and he responded. I know he scored twice against Millwall, but I expected more and he gave it to me. That was the David Healy I bought. He is still a young player and has a great future." But Blackwell was less than overjoyed with his side's failure to convert possession into points against Brighton: "We had 24 shots on goal and 67 per cent of the play. You look at that and ask why we didn't win the game... We'd highlighted their breakaways and the players knew where we could get caught - I'm disappointed with the way they scored their goals, but I'm not going to rant and rave." On the positive side, Blackwell praised his team's bouncebackability: "After getting back on level terms, the third goal would have finished many sides off, but our players showed maturity in the way they came back, and there's no way we deserved to lose."

September 12: There are suggestions that Kevin Blackwell may make his first serious attempt at reshuffling the squad and dropping some of the players whose performance hasn't been in the top drawer. Dan Harding is number one on the list, with Stephen Crainey ready to replace him. And although it's a bit unfair to judge Frazer Richardson - a right back - on his performances on the right side of midfield, it can't be denied that Jonathan Douglas has made a good impression to date. Matthew Kilgallon is pressing for a place (or a loan to Norwich if you believe some of the papers), and either Butler or Gregan could make way - with Gregan possible displacing a less-than-effective Gylfi Einarsson in midfield. Blackwell has praised Neil Sullivan's attitude, but it's thought unlikely that Ian Bennett will be dropped after conceding three rather blamelessly at the weekend. For the home side, Adam Proudlock will take a last-minute fitness test on an ankle injury, Drissa Diallo is a long-term absentee and Richie Partridge is carrying a thigh strain.

September 11: Marlon King scored from the spot as Adie Boothroyd's Watford continued their impressive start to the season with a 0-3 win at Stoke. Andy Keogh headed home his fourth goal of the season to put Scunthorpe into a 2-0 lead over Port Vale, leaving them in a strong 2nd place in League One. Noel Whelan opened the scoring from the edge of the box for Boston after just 8 minutes, and after visitors Rochdale had pulled level and gone ahead, added another from the spot before Alan White gave the Pilgrims all three points.

September 19: David Healy is to appeal against the red card he received at QPR on Saturday. If he can convince the FA that he's innocent, he'll be free to play in the Carling Cup game against Rotherham - otherwise it's a three-match ban for a straight red.

September 10: It's hard to be too critical about today's performance, but I'll try. I couldn't believe how many chances we created early on - and the combination of good keeping, desperate defending, slightly less than perfectly sharp finishing and outright luck kept the scores level. Brighton just weren't at the races as David Healy and Rob Hulse made chance after chance, but somehow the ball wouldn't go in. Then the moment I'd feared all season: a team that looked at our teamsheet, gasped in amazement at the lack of pace in the backline, then just shrugged and took advantage. Sean Gregan and Paul Butler have loads of experience and have deployed it to great effect this season, but when faced with two or three Brighton attackers who were willing and able to run at them, they were left for dead. Twice we were attacking the Brighton goal, and twice we saw the ball sent quickly upfield and an unprotected Ian Bennett pick the ball out of the net. Fortunately, the new team spirit and committed approach from Kevin Blackwell's men dragged us back from the brink. There were some boos from the Leeds fans when Frazer Richardson and Rob Hulse were replaced by Jonathan Douglas and Richard Cresswell: nowt against the new arrivals, just shock and amazement that nothing was being done about the ineffective display in defence, or indeed to replace the totally anonymous Einarsson in midfield. Douglas then proceeded to win a lot of friends at his new club with a booking for a solid challenges less than a minute after arriving, and then showed Frazer Richardson what a decent midfielder/winger can do by producing a pinpoint cross for David Healy to tap in. A second strike from Healy got us back on terms as Brighton again looked ready to crumble. But another quick break saw us undermanned at the back again, and a shot from the Brighton right took a deflection off Sean Gregan to leave Ian Bennett with no chance. With just 3 minutes of time added on for stoppages (err... 5 subs made = 2.5 minutes plus two cases where the trainer was on = the ref doing his best to steal time from Leeds and hand the result to Brighton) Leeds continued to press with the impressive Cresswell taking the fight to Brighton. The hard work paid off: a goalmouth scramble from a corner saw Douglas hammer home the equaliser and the crowd went home happy. Plenty of positives to take from this, not least the spirit that gave us the comeback and Healy's goals. Cresswell and Douglas were very effective when they came on. Unfortunately it's hard to say many good things about the defence: Harding, Gregan and Butler were less than impressive and all must be worried that they'll be out of contention on Tuesday night. But back to the plus points; good team spirit, we made loads of chances, and we battled back to grab a point that we wouldn't have saved last season.

