Momentum is with Leeds, warns manager Warnock

WITH memories of Leeds United’s no-show on their last visit to the East Midlands still fresh in the mind, Neil Warnock is adamant there will be no repeat today at Nottingham Forest, writes Richard Sutcliffe.

The Elland Road club can move into the play-off places for the first time since late August with victory at the City Ground.

It may prove to be only a temporary stay with United’s televised game kicking off earlier than the rest of the division at 12.15pm.

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But, considering the state Leeds were in a little over a month ago when a 1-0 defeat at Millwall took their winless run to seven games, such an achievement would be a noteable one.

Warnock said: “The season is at the halfway stage and, if I am honest, we are a little bit higher than I thought we would be. But what a club this is at the moment.

“With momentum behind it, Leeds takes some stopping. Just look at the crowd that watched our win over Boro. Saturday before Christmas is usually the worst day for attendances, and yet we get 25,000. Brilliant.

“To be honest, there has been a feelgood factor at the club for a few weeks now. Since deadline day, I believe. The new owners can’t wait to get going.

“People talk about consolidation and all that but I have said to them, ‘Let’s not waste opportunities’. I don’t want to consolidate anything. We’ve got to be there or thereabouts.”

Paul Green, who came off at half-time in the Boro triumph feeling unwell, is a doubt for a game that Warnock is eagerly looking forward to.

“Forest is somewhere I love going,” says the 64-year-old, who managed across the River Trent for four years from 1989 at Notts County.

“I’ve had some really exciting games there down the years.

“As a former Notts County manager, I don’t half get some stick. But the great thing for me is I take Leeds down there in good spirits.

“We want to play better than we did at Derby (on December 8). We were very poor down there and I don’t want to see any of that again.”

Forest, who tried to lure Warnock to the City Ground in the summer, are two points behind Leeds in 11th place despite spending big ahead of the season kicking off.

It represents the first of a tough festive double for Leeds on the road with a trip to Hull City awaiting the West Yorkshire club on Saturday.

Warnock added: “You don’t look beyond the next game. If you can’t win it, you make sure you don’t lose.

“If you do get beat then you have to dust yourself down and get going again.

“It is a tough schedule and we are not going to get away with three tough games in seven days with the same team.”

Last six games: Nottingham Forest WLLWDL; Leeds United WWLWLW.

Referee: T Bates (Staffordshire).

Last time: Nottingham Forest 0 Leeds United 4; November 29, 2011; Championship.