Leeds United 2 Crystal Palace 1: Warnock full of praise for loan signings

Neil Warnock.

Neil Warnock.

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Neil Warnock was full of praise for his new loan signings as Leeds United beat Championship leaders Crystal Place.

Leeds were 2-1 victors thanks to goals from Luciano Becchio and Paul Green and although Peter Ramage scored for Palace with a powerful header, the Londoners lost for the first time in 16 matches, as they were knocked off the top of the npower Championship table by Cardiff.

Leeds were determined to impress their new owners, with loan signings Alan Tate and Jerome Thomas playing their part in ending a seven-match winless drought.

Thomas gave Palace a torrid time with his strong, direct runs down the left, while Tate was solid at the back alongside Tom Lees.

Leeds manager Neil Warnock felt his side were well worth the win and praised his deadline day loan signings.

“I am absolutely delighted for the new owners. We deserved the win over the 90 minutes,” he said.

“We started the game very well and had to hang in there at times but our two new lads made the difference. Alan Tate is a good pro.

“He had a calming influence on us at the back and Jerome Thomas is as good as anyone in the Premier League, let alone the Championship.

“We needed the lift in confidence those two have given us.”

Leeds keeper Paddy Kenny had to complete a double save from Jonathan Parr and Glenn Murray in the first half but Palace lacked their usual cutting edge.

Damien Delaney had already been booked for diving and when his Palace team-mate Wilfried Zaha also went down easily inside the box, Leeds midfielder David Norris squared up to him and was pushed aside by Zaha in an unsavoury incident on the half-time whistle.

All three goals came in a tension-packed second half. Becchio hooked in the first after a defensive mix-up, the Argentinian grabbing his 11th goal of the season in the 52nd minute, before Green volleyed his first goal for the club when Palace failed to deal with Tate’s free-kick.

Palace were given hope by Ramage’s 86th minute header but their late onslaught failed to produce an equaliser.

“You have to give Leeds credit,” Palace boss Ian Holloway said. “They looked like the Leeds of old in the first 20 minutes by coming at us. We came through that period but didn’t get the breaks.

“I thought we deserved at least a point and we did our supporters proud. Leeds got on the end of two things inside our box and scored two goals but there was a real scramble at the end and how the referee awarded Leeds a free-kick to relieve the pressure I don’t know. “The crowd got them that free-kick.”

Leeds United head coach, Thomas Christiansen at Elland Road. PIC: Bruce Rollinson

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