Leeds chief McDermott eyes light at end of tunnel

Massimo Cellino sits with Leeds manager Brian McDermott.
Massimo Cellino sits with Leeds manager Brian McDermott.
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WITH Massimo Cellino at the helm, Brian McDermott knows life at Leeds United will never be dull.

The Elland Road chief is now calling on his players to finish the season with a flourish, starting with a strong Easter against two clubs who have had something of an Indian sign on United in recent years.

McDermott said: “We had a three-hour chat on Thursday. He came to the training ground, we spoke about things and he texted me on Friday night to wish me well. I am pleased he is here. It looks like light at the end of the tunnel.

“It has been really worrying (for the club). It certainly won’t be dull with this man.

“He likes a bit of fun and we will see what happens.

“He is a strong-minded man and he knows his own mind. I have been on a really tough run of results and you can say there are mitigating circumstances, and there are.

“But this is a new beginning now, I honestly believe that. It could be really exciting times.”

Leeds travel to Barnsley on Saturday hoping to end a run of three straight defeats at Oakwell since winning promotion in 2010, during which they have conceded 11 times. Then they host Nottingham Forest on Monday tea-time looking to end a run of four defeats in the last five meetings between the two clubs.

Thanks to Saturday’s 2-0 win at home to Blackpool, Leeds moved on to 50 points – a tally that usually guarantees another season in the second tier.

Asked if he felt Leeds were safe, McDermott replied: “I would have thought so. I don’t think anyone is going to get us, but you can’t think like that.

“Barnsley and Forest, we have to try and win those games. We owe that to ourselves.

“I spoke to the dressing room and I spoke about the senior players. Your team and squad is only as good as your senior players. We managed the game well and showed real nous.

“That was a big win, we needed to win (on Saturday). I was absolutely delighted.

“It would take some doing because you don’t know who is playing each other. But we got that win.

“Sometimes you need to change things, whatever it is. Just to do something different, whatever works.”