Leeds plan transfer swoops in time for Millwall opener

DAVID HOCKADAY says that Leeds United are endeavouring to strengthen in ‘two or three areas’ ahead of the big Championship kick-off at Millwall on Saturday.

David Hockaday
David Hockaday

United completed their pre-season programme in positive fashion with a 2-0 home victory over SPL side Dundee United on Saturday, with head coach Hockaday hoping to take that momentum into the weekend clash at the New Den.

The club are in the market for several players, but one player who won’t be arriving is Roma midfielder Federico Viviani.

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The latter is reportedly to enter into talks with Serie B side Latina after growing frustrated at the protracted nature of his proposed season-long loan move to Elland Road, with owner Massimo Cellino having confirmed that the 22-year-old will not be joining. On the quest for new signings, Hockaday said: “We still feel we need to improve in certain areas and that is what we will do.

“We have been patient so far and haven’t panicked or paid over the odds for anybody and when the right player comes along, we will swoop.

“There’s probably two or three areas which we need to strgenthen in. Obviously, we have only two central defenders at the moment, but there’s several areas we need to improve on. But in football, until someone signs on the dotted line, it does not mean anything.”

An early strike from Steve Morison, whose industrious display saw him receive a good ovation from Whites supporters when he was substituted in the second half – a week on from his barracking at Chesterfield – and late goal from Dominic Poleon enabled United to finish pre-season with their most pleasing performance to date.

In his first programme notes in charge at the club, Hockaday spoke about his desire for Leeds to become ‘feared’ as a passing team, with his side’s efforts against their Scottish visitors certainly appreciated by home supporters.

Hockaday is the first to admit that it represents just a start, but he is equally adamant that there is enough quality at the club to make an impact in the Championship this season if the side continues to work hard and develop. On the weekend performance, Hockaday said: “I thought we were dangerous, showed penetration and kept the ball and showed patience.

“I couldn’t really see them scoring, apart from the one header from a set-play which we weren’t happy with.

“Other than that, it should have been four or five and we did very well.

“The first half was very good and the second half was about trying to introduce some of the younger players to give them experience of Elland Road and making sure some of our key pllayers came off fit and not injured.

“Overall, we fully deserved the win.

“The players are working hard and getting better. But we need to get so much better and we will get there.

“Every day – and I really mean this – they are getting better as a group of players and as individuals within that group.

“Hopefully, in the near future, it will be exciting times for Leeds United fans.

“They are good players here and I think that has been overlooked.

“I think a lot of people think we have not got anything.

“The president and I have actually sat down and said: ‘We have actually got some good players here.’

“And we believe in them at the moment probably more than they do and the key is to getting them believing in themselves even more and slowly, but surely that is happening.”