Yeovil 1 Leeds United 2: McDermott calls for end of off-pitch troubles

Brian McDermott is desperate to avoid any more drama off the pitch as Leeds ended another turbulent week with a 2-1 victory at Yeovil.

Leeds manager Brian McDermott  arrives at Huish Park to  face Yeovil Town.  Picture by Tony Johnson
Leeds manager Brian McDermott arrives at Huish Park to face Yeovil Town. Picture by Tony Johnson

It was confirmed on Friday that controversial Italian businessman Massimo Cellino had bought a 75 per cent stake in the club, subject to him passing the Football League’s vetting procedures. A week earlier, representatives of Cellino had sacked McDermott, only for the club to formally reinstate him.

Should Cellino’s stake be approved by the League it will raise fresh questions regarding McDermott’s long-term future at Elland Road but for now the former Reading boss is just glad to see the Whites’ fortunes on the pitch improving, with this victory following a 5-1 hammering of Huddersfield last weekend.

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Second-half goals from Ross McCormack and Stephen Warnock earned Leeds the points in Somerset, McDermott revealed he will meet his prospective new boss at their clash with Brighton but is just craving some peace and quiet at the Yorkshire club.

“What we want to avoid now is drama off the pitch,,” he said.

“On the pitch we want drama but if we can avoid that for the last 17 games I’ll be very happy.

“The only thing I can do is try to get a result against Brighton and nothing else. The common ground is that the new owner and myself want to take Leeds United back where they belong.

“We will see what happens in the next two weeks or so and go from there. If you win and get results, things look a lot easier.

“From what I can gather (Cellino) is coming to the game against Brighton. Hopefully we will sit down and have a conversation and maybe a meal together and see where we go from there.

“I’ve had one meeting with (Cellino) when we sat down and talked but from his point of view he knows what an important club Leeds United is and what it is all about.

“We have to move away from all that now. There are still 17 games to go in this season.”

Having found themselves a goal down at the break scored by Ishmael Miller, the visitors took just 35 seconds to draw level and dominated the second half. McDermott was quick to pay tribute to the reaction from the players and supporters to an unsettling few days.

“The players have got great spirit,” he said.

“After what has gone on they’ve shown great resilience and the fans have got resilience.

“The fans have given me great support since April when I turned up, I can’t fault them. They are just terrific fans, a one-off set. They love their club and feel passionate about it.

“It was a good end to an interesting week. A really good result in difficult conditions.”

Yeovil boss Gary Johnson admitted his side did not do enough in the second half but was left cursing individual mistakes.

Having headed his side into the lead Nottingham Forest loanee Miller blazed his penalty over Paddy Kenny’s crossbar just before the break and Marek Stech’s kick out of his hands hit the wind and found its way to the feet of in-form McCormack for the equaliser.

Warnock’s free-kick then flew over the Czech’s head to seal another home defeat for the Glovers but Johnson insists his side cannot get too bogged down by their winless run with the visit of fellow strugglers Millwall just three days away.

“We’ve got to move onto the next game and not try to drag them down too far and hang on in there,” he said.

“The first half was really in our favour and we really should have gone in 2-0 up. In the second half it was in their favour and unfortunately we made the mistakes they didn’t into the wind.

“Marek has been a great goalkeeper over the weeks and years but for him I’d put them down as two mistakes. We had only just said in the dressing room not to let that missed penalty affect us.

“Millwall is massive, it is one of those cup finals.”