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Leeds United News from The Sporting Life    Yorkshire Evening Post


August 31: Lee Matthews has joined Crewe on a 1-year deal after being released by Port Vale in the summer. The former Leeds player has been troubled by injury throughout his career and will be hoping that he can finally get some regular first-team football under his belt. Clyde Wijnhard is on trial at Walsall after returning from Holland and scored in a reserve game on Tuesday night: as an unattached player he could be offered a contract at any point. With Spurs seemingly flush with cash, Harry Kewell was said to be a target for Martin Jol, with Aaron Lennon to be used as a possible makeweight in a deal to send Stewart Downing to White Hart Lane - but at the time of writing, neither deal looked likely to complete. Jonathan Douglas arrived at Elland Road, this time in a permanent switch from Blackburn for an undisclosed fee. Eirik Bakke has made a permanent move to Norway just missing another old boy - Tommy Knarvik - at SK Brann Bergen: Knarvik moved on to Sandefjord this summer. It's not clear who will be paying for the final year of his twenty-odd grand a week contract at Leeds. With 90 minutes left before the deadline arrives, Kevin Blackwell captured Stephan Andersen - a 24-year-old Danish keeper with one cap to his name - to provide backup for Neil Sullivan in a season-long loan.

August 30: Ian Morris has been sold to Scunthorpe for an undisclosed amount. The Irish striker spent a large part of last season on loan at Blackpool and never made it into a first team squad for Leeds.

August 30: Shaun Derry's trip to Germany has resulted in the decision to go for an op on his hernia immediately. Kevin Blackwell said: "Although we could have done with him for the September matches we made it clear that if he needed the operation now it should be done there and then. There was never any thought of taking any risk with him. He was having the operation this afternoon and is due to fly back to England, probably tomorrow. It's a blow, especially coming at a time when we have a lot of fixtures in a relatively short space of time." Derry will be out for around four weeks while he recovers. Steve Stone's injury remains under review.

August 30: The FA and Premier League have announced that they will be holding a joint inquiry into Chelsea's conduct over the signing of two Leeds Youth players and the attempted signing of a third. So....let's see what really happened then...

August 30: Jonathan Woodgate will be playing football in England for the rest of the season after signing on a season-long loan at Boro. With the arrival of new coach Fabio Capello and World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro at Real Madrid, Woodgate's opportunities to gain match fitness and a regular place would have been limited, so it's back to his home town where he will hopefully not reproduce his off-field form from recent years.

August 29: Eirik Bakke has gone home to Norway and is training with former club Sogndal after being told by Kevin Blackwell - as proxy for Ken Bates - that he would never play for Leeds again. Bakke said: "I was told by the manager on Wednesday that I was not going to be allowed to play for Leeds again. This is my eighth season at Leeds and with everything that has happened during that time, I should not really be surprised at anything that happens. But this did come a a shock. I had scored my first goal for more than two years against Chester on Tuesday night and was looking forward to hopefully enjoying a run in the team. This is the last year of my contract and I started the season with just two aims - to be a regular in the team and to get Leeds back into the Premiership. Now I do not know what will happen. I want to tell the fans that I have not spoken to any other club about a possible transfer and have nothing lined up. I want to stay at Leeds, even if it does turn out to be my last year. It was a similar situation last year when I ended up being sent to Aston Villa on loan. Maybe that was good for my career because it gave me a run of games. But I felt this year was going to be different because I have not missed one day of pre-season and feel to be getting fitter all the time." A club statement issued later said: "While the level of his salary is in no way his fault, it is preventing the club from moving forward as quickly as we would like. Apart from Gary Kelly, Eirik is the last of the players from the Ridsdale era when players were remunerated very, very well. But time has moved on. We no longer have the parachute payment, we are no longer a Premiership club and we have to face reality. Eirik has been a great servant to the club and he is not being singled out. Over the last few years Leeds United have been forced to part company with a number of players due to the scale of their wages. We have a contract with Eirik which, if he does not find another club, we will have to honour but there are certain parts of it, in particular some appearance related payments which now, effectively, will prohibit him from playing for us in the long run." Bakke has played 196 times for Leeds, with 164 starts. Whoever set those appearance-level triggers in his contract sure liked his odd numbers...