September 09: Leeds manager Kevin Blackwell says that David Healy will have to face the consequences of his stunning strike for Northern Ireland when he returns to the club. He said: "Dave will have to face the kangaroo court in the morning. There'll be a few ramifications for his goal. He won't be spoken to until Saturday and I would think he'll be the last one picked in the five-a-side matches in training!" Blackwell reckons that Healy won't face a backlash from the fans, despite the fact that his goal humiliated Sven's squad: "We all wanted Dave to do well. He worked his socks off and it was a quality goal. I was proud for him. I'm sure... he'll get a great welcome back from the lads and the fans."

September 09: Back in the mists of time, Peter Ridsdale and co had grand plans for a multi-purpose arena and entertainment complex to go up at Elland Road - including our very own ice hockey team. Well the hockey has melted away, but Ken Bates is backing suggestions that a new concert and convention location be sited at Elland Road, with LS11 competing against 9 other locations around the city.

September 09: After the thrill of qualifying for the World Cup Finals with USA last week, Eddie Lewis is now back to his day job at Elland Road. Lewis was over the moon to have helped his country to the finals in Germany next year, and said: "After the game it was hard not to think about it. I kept pinching myself. But once I landed back the world changes quickly. I'm back in Leeds and it's back to business. The key now is to focus on Leeds, stay healthy and hopefully have a productive year." He knows that the team need to keep their concentration and resume the good run of form that they had shown before the international break: "It's important to keep up our good form because if you are not careful you can lose two or three games in a week." And he's clear what his ideal scenario will be come April and May: "In a perfect world we would get promoted and I will go to the World Cup on the back of that - but it's a very, very long way off."

September 09: Leeds are unlikely to make any team changes for tomorrow's visit of Brighton. All the players away on international duty have reported back fit and well - although David Healy was carrying a minor strain between the two games. For Brighton, Jason Dodd is out with an ankle injury, but Kerry Mayo is back in contention.

September 08: David Healy puts last night's goal against England at the top of the tree in his career. He said: "It's an unbelievable feeling to score against England. I think I've hit better goals in my career but that was definitely the sweetest moment - it will be the most memorable as well because it was against England and it was the winner." NI boss Lawrie Sanchez praised Healy's ability - but with a subtle dig as to his current employers: "When push comes to shove you are looking for someone to finish and one man in our team had that quality. If David was to play in the Premiership he would be a regular goalscorer in my view."

September 07: Completely forgot to mention this last week: get your votes in for the August Player of the Month Poll now!

September 07: Neil Sullivan insists that he will win his starting place back from Ian Bennett. After signing a contract extension, Sullivan clearly doesn't want to spend the next two years on the bench, and said: "Of course I'm disappointed. I want to be playing - I'm 35 years old, I was player of the year last year and hardly missed a game. But It's not a problem. Benno's a good lad and he's doing very well at the moment. As much as it's disappointing for me personally, it's good for the club."

September 07: An experienced reserve side was beaten 0-2 by a relatively young and inexperienced Manchester United team at Elland Road last night. The visitors scored from the spot and then from a corner in the first quarter, and Leeds never really looked like getting back into the game. Leeds' first-teamers on show were: Sullivan, Marques, Kilgallon, Walton, Crainey, Wright, Pugh, Blake and Moore.

