QPR v Leeds United: McDermott expects loan stars to shine

Leeds United's manager Brian McDermott
Leeds United's manager Brian McDermott
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Brian McDermott believes a little excitement has been restored to proceedings at Leeds United with the signing of two England Under-21s internationals helping ease the pain of the last month.

Four weeks ago the Leeds manager lost his job and was then reinstated amid farcical scenes regarding the takeover of the club.

With Massimo Cellino’s takeover still to be completed – another meeting of the Football League board is set for March 13 – there remains a cloud over the future direction of the club.

But the loan signings of goalkeeper Jack Butland last week and striker Connor Wickham on Wednesday at least point to an easing of hostilities.

“To sign the players we’ve signed and calibre of Jack and Connor, it’s got to be exciting looking forward,” said McDermott.

“It’s business as unusual. Jack coming in and Connor coming in is really good news for us.

“Two Under-21 internationals and I’m delighted to have them.”

The acquisition of both suggests the incumbent owner, Cellino, is already helping out, with McDermott confessing that at present he is answerable to both the Italian and the current owners, GFH Capital.

“It looks that way,” he said of whether the investment had come from Cellino.

“But that’s a question I can’t answer. It seems pretty obvious that that’s the case because we’ve signed the two players we’ve signed.

“I have various conversations with GFH. I’ve had some with Massimo Cellino. So I mix it up a bit!

“Its fair to say that Massimo is taking a very close interest. We’ve had conversations and David is taking a close interest on GFH’s behalf but it’s fair to say that he’s taking an interest – and a close interest.

“Until you get the ownership changed, GFH are the owners of the football club.”

Today’s televised game at QPR pits Leeds against a big-spending club who are currently on the slide.

“Harry’s talking about the blip they’ve had but we know they’ll be very close come the end of the season,” said McDermott. “We all know how difficult this league is. There are no gimmes.”