August 29: Lucas Radebe has split with the South African FA after getting tired of waiting for a formal offer of a position in addition to his ceremonial role as ambassador for the 2010 World Cup. He said: "I came home after being told I had a major role to play in the build up but nothing has come of it." SAFA chief executive officer Raymond Hack denied that anybody had actually told Radebe that there would be a job for him: "He was mentioned as someone who could play a role within the team, especially when it came to relating to the players, but I'm not aware he had been offered any job."

August 29: Shaun Derry's relatively subdued performance on Sunday has been explained by the fact that he has been carrying a hernia problem and after normal management procedures failed to produce an improvement will now face an operation. He is due to fly out to Germany with Steve Stone - also due for a quick slice-up - this week, with a view to getting him on the road to recovery while there is a break in the fixture list for the latest batch of internationals.

August 27: Eirik Bakke has been omitted from the squad to face Sheffield Wednesday this afternoon, with speculation rife that he could be on the point of a move away from the club with the transfer deadline looming. Certainly the chairman would welcome a major chunk of the wage budget walking away - but with Steve Stone and Kevin Nicholls injured, the last thing we need right now is to lose another experienced midfielder.

August 27: Kevin Blackwell was happy, Paul Sturrock less so after today's narrow win for Leeds against 10-man Wednesday. Sturrock voiced criticism of the ref after he saw keeper Brad Jones dismissed for a foul on David Healy, but the main beefs of both players and fans at the time - that Healy was offside and no contact was made - were shown to be incorrect on the TV replays. What the slo-mo did show was just how much Healy went looking for and made of the contact, but contact there was and a red card was the inevitable consequence. However the replays also show that contact was made marginally outside the box, and it would be a little unfair to blame ref Steve Bennett for making a call so marginal that even if his assistant had been on the right side of things and totally up with play would have been tough. Sturrock said: "Obviously the pace of the game is a lot more in our league than in the Premiership and I just feel it would be very nice if they just left us alone and let us stick to our own referees. I feel strongly about this and I've had conversations with other Championship managers and they see exactly the same problems... We've got referees from the Championship who make mistakes but I'd much rather have them than referees who step down from the Premiership." Kevin Blackwell said that he wasn't going to trot out the old "I was looking the other way" standby favoured by most managers: "From where I was sat it looked a penalty to me and no-one argued with it. David has created the penalty himself with a great run from Stephen Crainey's ball and kept his composure to tuck it away." And Blackwell said that his team deserved the win: "With the chances we created we should really have finished them off earlier than that but we put in a good performance and dominated for long spells."

August 26: Jamie Forrester scored all four - two from the spot - for Lincoln as they romped to a 2-4 win over Mansfield. Darren Huckerby scored one of Norwich's five goals as they hammered Barnsley 5-1 at Carrow Road.

August 26: Leeds will face Barnet in the next round of the Carling Cup. The tie will be played in the week of September 18. The two clubs have never before met in competitive action. After the tiny crowd drawn to see Chester play at Elland Road, it will be interesting to see what Uncle Ken does with ticket prices this time round (though in fairness there were some reasonably-priced deals to be had for Chester).

August 25: Steve Stone's groin injury is not as bad as was first feared. Kevin Blackwell said that he was relieved that a scan had revealed that Stone would now only be out for around 6 weeks rather than the 3 months that had been originally indicated. He said: "Steve has torn an abductor muscle. It's fair to say it's better than we expected. He could have been out for a few months, but hopefully this will be around six weeks so from that point of view it's good news."

August 25: After Neil Sullivan's successful return to action with the reserves this week, Tony Warner could be sent back to Fulham at the end of his loan spell after the Sheffield Wednesday match. Kevin Blackwell will be looking for as much leeway as possible in his wage budget as he tries to sign a couple of short-term replacements for Steve Stone, Kevin Nicholls and provide further options up front as goals continue to be few and far between.

August 24: Eddie Gray has spoken out after the Blackwell out mob seem to be starting this season's campaign even earlier than expected. The Leeds legend said: "Important players are injured and it's difficult when you budget for them being fit and once the season starts they're unavailable. But there's no doubt they can perform a lot better, particularly at home." Gray added that it was a difficult job, but that Blackwell deserved more time: "The expectations at the club are very high and managers at Leeds have always had to live with that - it's par for the course. That will never change because Leeds supporters feel they should be up there in the top flight. Fans are not fickle, they are just desperate for success and that puts pressure on everyone at the club. It puts pressure on the chairman, the manager and the players. It's a big city with one football club and they want success and success at the highest level." He concluded: "The football has not been great, attendances have been average, but it's not all doom and gloom."