September 07: Former Leeds player Jamie McMaster has found himself a new club after being released by Chesterfield in the summer. He follows in the footsteps of Scott Sellars and fellow Aussie Shane Cansdell-Sherriff to AGF Aarhus in Denmark for the remaining few months of their season.

September 07: David Healy had his wildest dream come true tonight when he scored the only goal of the game at Windsor Park as Northern Ireland beat England 1-0. Before the match, the Leeds striker had said: "It would be a dream come true to score and incredible to score the winner. The last man to score a winning goal for us against England was Terry Neill, that was back in 1972 and it would be incredible to do the same. If I don't score though and we still get a good result then I will be just as happy though." In the 74th minute, Healy beat the offside trap (courtesy of Rio's poor positioning) and hammered the ball across the face of Paul Robinson's goal to send Windsor Park wild. Robbo got his fingertips to the ball but couldn't stop the net bulging. With time running out, Warren Feeney nearly managed to repeat the feat from the same position - his effort just creeping past the far post. In last night's U-21 game, Scott Carson was beaten by a header in the first half but James Milner set up England's equaliser in the 1-1 draw in Germany.

September 06: FIFA have decided that they're not responsible for investigating and pronouncing judgement on the rights and wrongs of Harry Kewell's transfer from Leeds to Liverpool, so the ball is back in the FA's court. The English authorities passed the buck upwards just over a year ago because of the involvement of a FIFA-registered agent, but now FIFA has decided that it's a local issue since the transfer took place between two English clubs. Bernie Mandic claims that he's just Kewell's commercial manager and that his brother Nikola had actually negotiated the transfer. He also claims that the earth is flat and that the moon is made of cheese. An FA statement reads: "The FA conducted an investigation, following the transfer in the summer of 2003, into the possible involvement of an unlicensed agent... As a result of Fifa's decision announced today, the FA will now review the information to be provided by Fifa and consider potential action under its own regulations as a matter of urgency."

September 06: Ipswich's loan bid for Ian Moore has been turned down by Leeds. Ipswich boss Joe Royle confirmed: "We were looking to bring him here for the season but Leeds turned us down."

September 06: A dinner will take place at Elland Road on October 9 as Lucas Radebe's testimonial year comes to a close. The Chief is aiming to raise half a million quid for a variety of charities split between Yorkshire and South Africa. The dinner will be hosted by Ray Stubbs from the BBC, and will feature entertainment from Jeff Winter (a live version of Celebrity Sharkbait featuring the happy whistler would be viewed with great appreciation by many Leeds fans). The following day, a charity golf day at Moor Allerton Golf Club will bring the fundraising to a close.

September 06: Can you wear an orange jacket? Can you tell the difference between an elbow and Michael Ricketts? Do you mind being ignored by 20,000 people when you ask them to sit down and politely applaud the teams and respectfully doff their caps to Sir Kenneth of Bates? If so then you could be ideal steward material and the club would like to hear from you. They're holding a recruitment session on on Thursday week at Elland Road in the evening for anyone who might be interested.

September 06: Former Leeds youth team striker Damien Reeves has secured a trial at Notts County. The 19-year-old was released by Leeds during the summer, but has yet to find a permanent position despite trials at a variety of lower league and non-league clubs.

September 05: Reports today suggest that Ipswich are aiming to ask Leeds for a long-term loan of Ian Moore. Although the window has closed on permanent transfers, loan deals between Football League clubs will still be allowed, and Ipswich's less than stellar strike rate (6 goals in 6 league games) will need to improve if they are to mount a promotion challenge. Moore has been out with shin splints since the pre-season tour for Leeds, and faces an uphill struggle to get past David Healy, Rob Hulse and Richard Cresswell in the Elland Road pecking order.

