Principle, not money keeping McCormack at Leeds says new boss

Leeds United's Ross McCormack
Leeds United's Ross McCormack
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DAVE HOCKADAY says he is relishing working with Leeds United talisman Ross McCormack and getting the best out of him again in 2014-15.

The new United head coach starts work with first-team players tomorrow when pre-season training gets underway at Thorp Arch, with club owner Massimo Cellino having already pledged that prize asset McCormack is staying put, with keeping the striker a “matter of principle, not money”.

McCormack – subject of plenty of transfer speculation so far this summer – and his United team-mates start preparations for the new campaign tomorrow, with the Scot likely to be pivotal to Leeds aspirations next term.

And Hockaday is hoping the Championship top scorer of 2013-14 will carry on where he left off last term under his watch.

Hockaday said: “Ross is a Leeds United player who signed a four-year deal and has put it out that he is really happy here. The chemistry is right and when that is right for a player and he gets on well at the club and the club get on well with him, that’s great.

“He’s obviously an important Leeds player. But they are all important Leeds players and I am looking forward to coaching Ross and working with him.”

Hockaday has also revealing the club are busy working hard behind the scenes to bring in some new recruits to bolster their squad, with United yet to make a close-season signing.

Non-league left-back Andre Blackman, who played for Maidenhead United last season, has been tipped to join Leeds along with several Italian players and reports yesterday linked United with a possible move for Leyton Orient midfielder Romain Vincelot.

Meanwhile, former Cagliari sporting director Nicola Salerno has again fuelled speculation he will link up again with Cellino by hinting he is planning to head to England as Leeds attempt to fine-tune their transfer plans for the coming season.

On his hopes of the club making squad additions shortly, Hockaday added: “We are working very hard and as soon as we can make announcements, we will let the fans know as soon as possible. But we will be adding to the squad.”

Hockaday met with the club’s coaching staff yesterday and confirmed that clarity will soon be provided in terms of defined roles among the club’s coaching team following the recent addition of both himself and his assistant Junior Lewis.

He said: “We are sorting all the staffing stuff out.

“We are speaking about that and working on that over time, so that each person knows their role.

“What is important is that my staff are a team and we all work together and cover each other’s back.

“We set the pace for the players and if we are all together and the players are all together, we have got a chance.”

The former Forest Green manager admits the wheels were set in motion regarding sorting out the future of Lee Peltier before he arrived at the club and he has wished the former United captain well for the future.

He added: “To be fair, some things were happening before I came here. Lee has obviously been a Leeds player and he’s given his all and moved on and we wish him well. That’s really all I can say.”