Leeds United: Hard graft is making United a decent side – Gray

Liam Cooper.
Liam Cooper.
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I thought Leeds did well on Saturday as they worked hard and ’Boro’ are a decent side.

They are well fancied but we stuck at it and showed a lot of resilience.

There were some good performances and it was nice to see Billy Sharp score as he’ll be the man that people will be looking to take over from Ross McCormack. What he did on his first game for the club will give him a huge lift. He’s an experienced player, he’s fit and he scores goals – he’s got the goods. It was a bad mistake by the goalkeeper for the goal but Billy followed it up very well to stick it in the back of the net and that’s what he’s there to do.

I also thought the boy Liam Cooper played well at centre-back. He looked composed on the ball and he looks as if he will get better and better.

All in all, it was a good performance.

You don’t get carried away and David Hockaday said after the game about the hard work they had put in and you could tell the hard work they put in as a few of the players were going down near the end with cramp. They had to work hard to keep with a good Middlesbrough side because they are a good passing side.

And we were probably a little bit fortunate, well, very fortunate with their disallowed goal because it was a goal. Stephen Warnock put his head down and Albert Adomah’s feet weren’t even that high!

You’ve got to say we were a bit lucky there and that was a turning point in the game I felt.

I felt that aggravated ’Boro’, they weren’t too happy with the decision and they seemed to lose it a bit after that. We got a bit stronger and in the second half we battled and battled and we got our reward near the end of the game.

It was a great time to score because when you score a goal that late on it’s very unlikely that a team is going to come back at you. I think that’s why the fans were so happy when Billy scored, because they thought that’s us winning the game. It was a great crowd to say the game was on the box and having two home games in a week.

And the fans will now be looking forward to tomorrow night’s game against a Brighton side that have lost a couple of their best players that have moved on. They have just lost to Birmingham and it’s an opportunity for us to pick up another three points at home.

You’ve got to look at the positives after Saturday and there were a lot of positives. But we’re too early to start talking about the play-offs!

There’s a lot of new players at the football club but definitely on Saturday it was encouraging and that’s all you can say. I think it will give the fans a lot of optimism for the future and after the game the fans were delighted with the effort the players put in. That’s all they ask and they got their reward.

In terms of what else we need, I’d still like to see somebody brought in out wide – somebody who can play out on the flank, who can go by people and who can get balls into the box. But other than that they look quite solid.

You looked at the side before the kick-off on Saturday and we looked strong. It looked like a strong side. In this league, if you’re strong and you work hard then you’ve got a chance and hopefully Saturday was a sign of things to come. We need to make it difficult for sides to play at Elland Road and if we make ourselves difficult to beat there then you never know what can happen. There’s teams in this league that we can beat and there’s not much difference between a lot of sides in the Championship.

It will be as competitive as ever and you look at the Fulham team but they’ve not had a good start. You can never tell and they’ve come down from the Premier League which is probably a bit of a shock to them. There’s a lot of sides in the league that are finding their feet in it and I think it will be as competitive as last year.

We obviously go to Watford on Saturday and that will be a tough game but Saturday was a tough game and the signs were good for us.

And I was delighted for David Hockaday. It was his first home league game at Elland Road and he got three points against a decent side.

You can’t ask for any more than that.

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