Leeds United 1-1 Birmingham City: Warnock rescues game from sick bed

Luciano Becchio scored another priceless goal for Leeds United.
Luciano Becchio scored another priceless goal for Leeds United.
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Absent manager Neil Warnock earned Leeds United a replay by making a tactical change from his sick bed.

Manager Warnock was at home in bed ill as Leeds fought Championship rivals Birmingham City for a place in the FA Cup fourth round.

With Birmingham leading through Wade Elliott’s 32nd-minute strike, Warnock ordered El-Hadji Diouf and Sam Byram to be brought on, and Luciano Becchio equalised after an hour to earn a replay, which will be held on Tuesday, January 15.

Leeds assistant coach Mick Jones said: “Neil was in constant touch with us during the game. He made the decision to change the team at half-time and it worked.

“We hadn’t created anything from wide positions. Becchio and Ross McCormack needed the ball in the box and they got it in the second half.

“Luciano missed a good chance before he scored but he doesn’t freeze and went on to take his next chance so well.”

Jones also said he expects Premier League clubs to come in for top-scorer Becchio and young defender Byram during the transfer window.

“If I was a Premier League manager I would be chasing them,” he said. “All the top clubs are watching Sam. They would be daft if they weren’t, but we have to keep those two and I think we will.”

Jermaine Beckford made his Leeds United debut on March 21 2006.

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