August 24: Sean Gregan is believed to be agitating for a transfer away from Elland Road after finding himself on the bench and in the reserves rather than in a starting place. With Paul Butler and Matt Kilgallon first choice at the back and Hayden Foxe now on the scene, he's not going to have it easy to win back his place. Gregan said: "First-team football's not what I want - it's what I need. I need to be playing regularly at my age and making the team week in, week out. I'll have to see what happens over the next few weeks. I want to stay here and I want to compete, but if I'm not playing then we'll have to sit down and see what's going to go on. It was nice to get the shirt back on again and I want more of that."

August 24: The reserves recorded a win at "home" in York last night, running out 1-0 victors over Bradford's second string. Jonathan Howson scored halfway through the second half for a team missing all the first team regulars or fringe players, coming just a day after the Chester match. Rui Marques is still at the club (surprisingly enough) and he played the full match as did Ian Morris, and Leeds should probably have registered a more convincing win. Still, two from two - a 100% record that the first team would like to share...

August 22: Ken Bates today poured cold water on speculation that Matthew Kilgallon was about to depart. He said: "I saw that Reading wanted Kilgallon and were going to bid a million for him. I saw another story carrying a report that we had Glenn Hoddle lined up as well. That was a load of nonsense and so is this. We actually turned down an offer for more than one million from Reading so he is going nowhere. If he continues to develop as he is, I can see him as a natural successor to John Terry."

August 22: Geoff Horsfield escaped with just one additional match on the sidelines following his disciplinary hearing with the FA today. Horsfield already has three matches to sit out as a result of his red card, but the abuse directed at the officials as he left the field has earned him just one extra game on his ban, plus a fine of £500.

August 22: Having seemingly left the "Cansdell-" back in Aarhus, Shane Sheriff has come back to England to try his luck with Tranmere - and he popped up with the opener at Hull tonight, but his side ultimately went down 2-1. More successful was Julian Joachim who put 10-man Darlo into a 1-2 lead over Stoke in one of the upsets of the round. Marlon King put Watford ahead against West Ham, but the lead only lasted for two minutes before Zamora squared the match.

August 21: Ken Bates today issued a statement clarifying the club's position over Peter Ridsdale, who claimed that he had been thrown out of the Leeds boardroom after Saturday's game. Bates said: "As ever Mr Ridsdale continues to be out of touch with reality. My words, in front of a number of witnesses, were that 'you're no longer welcome in the boardroom at Elland Road'. If he was ever banned from Elland Road, it would purely be for safety reasons."

August 21: Steve Stone is leading the race for the Darren Anderton Award for most days spent at the physio for the second year running. The luckless midfielder lasted just over half an hour on Saturday before being forced to leave the game with a groin injury that will keep him out for 2-3 months.

August 21: The U-18s started the season with a 1-2 win at Bristol City at the weekend. Leeds went behind at the start of the second period, but goals from David Brown and Duane Grace saw Leeds home safely.

August 21: The current injury crisis seems to be propelling Kevin Blackwell down the road that most sensible managers have taken over the last few years in using youngsters for the Carling Cup game. Chester are the visitors tomorrow, and Jonny Howson and Danny Rose (the one who turned down Chelsea) are set to be in the squad at the ages of 17 and 16 respectively. Hayden Foxe is also expected to get his first full game for Leeds, and Neil Sullivan will attempt to prove his match fitness after a couple of weeks with the physios: if he comes through it, it will be interesting to see whether he or loan star Tony Warner get the nod at the weekend, since Warner has barely put a foot wrong since his arrival.

August 20: Rob Hulse had the ball in the net twice for Sheffield United against Liverpool - and although he was credited with an excellent header to give the Blades the lead just after the break, his other attempt was ruled offside on his full debut at Bramall Lane. Former loanee Danny Graham sealed Blackpool's 2-4 win at Bristol City with a long-distance cracker after coming off the bench.

