“HAVE no regrets,” is typically the final instruction Simon Grayson sends his team out with ahead of an important game.
So, when it comes to the Yorkshire Post asking whether the 42-year-old has any regrets of his own at how things worked out at Leeds United, maybe it should not be a surprise when he replies in the negative.
“No, I don’t look back with any regrets or negativity towards myself,” says the former United apprentice of his 37 months in charge at Elland Road alongside Glynn Snodin and Ian Miller, who both subsequently followed him to Huddersfield.
“I loved every minute of it so how could I look back with any kind of negativity or the feeling that we were a failure as we got the team promoted and had some great results in the Cup?”
As keen as Grayson may be to accentuate the positives of his time at Elland Road, there must, this newspaper asks, be an element of frustration at how United failed to build on last May’s seventh place finish?
“Last summer probably was a frustrating one,” he admits after a pause. “Finishing seventh was, to me, a case of the club over-achieving but we felt, as a staff, that if we added to the players we already had then we had a great chance.
“Unfortunately, the summer turned out to be frustrating. There were three or four players who I felt would really improve us but, for whatever reason, they went elsewhere. Did Leeds really push the boat out to get them? Only people behind the scenes know that. But those players would have made a difference.
“A month into the season, we felt the team was weaker than it had been at the end of the previous season where we should have been able to build on it. When you look at the attacking six that finished the season and the team when we left, they don’t compare. We went from Snodgrass, Kilkenny, Johnson, Howson, Gradel and Becchio to only having Snodgrass playing to the best of his ability due to Luciano having had a mixed season.”