HI Brendan, there’s over 30,000 at Elland Road for the Brighton game – it’s so important we start off this season well at home to keep these fans coming back.
OF course, it is, I totally agree.
It’s great that we have a home game first up as there’s a bit of a feel-good factor around the club at the minute.
Yes, Brighton will be a hard game as they did well last year in getting to the play-offs and there will be a big crowd and expectation, but it’s something for us to relish.
I don’t know how fans are feeling at the moment regarding whether we will do well in the Championship, but let’s hope there is a bit of optimism as there seems to be a bit of that around the club now.
I felt there was optimism coming along to last week’s friendly, despite the result. I was down at the ground when I heard about the departure of the president, Ken Bates and I think many fans were more excited about that than watching the match last Saturday. As far as we know, all his ties have been cut with the club now.
I thought we’d get a decent crowd for the Brighton game, but I have got to be honest, I didn’t expect 30,000 plus.
Maybe 25,000 was my prediction. But there seems to be more optimism around the town with the fact that the former chairman has gone. I know he wasn’t part of the footballing side as such now, but it will have been a big boost for many of our supporters with the way they felt about things.
I think now that a lot of people will change their minds now he’s gone.
It’s a new manager and new looking club and let’s hope we can get off to a winning start now, especially at home in front of a big crowd.
That would boost our confidence over the next weeks, obviously without getting too carried away. But for the lads, it would be great.
Pre-season doesn’t mean anything, but it stands you in good stead fitness-wise for the rest of the season.
Obviously, if you get good results, it can breed a bit more confidence.
But there’s nothing like the first game of the season when it comes around. If you win, it’s a massive boost for everyone involved with a club.
That is when it matters, not in the friendlies when all you are doing is playing your way in for the first league game.
If you lose your first league game, it’s a horrible feeling.
But if you win – even if you have had a poor pre-season – that is what matters, it is brilliant and confidence just flows throughout the team and the fans are pleased obviously.
Brendan, Now we have signed a midfield playmaker, where do you see our signings priority being?
A commanding centre-half. I went to the Nuremberg game and for me, we were conceding too many headers from set-pieces, especially corners. We looked a bit narrow as well, so some width would help too, although that will help when Sam Byram, above, comes back.
But we really need a defensive leader for me. Someone to go alongside Tom Lees and bring him on. When I came through, I played with experienced pros, which really helped due to their advice. The likes of Alan Evans and Ken McNaught at Villa. You learn quicker with the likes of those.
Lees is a good player, don’t get me wrong. But he needs someone experienced with him to provide him with good habits. We haven’t had a dominant centre-half for a while. By that I mean an old-fashioned centre-back, rather than a ball-playing one.
At the minute with Leeds, the balls come into the box and you just don’t know who is going to win it and clear the danger. Whereas in the old days, the old centre backs did that.