August 19: Leeds slumped to a second successive defeat today, with bogey team Cardiff City maintaining their unbeaten record this season with a 0-1 win at Elland Road. The only goal of the game came after Matt Kilgallon lost possession upfield, and although he chased back brilliantly, a 2-man break from Flood and Chopra cut through the remaining defence for Flood to slide the ball past the unlucky Tony Warner. It would be harsh to blame Killa for the defeat: if Leeds had actualy made and taken a few chances then the odd lost ball wouldn't make the difference, but without the suspended Horsfield, Leeds seemed to have no clue about how to break down the Bluebirds' defence. Cardiff boss Dave Jones said: "We played very well and thoroughly deserved the victory. It's not a bad start but there's a long way to go." Darren Purse was dismissed in the last minute following a confrontation with David Healy, and Jones admirably refused to condone his player's behaviour. Jones said: "[Purse] says he got Healy by the throat and pushed him away. You can't do that. It will be his loss. It just takes the gloss off a great victory." Kevin Blackwell said that his team were just a bit unlucky. He said: "At the moment things aren't dropping for us. We had all the best chances in the game and dominated for long spells. But that's life, isn't it?"

August 19: Peter Ridsdale was banned from the Elland Road boardroom after he celebrated a little too heartily when the TV showed a replay of Cardiff's winning goal. The innumerate spendthrift moron said: "I was told that I was no longer welcome at Elland Road today or any time in the future." However Uncle Ken said that it was just Publicity Pete in action again: "It's a pack of lies, but I'm sure he (Ridsdale) needs the attention."

August 18: Steve Guppy has resurfaced in the UK after a spell playing in the States. The 37-year-old former Leeds player has been signed by Stevenage Borough in the Conference.

August 17: Chelsea have retaliated against Ken Bates' pursuit of them over the alleged illegal approaches made to Leeds Youth players by reporting the Leeds chairman to the FA. Chelsea said Bates had made "rude, insulting and inappropriate comments", just stirring the pot by adding that Bates' comments were also "discriminatory in terms of race, nationality and religion". A spokesman for Leeds said: "We are totally amused and look forward to receiving their Chelsea Football Club's detailed evidence to support their complaint."

August 17: Chairman Ken today offered Kevin Blackwell a real poisoned chalice of a compliment as he explained that there wouldn't be much more money available to buy new players. Bates said: "The way Kevin has wheeled and dealed this summer has been quite incredible, and we've got a stronger squad than last season. It's actually a very big squad, with about 25 players, and we might need to slim that down." And he added: "We've lost the parachute payments this season and we're still dealing with the final overhang of the Ridsdale era. That puts a lot of pressure on us. The clubs who have come down from the Premiership have a lot of money to spend. The budget here is tight but we always have the option of turning to the loan market." So in translation, Kev's done well to work within the constraints so far - but he'd better not whinge about lack of funds when he's got 25 first-teamers available, and if the fans think that I'm not being generous remember I saved the club and now we're having to start from scratch thanks to Ridsdale's careless hold on the purse strings. Even after 10 years in power, Maggie was still blaming Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan for all of the country's problems: wonder how long it will take before Ridsdale is no longer Stock Excuse Number One at Elland Road?

August 17: Simon Walton has barely found the hook in the changing room at The Valley before being moved on: the ex-Leeds youngster is set to be loaned out to Ipswich for the first half of the season.

August 16: Neil Sullivan should be back in training by the weekend after suffering a dead leg in the last few minutes of the pre-season game at Forest. However he's not going to be displacing stand-in Tony Warner just yet. Kevin Blackwell said: "He's a couple of weeks away from returning to match action - he needs at least a full of week in training to see how things go. Tony's loan is until the end of August so at the moment it's touch and go whether Sully will be fully match fit by then."

August 16: The reserves had a fairly easy win at Huddersfield tonight with goals from Jonny Howson, Jermaine Beckford and Ian Morris. Sean Gregan and new signing Hayden Foxe played together at the centre of defence, giving Kevin Blackwell a couple more options should he decide to shuffle the pack ahead of the visit of Cardiff.

August 16: David Healy made it 20 international goals in 50 games tonight as he led Northern Ireland to an excellent 1-2 win in Finland.

August 15: Eirik Bakke remains a doubt for the weekend's visit of Cardiff after missing the Palace game with a leg injury. Steve Stone picked up a groin injury and could be out for up to six weeks, while Shaun Derry and Paul Butler are also among the walking wounded.

