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Leeds United News from The Sporting Life    Yorkshire Evening Post

February 26: Richard Cresswell says the white flag will not be waving yet, despite the team's continuing failure to climb off the bottom of the table. Cresswell said: "We went to Wolves on Saturday thinking we could win and we'll do the same on Tuesday [at Brum]. We've beaten them once this season, Hull beat them on Saturday, so hopefully we can do it again. I won't be giving in - that's for certain. You have to keep believing. I'm a person who keeps believing and I'll keep giving it my all." Good attitude...let's hope he communicates it to his team-mates and shows it on the pitch....

February 26: Tresor Kandol misses the trip to Brum with a totting-up suspension, but Jemal Johnson could get his first start for Leeds. Armando Sa and Alan Thompson are unlikely to have recovered in time. The home side will be without defender Radhi Jaidi who receieved a red card against Hull at the weekend.

February 24: Leeds assistant manager Gus Poyet says that the team are running out of time to avoid the drop. Speaking after Saturday's defeat at Wolves, he said: "We are running out of games and it is now or never. If we do not start getting it right soon survival will be impossible. We have not scored a goal in our last three games. That tells me when the final pass or the final cross comes in we are not making the right decisions." At least Dennis Wise wasn't using the excuse that there were two balls on the pitch when Wolves scored: there were, but as one seasoned observer put it: "Leeds were nowhere near either of them".

February 24: Mark Viduka opened the scoring for Boro against Reading on Saturday, and although Takubu doubled the home side's advantage, a late strike from Reading's John Oster kept the game tight to the end. Robbie Fowler scored two penalties in 5 minutes halfway through the first half as Liverpool trounced Sheffield United 4-0. However Fowler scuffed a decent - and possibly final - chance to bag himself a hat-trick at Anfield later on. Robbie Keane scored twice for Spurs but was then dismissed for - in the ref's opinion - handling a goal-bound shot. Gary Speed converted the penalty arising from the incident, but Spurs hung on and Aaron Lennon scored at the death to make it 4-1. Liam Miller struck an injury-time winner to give Sunderland a vital 2-1 win over Derby. Ian Morris came off the bench to score a last-minute goal for Scunthorpe in their 3-1 win over Gillingham.

February 23: Thanks in part to the canny Ken, Leeds United are getting a tax break! The club are to receive "hardship relief" on its business rates after the council considered the application on the grounds that the end of the Premiership parachute payments had pushed the club closer to the wall. Leeds City Council leader Andrew Carter said: "There is an option to award relief from business rates to organisations which are important to the local community. Leeds United fulfilled all the requirements for this relief. It is a very unique and important amenity in this city." CEO Shaun Harvey said: "The club still has to make payments to a number of players who have not played for the club since it was relegated. Our application was approved on its individual merits based on the same criteria as many other businesses in the city who benefit from this type of relief."

February 23: Armando Sa and Alan Thompson are the latest additions to Dennis Wise's ever-lengthening injury list after both picked up knocks against QPR. With loan signing Jemal Johnson unable to play against his own club and still no sign of a recovery for Shaun Derry, Gary Kelly and Frazer Richardson, Wise will once again be forced to field an "imaginative" team - still, at least that should prove difficult for any opposition manager to figure out (even with the benefit of inside information).

February 19: Neil Sullivan has resumed his loan spell at Doncaster Rovers. The experienced keeper is behind new loanee Casper Ankergren and fit-again old loanee Graham Stack in the pecking order, so Dennis Wise has allowed him to return to South Yorkshire and help Rovers with their promotion push.

February 19: Wolves striker Jemal Johnson has arrived on loan for a month as Dennis Wise tries to freshen up his attacking options for the umpteenth time. Ironically it's the arrival of former Leeds youngster Andy Keogh that has pushed Johnson out on loan - but the player won't be allowed to play against his employers at Molineux on Saturday.

February 14: Leeds chief exec Shaun Harvey has revealed that none of the management team has any idea who it was who revealed team details to a Palace player last week. Harvey said: "While we know it happened, we do not know which Leeds United player it was. There are people at the club who know but they have not told us as yet... If you betray trade secrets in any form of industry to give any of your competition an upper hand you would expect severe punishment to be taken. In the cold light of day we have to take into account a number of things. Was the leak of the team malicious or naive, was the information given to Crystal Palace directly or indirectly? That's the information we have to confirm and once we know the full ramifications of who, how and why the appropriate decisions will be made." Do I hear the sound of frantic back-pedalling?

February 14: All fixtures on the last day of the season - May 6 - will now kick off at 1pm rather than 3pm after Sky and the Football League agreed to bring them forward. It's been a while since we've had anything riding on the last match of the season - let's hope that we're well and truly safe before we have to travel to current leaders Derby at Pride Park this time round.

February 13: Dennis Wise said that he - and everyone at the club - was "chuffed to bits" to see Richard Cresswell return to the side against Palace at the weekend. It was believed that Cresswell faced a much longer spell on the sidelines, but his early return had given everyone a boost. Wise added: "He was involved in the goal as well. He held it up very well and pinged it out wide. It's nice to see him back. He deserved it. He's waited a long time. He's had a terrible injury and touch wood he stays fit. He knows how to play. He's a proper centre-forward."