September 05: Mark Viduka struck twice in Australia's 7-0 hammering of the Solomon Islands in their World Cup qualifier. Viduka captained the side to a win that more or less guarantees them a play-off against the 5th-placed side in South America to snatch a place in Germany next summer. Eddie Lewis played - at left-back it seems - for USA as they beat Mexico 2-0 in Ohio to clinch their place in the finals at the head of the Concacaf group. Lewis didn't score, but did set up one of the goals and more importantly comes back to Leeds uninjured and looks set to be freed from his international duties early rather than kept on to play in Guatemala midweek. David Healy came out of the NI win over Azerbaijan with a thigh strain, but he played down suggestions that he wouldn't be fit enough to face England at Windsor Park on Wednesday. He said: "I think it's been nearly 20 years since England played in Belfast. When the draw was made this was the game all of us started to look forward to - this and the Old Trafford one. So it's going to be a great occasion for everybody that plays in it and hopefully we can give a good account of ourselves. We did well at Old Trafford but let it slip in the second half, so we're looking to put together a better performance this time around." Finally Gylfi Einarsson came out with a yellow card and on the wrong end of a 1-3 scoreline against Croatia.

September 05: Leeds reserves will face Manchester United's second string at Elland Road tomorrow night. The game kicks off at 7pm, with the East Stand being in use for this game to allow work to be completed on the John Charles stand. Admission is free to season ticket holders and members, otherwise it's three quid full price or a quid for concessions.

September 04: Julian Joachim and Noel Whelan came off the bench to save a point for Boston United at Macclesfield. The visitors were 2-0 down at half-time when Joachim got his chance: he set up fellow sub Brad Maylett just 3 minutes into the second period, and Whelan then hammered home a half-volley with 15 minutes to go after being on the field for less than 10 minutes.

September 04: Today's News of the World reports that FIFA are set to charge Leeds and Liverpool over the transfer of Harry Kewell. The much-maligned Aussie's deal was done by the even-more-maligned Bernie Mandic, who is not a FIFA-registered agent, and so should not have been allowed by either the clubs (or indeed the player) to represent Kewell or attempt to broker a deal. The clubs could be hit by a transfer ban, although a fine would be a more likely outcome. It would be interesting to see what Ken Bates' response to such an imposition would be though: he could reasonably argue that the entity which struck the agreement with Mandic no longer exists, and that the all-new Leeds United shouldn't bear any responsibility for the actions of Peter Ridsdale and the Prof.

September 04: Robbie Blake says he's very happy that the club rejected Wigan's late deadline-day bid for his services. Wigan were desperate to sign someone - anyone - to fill a huge hole in their squad, and eventually alighted on David Connolly from Wigan. But Blake reckons he's better off staying at Elland Road rather than taking a one-season run in the top flight elsewhere: "Leeds is a fantastic club. It's going up, not down, and that's where you want to be."

September 03: Paul Robinson pulled off a superb save to keep England on level terms in the first half against Wales today, and ended up with a clean sheet to his credit (and Rio's and the rest of the defence) as Sven's bunch of overpaid primadonnas scraped a 0-1 win over Wales courtesy of a lucky deflection from a Joe Cole shot. Warren Feeney was a surprise late scorer for Northern Ireland in their 2-0 victory over Azerbaijan: David Healy started but failed to score and had been subbed by the time the home side won a late penalty, so it was that Feeney stepped up to secure the victory for Lawrie Sanchez's side. Slightly less internationally, Nathan Lowndes gave Port Vale the lead on the stroke of half-time in their game against Rotherham: an equally late goal in the second half secured them a 2-0 win.

September 02: Leeds striker David Healy says he's intent on getting a first win in ten games for Northern Ireland. Lawrie Sanchez's side face Azerbaijan at the weekend and England next week in their now-doomed WC 2006 qualification campaign. Healy said: "We are buzzing and can't wait to get started against Azerbaijan. The mood in the camp is a positive one. We know that no other result but a win will do. We are determined to finish fourth in our World Cup group and to do that we need three points on Saturday and we want to give the fans something to celebrate." He's scored 18 goals in 44 internationals and added: "On a personal note I want to keep scoring for my country and this match against Azerbaijan is special because I didn't get to play against them last time and it broke my sequence of playing in every game for Northern Ireland. I want to make up for that."