August 15: Geoff Horsfield faces an even longer layoff than the three-game ban his red card won him on Sunday. It seems that he couldn't stop himself from telling the linesman exactly what he thought of his eagle-eyed view of his clash with Mark Hudson and now faces an FA charge for abusing the official. Horsfield said: "I apologise for what I said. It was in the heat of the moment because I didn't think I deserved to be sent off. I apologise for any offence I may have caused." Expect at least another game - if not two or three - to be added to the ban, purely because it's Leeds: take a close look at exactly what the ManU or Chelsea players say to the officials in this weekend's Premiership openers and place no bets whatsoever on the FA taking any action against these persistent offenders.

August 15: Scott Carson has been loaned out to Charlton for the entire season by Liverpool. He's now the third choice keeper at Anfield, and although he's made it into a couple of Champions League matches, it's hard to see him getting a look-in there this season.

August 14: Just two days after he scored twice against them, Darlington have signed former Leeds striker Julian Joachim from Boston. The Quakers had an initial bid rejected last week, but were allowed to talk to the player today after a "substantial five-figure" offer was made for his services.

August 14: Reports in this weekend's papers have prompted Leeds to act into allegations that Chelsea have been tapping up yet another youngster. The ridiculous arms race to sign young talent is exemplified by the fact that the latest apparent target of the Blues' unlimited funds is 10-year-old schoolboy Lewie Coyle. The club issued a statement saying: "We are extremely concerned about the matter involving one of our academy players, particularly against the backdrop of the current allegations being made against the same club involving other players. On completion of our inquiry we will take the appropriate action. We won't be commenting further on this issue until our investigation is complete."

August 13: Darren Huckerby was on target for Norwich at the weekend, sparking Nigel Worthington's side into a comeback from a 0-2 deficit to a 3-2 win over Luton. Julian Joachim scored twice for Boston in their 4-1 win over Darlington.

August 13: Geoff Horsfield threw his considerable experience into the rubbish bin today as he responded to a bit of casual shoving from Palace defender Mark Hudson with a forearm to the upper body - or "head" as interpreted by long-time Leeds-hater Phil Sharp on the touchline (remember Wes Brown's disallowed own goal at Elland Road in 2001?). To be fair to the officials (and they are, of course, scrupulously fair to us all the time), a red card was the right call - but the defender deserved at least a yellow for the initial shove and arguably a second for the theatrics after Horsfield lost the plot. So, 75 minutes to play against one of the better teams in the division and you'd think we'd be up against it. Quite the reverse was true: all the attacking ideas came from Leeds with Palace unaware how to play with an extra man. Steve Stone and Eddie Lewis were constant threats in midfield, Westlake provided a great pivot, and with David Healy forcibly converted to the main target, Palace were on the back foot for much of the time. Eddie Lewis hit the post following a great move just before half-time, and in the second half the home side continued to fail in their attempts to exert any dominance despite bringing two fresh strikers on. Just when it looked like we'd got a deserved point, we blew it. Paul Butler didn't do enough to win a header, Matt Kilgallon got too tight to his man, and with injury time well underway Clinton Morrison found the half yard he needed to poke the ball past the excellent Warner (Sully must be sweating during his recovery because what we've seen so far from the last-minute-replacement keeper has definitely been good enough to retain his place). So that's three points dropped in injury time in two trips to London - but the overall performance gave us a lot of hope: now all we need to do is reproduce it with all eleven on the pitch and we're laughing!

August 12: Joel Griffiths gave voice to a widely-held opinion as he prepares to make his debut for Newcastle Jets back home in Australia. Signed after a major todo with his Swiss club, he found that Kevin Blackwell wanted to play him in a totally different position to the one he was used to. He said: "The last six months have been quite tough for me, on and off the field. Without playing any games it was pretty much a coin toss whether I'd make the [World Cup] squad..." He went on: "[Blackwell] tried to play me into a system I wasn't quite used to - a right-wing position and he wanted me to defend. They were crucifying me because they'd paid a transfer for me and I didn't really give them anything." Which begs the question: why did we spend money on a player without knowing what his best position is, or at the very least discussing a positional switch with him? Obviously there's a few sour grapes from the player, but the question remains apposite whatever the motives of the person asking it.

August 11: Mo Camara has signed a 3-year-contract at Derby, so looks like he won't be coming to Leeds after all. Which is fair enough - a permanent 3-year deal as opposed to a 1-year loan would always be more attractive both to the player and Celtic.

