LEEDS UNITED: Robert's at home in Leeds

Robert Snodgrass set his heart on leaving home several months before his transfer to Leeds United but the Glaswegian striker has worked hard to acclimatise to life south of the Scottish border.

Snodgrass moved out of his parents' house for the first time after accepting a three-year contract with Leeds in July, and his move to England came as a minor culture shock for the 21-year-old.

The forward had limited experience of fending for himself, and he immediately embarked on cooking lessons with the chef at United's Thorp Arch training complex to gain a little knowledge and expertise.

Neither his mother nor his father is able to drive, and other responsibilities have prevented them from travelling to Yorkshire to see their son play for Leeds.

But although the transfer has removed him from his comfort zone, Snodgrass has never questioned whether joining United was in his best interests.

"For me, it's been a big thing leaving my family and it was hard," he said.

"I'd lived with my mum and dad my whole life, and I had chances to leave Livingston when I was 16 but I didn't want to leave home.

"It's been a big move coming to Leeds.

"But you look at the stature of the club and the size of the fanbase as well, and it's massive.

"You've got to take things like that in your stride and it's part and parcel of being a footballer.

"I think I've done that, and I've settled in well.

"Because I was staying with my parents, a lot of this has been new for me.

"I've got my own house and I've got my own things to do, and I only learned how to cook at the start of the season.

"I had cooking lessons with the chef (at Thorp Arch) and it's all been a big change but you've got to deal with that. It's part of growing up.

"It's much better for me to learn all this just now, rather than waiting until I'm older.

"In a way it's been a life-changing experience but the lads are great and the backroom staff are really nice as well so I can't go wrong.

"My parents haven't been to watch me yet.

"My girlfriend's been to a few games, and a couple of my friends and uncles as well, but my mum and dad haven't been able to watch me because they don't drive.

"They've got other things to take care of as well but I'm sure they'll be down later this season."

Snodgrass was not coerced into a transfer away from Livingston, the club who Leeds paid an undisclosed fee to secure the striker's signature.

Livingston offered Snodgrass a new contract around five months before the end of his final deal at Almondvale, but he rejected their terms in the hope that a bigger move and a "fresh start" might present itself to him.

Gary McAllister, United's manager, was aware of the forward's potential and had been before his appointment as Leeds boss, and a deal was struck with Livingston two weeks before the start of this season.

"A move away was something I'd been thinking of for a while," Snodgrass said.

"Livingston offered me a new contract four or five months (before the end of his last deal) but I said I'd like to keep my options open.

"Moving away was something I had in my mind and I wanted the chance to start afresh – to see what English football was all about.

"I've got challenges in my head that I want to fulfil, and you can't just come down here and think 'that's me at Leeds United now' or 'that's me fine'.

"You've got to have challenges, and you've got to set yourself targets – can I get in the team, can I make this many appearance, can I get this many goals and this many assists?

"Everywhere you go you have to do that. I watched a lot of English football on TV but I've actually been surprised by it.

"I thought it was good but the standard is really high even in League One. It's been a good decision."

McAllister has used Snodgrass predominantly as a substitute, but the striker has been present in almost every first-team squad named by United's boss this season.

And he was poised for his 20th appearance of the term during yesterday's derby with Huddersfield Town at Elland Road.

Two influential performances in Leeds' recent cup matches against Northampton Town and Derby County staked a stronger claim for a regular starting place, but Snodgrass said: "Coming off the bench is still good because we've got a big squad, and I can't stress enough how much talent is here.

"But that gives you a taste, and then you want to get into the starting XI. Every player here is going to be disappointed when they don't start, but you need to stay focused and to be ready.

"The team are playing well and they're playing attacking football, which is good for me.

"I like attacking football but I'm also improving my game when it comes to tracking back and defending.

"You need to add things to your game while you're still learning, and there's no better place for me to do that than at a club like Leeds."


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