Austin leads by example in first match as new captain of Leeds

LEEDS UNITED manager Brian MCDermott has hailed the inspirational qualities of Rudy Austin after confirming the Jamaican 
as the club’s new permanent captain.

Rodolph Austin beats David Nugent to the ball

The 28-year-old returned to the side yesterday after missing the opening two games of the season through suspension and produced a man-of-the-match display in a goalless draw against Leicester City.

McDermott was delighted to take a point off one of the Championship’s most fancied teams as his side restricted Nigel Pearson’s Foxes to a handful of chances.

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Austin undoubtedly played his part with a tireless performance to mark being handed the armband, which was worn in the opening-day win over Brighton by last season’s captain Lee Peltier.

The Leeds manager said: “I thought Rudy was terrific. I put him in the centre of the pitch and made him captain. He’s a special person and he led the team very well.

“I see the way he conducts himself in training. He trains every day like it is his last.

“He was suspended for two games at the start of the season, but was always in the dressing room and always supporting the players.

“They see him as someone who puts his foot in and someone who can run. He wants the lads around him to do well.

“He got man of the match against a good Leicester team and yet he said, ‘This is for everyone’.

“That is the kind of lad he is. We have a group of players all behind Rudy and that is important to me.

“That is not a reflection on Lee Peltier because Lee Peltier was excellent when I told him. I also thought he played really well.”

In a game of few chances, Leicester went closest to breaking the deadlock when Chris Wood struck a post eight minutes from time.

Leeds, meanwhile, could have snatched all three points in stoppage time when Matt Smith’s header was turned round the post by Kasper Schmeichel.

McDermott said: “I think it was a fair result. They hit the post but there wasn’t a lot in the game and we probably nullified each other.

“Late on Matt Smith had a little chance at the far post, which the goalkeeper saved.

“It was really tight but this is never going to be an easy place to come to.

“There wasn’t too much goalmouth action. Two teams that had obviously done their homework on each other and there weren’t too many opportunities.

“Sometimes, that is how it is. And sometimes you can nick a game like that right at the death. We nearly did, but we take the point and the clean sheet.”

Following on from the opening-day win over Brighton, Leeds have claimed four points from meetings with the two beaten semi-finalists in last season’s play-offs.

McDermott, whose attempts to bring in a fourth signing were again frustrated over the weekend, added: “We’ve got a couple of results and I’m pleased but we don’t look too far ahead. I only look at the next game and that means Sheffield Wednesday next weekend. Let’s see if we can get Elland Road as full as Brighton.”

As for a potential new addition before facing the Owls, the Leeds chief added: “We are trying to do one as we speak, but I am talking about nothing at the moment because not a lot has happened.”

Leicester manager Pearson was in philosophical mood after being held at home by the Yorkshire side.

He said: “It was always going to be a pretty tight game. They came with a decent game plan, which was designed to limit the number of chances we created.

“I don’t think there were too many clear-cut chances in the game and we had the best ones. But, unfortunately, we weren’t able to take any of them.

“There were two decent sides who largely cancelled each other out. You have to give credit to Leeds for how they went about the game.

“They play with split strikers, with Ross McCormack behind. He can cause you problems but I felt we coped well.

“Their biggest threat was from set-pieces, but even then I thought we dealt with them well.

“The key was we didn’t make the most of our own possession.

“It was still a decent game. I felt pretty comfortable as we kept good discipline.”

Match report, analysis and more pictures: Page 3.