Perseverance of Leeds earns Warnock’s praise

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NEIL WARNOCK has hailed his Leeds United for “hanging in there” during a difficult start to the season.

The Elland Road club travel to Ashton Gate today sitting 12th in the table with 10 points from seven games.

Wolverhampton Wanderers, in the final play-off place, sit three points ahead of Leeds but Warnock believes the fact his injury-hit side have already faced five of the top seven clubs in the Championship plus strongly-fancied Nottingham Forest means the West Yorkshire club has to be content with their current points tally.

The United chief said: “People often overlook just who we have played this season so far.

“There are some good teams in there who I expect to be challenging.

“So, considering the injuries we have had and all the other things that have been going on, we have to be content with what we’ve got. The players deserve credit for hanging in there.

“Of course, we always want more and the key now is to try and go into the international break on the back of some good results.

“We have had a great week with the wins over Forest and Everton. It has helped put a smile back on a few faces.

“If we get to the international break three points off the play-offs, I will settle for that.”

Warnock has been working hard to bring in a replacement for the injured Ross McCormack since the Scottish international was ruled out for up to 12 weeks earlier this month.

The manner in which seven-goal top scorer Luciano Becchio has dove-tailed with El-Hadji Diouf in recent games has made the search less urgent than it was but the Leeds manager is still keen to make headway.

He has lodged a loan bid for an unnamed striker in the past 48 hours and is now waiting to hear back from the club in question.

Warnock, who flatly denied a suggestion by the Yorkshire Post that Leicester City’s former Leeds striker Jermaine Beckford may be his target, said: “I have made an enquiry for a striker but I never expected anything to happen before the trip to Bristol.

“He isn’t a big name or anything like that but he would add to the squad, I am sure of that.”

Bristol City sit two places above Leeds in the Championship table courtesy of a superior goal difference but Warnock insists the home team go into today’s game as favourites.

He said: “I think we are underdogs.

They have spent a bit of money and I know they spoke to players I couldn’t afford.

“They are scoring plenty of goals at home.

“It is a hard, hard game.”

richard.sutcliffe@ypn.co.uk