August 11: Hayden Foxe has signed on the dotted line at Elland Road today - but he's only been offered a 5-month deal in recognition of the fact that there remains some uncertainty as to whether he's really over his long-term foot injury. He's impressed in the pre-season games and should be available to go straight into the squad - and quite possibly a starting position - at Palace on Sunday lunchtime. He said: "I'm just looking forward to getting out there and giving it all I can now, they've given me a great chance over the next five months to show what I can do. It's a good set-up here, there's a good foundation of players willing to work for each other, there's good ability and there's a great chance of getting promoted - that's the aim here."

August 10: Hayden Foxe has returned to train with Leeds - and there's a strong chance that he'll be in a race with Mo Camara to be Kevin Blackwell's next signing. Of course, picking up a new centreback can only strengthen the rumours about Matt Kilgallon's departure...

August 10: Eirik Bakke could be missing on Sunday after the midweek match at QPR left him with stitches in his knee. Ian Westlake - Bakke's replacement on Tuesday - is standing by for his first start for the club if, as looks likely, the Norwegian is signed off by the doctors (conveniently missing his national squad's match against Brazil).

August 10: Paul Butler will not face any punishment after being charged with abusive language and behaviour at Deepdale in last season's play-off semi-final. Some hyper-sensitive soul from Preston reported Butler for his role in Leeds' celebrations - even though he failed to make the game through injury and had been watching from the sidelines. The FA disciplinary committee looked at the evidence today and decided he was in the clear.

August 10: Labour MEP Richard Corbett has written to UEFA after seeing AC Milan convicted of trying to influence the outcome of Italian games, but then being admitted to this season's Champions League competition. Not that we hold a grudge at all, but the 1973 Cup-Winners-Cup Final saw such a travesty of a performance by the ref that many locals who had started the game cheering for Milan ended the game roaring Leeds on and jeering the Italians as it became clear that the result had already been decided a long way from the pitch. Corbett said: "Uefa should investigate not just the recent period but past events in which match fixing may have played a role, even as far back as AC Milan's win over Leeds United in the 1973 Cup Winners' Cup final. Such action would visibly and dramatically demonstrate Uefa's commitment to fair play and to taking breaches of it seriously. Failure to take visible action that demonstrates clearly to clubs, fans and the wider public that cheating will not succeed will leave football vulnerable to a slow corrosion of confidence in the game that will undermine its future."

August 09: Kevin Blackwell wasn't at all happy with the way his team performed and actually came out and said so in public. Barely 24 hours after he'd defended a less than wonderful performance against Norwich at the weekend, Blackwell said: "I've let a few players know I'm not happy. If they do not buck their ideas up, they will not be around here long enough to make me unhappy again. We shot ourselves in the foot, and, as a professional footballer, you have to learn not to shoot yourself in the foot. The players have felt the sharp edge of my tongue, and they had better learn from it. The finishing is not good enough for where we want to be. We committed hara-kiri and I'm not putting up with it. When you get in a winning position, you do not throw it away. If I've upset a few people, I'm sorry - but that's life."

August 08: Kevin Blackwell says that he's expecting more arrivals - and departures - before deadline day. He said: "I'm hoping to do one or two more deals. I'm just waiting to see one or two offers I've had, whether they're worth taking or not and, if I can, then I might move the other way. There's possibly one or two more ins and outs. Ideally, I'd like to have maybe another two in. If I can do that, then I'll be very happy." Matthew Kilgallon is said to have come under the microscope from Sheffield United and a couple of other clubs, and comments made after the match on Saturday have given rise to rumours of his imminent departure.

August 08: Kevin Blackwell angrily deflected criticism of his side after the opening day win over Norwich. With the visitors twice hitting the woodwork and Warner the busier of the two keepers, it had been suggested that Leeds were lucky to grab all three points. Blackwell said: "You'd wonder with some of the comments I've heard whether we played at all on Saturday. They had chances, but we had four or five excellent chances - I don't see anyone mentioning those. I'm going to defend my players. I'm only worried about Leeds United and I think the players here deserve an immense amount of credit. They won't always get things right, but they will try."

August 08: Eirik Bakke has been called up into Norway's squad for their friendly against Brazil later this month. That's him crocked and out for the rest of the season then...

August 08: Matthew Kilgallon added to his man-of-the-match award from Saturday with a nomination for the Championship team of the week. Also nominated was Stephen McPhail for his part in Cardiff's 2-1 win over his former club Barnsley.