February 12: So after announcing that a certain player would never play for Leeds again as a result of divulging information to the Palace players, Dennis Wise has gone no further in identifying the culprit. Shaun Derry was picked out by some because of his Palace connections - butthe player himself has denied the suggestion. Other rumours suggest that the club is trying to pin the blame on Gary Kelly in order to avoid paying his loyalty bonus at the end of his contract in the summer - but once again there's little substantive evidence. Palace boss Peter Taylor shed a bit more light on what had happened: "A Leeds player spoke to a Palace player on Friday night, but it was a general conversation, he wasn't leaking the team. I had an idea of who would be in the Leeds team at eight o'clock on Friday night, but I had no information about their team shape. As it was, a couple of people I thought would be in the Leeds team weren't. Players talk to players. It's part of life and it's not malicious. I should think there are 40 similar situations around the country at the weekend. I don't know why Dennis has made such a big thing out of it. It has been blown out of all proportion." And that's the Big Question...

February 10: The team threw in a pretty decent performance on the pitch today, and although the league table still shows Leeds in last place, just 4 points cover the bottom 6 teams so there's not too much needed to get out of the drop zone if the team really gets it's act together. Speaking of which, Dennis Wise's first comments in the post-match press conference revealed that a Leeds player had passed on the teamsheet to Palace some 2 hours before kick-off and as a result would not be playing for Leeds again. Cue the speculation....

February 09: 19-year-old defender/midfielder Sam Hird has been loaned to Doncaster for 3 months. Hird has been playing for the reserves this season but has yet to make it into a first team squad.

February 09: Today's Guardian throws a little bit more mud in the direction of Uncle Ken with the revelation that Patrick Murrin - one of his close associates from Chelsea - who also has interests in Forward Sports Fund (the Swiss owners of the club) was a shareholder in a company which appears to have been set up with the sole purpose of being paid by the club for "arranging financing". At some point in the far far future, someone will finally make a mathematical breakthrough on a par with the proof of Fermat's Last Theorem and we'll all understand just who owns the club and what is owed to whom. Until then, let's just keep hoping the waters clear before we hit the rocks again.

February 07: The Leeds United Ladies side produced an injury-time turn-around on Sunday with 2 goals that reversed Cardiff's 1-0 lead and booked a place in the quarter-finals of the Women's FA Cup for the visitors. Their next match is a home league derby against Doncaster Rovers Belles on Thursday night at Garforth Town's ground, before visiting Blackburn at Clitheroe next Sunday in the quarter-final tie. Leeds are also through to the final of the Premier League Cup, so make a date in your diary for Sunday 4 March and get over to Scunthorpe's Glanford Park ground to cheer the Ladies on.

February 07: Following the departure of Steve Agnew to Boro, Leeds have appointed a new coach for the U-18 side - and it's the one and only Paul Beesley! Beesley was signed towards the end of Wilko's reign and made 37 appearances for the club before shipping out in the early days of George Graham's time and was recruited from the coaching staff at Nottingham Forest.

February 06: The reserves drew 2-2 at Shrewsbury on Monday night after taking an early two-goal lead. Graham Stack was on the comeback trail between the sticks, and Stephen Crainey, Seb Carole, Gylfi Einarsson and Ian Westlake made for a fairly experienced line-up in comparison to some recent squads. Westlake put Leeds in front and Carole doubled the advantage just before half-time - but a Crainey own goal allowed the hosts back into the game and a long-range shot on 60 minutes ensured the honours were shared.

February 06: Jonathan Douglas is out of the Ireland squad for the San Marino game after sustaining a hamstring injury in the Norwich match at the weekend. On the plus side, Richard Cresswell is expected to resume training next week - though it's still going to be a while before he's fit enough to play a full part in the relegation fight.

February 05: Chelsea have poached yet another star from the Leeds set-up: after grabbing youth team players and a coach in the last year, the Blues have now signed up head physio Dave Hancock. Hancock has been with the club for nearly 7 years, and a statement from the club indicated that some form of "transfer fee" had been paid to secure the services of a highly-rated member of the club's backroom squad. I guess when we're in the third division, the players will be expected to survive with a bucket of cold water and magic sponge!

February 03: Congratulations are in order to youngster Tom Elliott on making his debut for the club at Carrow Road: leaving aside his obvious youth, he was the 100th different player to make a first team appearance - and the 77th debutant - for the club since the departure of David O'Leary in the summer of 2002.

February 01: One final deal that sneaked in just before the deadline saw former loan defender Steve "For G*d's sake don't let it bounce" Caldwell move from Sunderland to Burnley for 400K - so we've got two months to perfect the long and hopeful heave for our pacy strikers to chase down for when Burnley come visiting. Hold on...did I say pacy strikers...?

February 01: A scan today confirmed that David Healy's arm is broken and as a result he will be out for a minimum of two weeks. Eddie Lewis also picked up an injury at the KC Stadium and is also a doubt for the trip to Norwich at the weekend. Sounds like 15-year-old Tom Elliott could end up with some Youth Team company on the bench at this rate...

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