September 02: Former Leeds striker Andy Ritchie has revealed that he made a cheeky bid to sign centreback Matthew Kilgallon just before deadline day. Kilgallon has found himself relegated to the bench as Sean Gregan and Paul Butler form the heart of a defence that has been very stingy this season. Ritchie wasn't expecting to be able to sign Kilgallon permanently but was hoping for a loan to allow the player to get some first team games under his belt. He said: "We got another knock-back from Leeds United when we asked about Matthew Kilgallon and they wouldn't let him out."

September 02: Neil Sullivan has agreen an extension to his contract that will keep him at Elland Road until the end of next season. Sullivan came in last year on a two-year deal, and was happy to sign up for a further 12 months despite facing renewed competition for the first team gloves from Ian Bennett. Kevin Blackwell said: "I am delighted Neil is prepared to commit his future to the club. He can see the club is moving in the right direction now and he wants to be part of the future here, so it is more good news for us.

September 02: Scott Carson kept a clean sheet in tonight's U21 international between England and Wales. The game finished 0-4 in England's favour, with James Milner also getting a start.

September 02: Andy Keogh hit the target twice for Scunthorpe tonight in their 1-4 win at Huddersfield. Keogh doubled the visitors' early lead from Peter Beagrie's penalty with a strike on the stroke of half-time. He then hit the target again with just 7 minutes to go to seal the points and take his side to the top of League One.

September 01: An experienced Leeds reserves outfit drew 1-1 at Everton last night. Stephen Crainey, Matthew Kilgallon, Rui Marques, Jermaine Wright, Ian Moore and Robbie Blake were all in action for the second string at Southport. Blake opened the scoring in the second half, smashing in a free kick from outside the box. Everton equalised shortly after with a chip from the edge of the box finding the net after a poor clearance from Mark Wilberforce, but the keeper redeemed himself by saving an almost certain goal just before the final whistle.

September 01: Leeds manager Kevin Blackwell says that his team's recent string of clean sheets are fundamental to confidence and success. He said: "There is an old adage that clean sheets win games and they do. We have just got to set our stall out to get as many as possible this season. I know we have the firepower at this club now and if you can ally those clean sheets together with our firepower, then we will win games." Blackwell's sentiments were echoed by club captain Paul Butler: "If we can keep it clean at the back then it makes it easier for other people to do their jobs and there's a lot more confidence now."

September 01: Former Leeds youth/reserve team striker Chris Jones has signed up with Eircom League outfit Limerick FC for the remaining three months of their season, with an option for a further two years if things work out for him.

September 01: Leeds boss Kevin Blackwell was happy with the overall outcome the club's transfer window activity. He pointed out that his spending had been sensible and hadn't hit the levels implied by some people (by which I think he means Neil Warnock). He said: "We are being prudent with our finances and although people like to talk about 'the money we have spent', we had spent only £675,000 before our recent move for Richard Cresswell." Speaking about the loans of Eirik Bakke and Michael Ricketts, he said: "These two loans give both players an opportunity to play first-team football and, while I don't have the biggest squad in the league, I do believe that we now have quality rather than quantity and can do well." That might be seen as a bit of rationalisation, given that a fit Eirik Bakke would probably be viewed as one of the best midfielders in the Championship, but no doubt losing his wages from the club's monthly outgoings has enabled Uncle Ken to offer Kev the ability to bring in the likes of Cresswell and hang on to Healy, Blake and others who were attracting outside interest. Blackwell said: "Over the last 14 days, we received enquiries for 12 different players. We only let two go and the level of interest shows how far we have come as a club. Now we only let players go when clubs meet our valuations and we feel the deal is right."

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