August 08: Celtic left-back Mo Camara is set to join Leeds on a one-year loan. Having offloaded Dan Harding and Danny Pugh, there's not much cover or competition for Stephen Crainey in that slot, and it's hoped he can agree terms by the weekend. Aliou Cisse is also being checked out: the Senegalese defender is without a club after being released by Pompey at the end of last season.

August 07: Eirik Bakke has a stomach bug that could keep him out of Tuesday night's game against QPR - and Paul Butler also could be in doubt. QPR are missing Paul Furlong with a thigh knock, Oliseh is suspended from midfield, and both Kevin Gallen and Marc Nygaard face a lot of work to get them ready for the big kick-off.

August 06: Bristol Rovers chairman Geoff Dunsford is the latest person to stand up to accuse Chelsea of wrongdoing after Ken Bates formally complained about the tapping up of two Leeds youngsters. Dunsford says that he lost 17-year-old Scott Sinclair for a pittance after Rovers had developed the player for 8 years. He said: "What [Chelsea] are doing is wrong and the rules have to be overhauled to bring this to an end." Leeds are also pointing the finger at the PFA who act as the players' agents. Leeds say that Phil Sprowson of the PFA acted to entice Tom Taiwo and Michael Woods to sign for Chelsea prior to Leeds asking the players' union to represent them. Chelsea are alleged to have taken the two players - plus Danny Rose who remained at Leeds - plus their parents down to London to stay in a hotel and watch the Blues' Carling Cup clash with Charlton - some 5 months before they would have been officially allowed to make contact. With the FA and Premier League finally stirred into action, Dunsford added: "Ken Bates has done the game a favour as other clubs may now be ready to speak up."

August 06: Both coaches were stranely pleased with the result of Saturday's game at Elland Road. Kevin Blackwell said: "It's always important to get your first three points, and there's no better time to do it than on the first day. It was a tough start - Norwich showed towards the end of last season that they've got to grips with the Championship. Geoff Horsfield, Tony Warner and Ian Westlake have only just come to the club, and a few players have been carrying injuries so a lot of lads were playing together for the first time. I thought we played well all over the pitch, and you need everything to win the Championship." And he added: "Our last game was the play-off final and we did poorly, but it's a whole new season and a whole new team. We can only get better as the season goes on." Nigel Worthington pointed to all the near misses and the performance of stand-in keeper Tony Warner, saying: "It would have been nice to come away with a result. I'm very pleased to come to Leeds and put on a performance like that. The only two downsides were that we didn't take the chances, which is disappointing, and the penalty. I thought it was a little bit harsh."

August 06: Seth Johnson scored the first goal of the game for Derby, striking on 35 minutes to give them the lead over Southampton. Prompted by a revitaliased Jermaine Wright. the visitors came back and took the lead, only for Derby to grab a 90th minute equaliser to split the points. Julian Joachim gave Boston a 0-2 lead over Grimsby 10 minutes into the second half. The hosts hit back rapidly though, scoring three times in just over 10 minutes to take the points.

August 05: Geoff Horsfield followed up a pretty decent debut with a demand for a permanent move to Elland Road. After barely two days with the club, the much-travelled striker says he's happy to be involved on a regular basis again. He said: "I've been in a position where I've wanted to say things and I've wanted to do things, but I've just kept my head down. The last six months have been the worst time I've ever had in my career. I've come here on loan with a view to a permanent move, and I've already said to the gaffer 'you're having me for more than six months'. I want to be here for longer than that."

August 05: With all the bookies quoting the Leeds boss as favorite to be first for the chop this season, the man himself has added a further retouching to history. Hitting out at his critics, he said: "People seem to forget that we lost every player at this football club when we came down and I've had to rebuild this football club from scratch. People gave me six weeks when I arrived here, then six months. Well, three years later and I'm still here." Looks like poor old Gary Kelly (and the rest) don't count anymore. To add to the confusion, it seems that this season might not be the one we're targetting for certain promotion after all. He said: "It's not a question of if, but when we are promoted. There's no doubt about it. I'd love it to be this season, but this club will definitely be back in the next two or three years. Take it from me, Leeds United will be gracing the Premier League sooner rather than later." I wonder if Uncle Ken is aware of this change of plan?

August 04: Kevin Blackwell's transfer market moves cranked up a further notch today with two new players confirmed. Ian Westlake completed his move from Ipswich with Dan Harding sticking a bag of cash in the boot of his car to drop off at Portman Road as part of the deal. Westlake takes the number 7 shirt. Also arriving is Fulham reserve keeper Tony Warner, taking the number 31 shirt as Neil Sullivan tries to overcome the knock sustained during the last warm-up game. Geoff Horsfield was confirmed as squad number 10, but David Prutton will not be arriving just yet after failing a medical. The Saints player may be given a chance to resurrect the move if his ankle problem clears up ahead of the transfer deadline.

August 04: New loan signing Tony Warner is expected to replace the injured Neil Sullivan for the Norwich game tomorrow. Stephen Crainey and Shaun Derry remain doubts for the season opener against Norwich - but Kevin Blackwell is keeping his fingers crossed that the pair will be fit. Blackwell said: "Stephen will be fine for Norwich and I'm hoping that Derry will be okay as well. That will be a boost, but we'll know more about them and the others tomorrow." For the visitors, Andy Hughes, Rossi Jarvis, Robert Green and Matthieu Louis-Jean are all injured.

August 03: With Richard Cresswell still not fit, Kevin Blackwell's last-minute dealing has seen the arrival of Geoff Horsfield on loan until Christmas. Horsfield has not seen much action under Neil Warnock of late and is hoping to get back to regular first-team football. He said: "I haven't been given that chance with Sheffield United. It's nice to still be wanted. Leeds is a massive club with great facilities and are gearing up for the Premiership and my aim is to help them reach that goal. The last eight months have been a nightmare. I've been stuck in the reserves and last week I was thrown in with the kids. Neil Warnock must not rate me as a player and I don't know why."

August 02: Kevin Nicholls will not need an operation after all. However the new signing will remain under observation for a couple of weeks and could still be out of action for up to 3 months.

August 02: The reserve/youth team lost their final game before the start of the season proper, going down 2-0 at York last night.

August 02: At a press conference this morning, Ken Bates announced that he was reporting Chelsea to the FA, Premier League, Football League, UEFA and FIFA (and he's probably going to tell Roman's mum too) over the tapping up of youngsters Tom Taiwo and Michael Woods. The club will also be taking legal action against former Youth Team coach Gary Worthington, who joined Chelsea with - in theory - a no-poaching deal in his contract. The chairman says that he's not trying to get more money over and above the paltry 200K offered by Chelsea - he just wants to ensure that all clubs play by the same rules, no matter how much cash they have in the bank. "Football development will not be viewed in the same manner again unless the financial award payable to compensate Leeds United is such that it makes clubs think twice about such actions. Many other clubs with talented youngsters are looking on knowing they could be next... In reality financial penalties will have little impact on Chelsea and we feel it is time for the Football Authorities to make a stand for those things that should be sacrosanct in the game to protect everybody by imposing penalties on them that will affect them and deter others, namely; points deduction from the Premier League, additional suspended points deduction from the Premier League, prevention of entering European competitions, and a transfer embargo."

August 02: Leeds have agreed terms with Ipswich to swap Dan Harding for midfielder Ian Westlake - presumably the decision that saw Dave Livermore depart so quickly. The players have yet to agree personal terms with the clubs, but it's thought likely that both will be happy to make the switch.

August 01: Dave Livermore has been sold to Hull - without playing a single competitive game for Leeds. Less than two weeks after being paraded as a key signing by Kevin Blackwell, Livermore has been told he's surplus to requirements...errr...sorry...will be unlikely to get a regular start and was offered the chance to leave. A club statement said: "At the time of signing David, Kevin Nicholls and another potential midfield target weren't available to us. We then managed to acquire Kevin Nicholls and things have now opened up on another target. The situation with David is that with everyone fit he is unlikely to play. He's an honest professional and when the opportunity came up for him to talk to Hull we gave him that choice. We wish David all the very best for the future." So does that mean that we have faith that (a) Kevin Nicholls will actually manage to get himself fit enough to play for most of the season and (b) we've got a new signing arriving in the next couple of days? Time will tell...

August 01: Leeds today announced a new signing from league champions Chelsea - but it's not a player. Gwyn Williams will be the club's new technical director after spending 27 years at Stamford Bridge, working with the youngsters and bringing on John Terry among others. He said: "I'm looking forward to working at Leeds. I'm here to help in terms of scouting, and to strengthen the team and the club."

August 01: Former Leeds youngster Martin Woods has signed for Rotherham on a free from Sunderland. Woods made just one appearance for Leeds - and was only selected to start twice by the Black Cats.

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