Leeds United boss Sam Allardyce pre-Newcastle United press conference every word on Whites changes, survival target, Eddie Gray and Magpies must

Leeds United face an absolutely enormous home clash against Newcastle United on Saturday, ahead of which Whites boss Sam Allardyce held his pre-match press conference today.
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Allardyce has been brought in as United’s new boss for the final four games of the club’s desperate battle for Premier League survival, the first of which took Leeds to title-favourites Manchester City. The Whites were only defeated by a single-goal margin but the 2-1 reverse left Leeds fourth-bottom and hovering dangerously close to the division’s relegation zone, only above the dreaded dotted line on goal difference.

Leeds were then given a boost in the first of three fixtures on Bank Holiday Monday as relegation rivals Leicester City suffered a 5-3 defeat at Fulham which kept the Foxes fifth-bottom and level on points with the Whites.

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But United were dealt a double hammer blow from the day’s evening games as Everton firstly romped to a 5-1 success at Brighton before Nottingham Forest saw off Southampton 4-3 at the City Ground. Leeds have now been left second-bottom and two points adrift of safety with just three games remaining, the first of which presents a Saturday lunchtime visit of third-placed Champions League spot-chasers Newcastle United in a 12.30pm kick-off. Allardyce spoke to media at 2pm from Thorp Arch today and here is every word that was said by United’s head coach.

Every word from Leeds United boss Sam Allardyce’s pre-Newcastle press conference

Key Events

  • Saturday 12.30pm kick-off at Elland Road
  • Allardyce speaking at 2pm

For Sam Allardyce’s pre-Newcastle press conference from Thorp Arch today. All the news to follow here.

All set for Allardyce

Who will be with us shortly

Sam takes his seat

“Right, my injuries are Liam Cooper, Stuart Dallas, Tyler Adams and Luis Sinisterra, that’s not bad, just four, right, off we go.”

“I think I saw a fight, a determination and then the ability to improve the performance overall compared to what what they produced in the first 45 minutes and think that having conceded 20 goals in the last however many games, I thought keeping Man City down to two was in the end not not too bad. Given that, we all know that they missed a chance or two but everybody does that. But we scored a goal, we looked better in the second half and a bit of work with attacking and defending, defending and attacking with the players this week hopefully improves their level of performance to get to a higher standard on Saturday, notwithstanding that need for some rest, rest and recovery in between of course and pick a side to play against a Newcastle side that play a completely different way to Manchester City. So we have to work out how to defend against the strengths and and try to exploit their weaknesses.”

“He thinks so, he thinks next week. I think that we’ve got to try and keep everybody fit if we possibly can. I think the squad in general at Leeds is a bit light in terms of numbers. So we have to be very protective of not picking up too many injuries, otherwise it does deplete the squad and of course, what’s even more important today than ever is having quality subs, the best quality subs you could possibly get because you need to use them. When you need to, you need to make the decision to use them, which has put a hell of a lot more pressure on coaches or managers to make the right decisions in terms of substitutes when you’ve got five and of course that will bring its own criticism on whether you’ve made the right choices or not. I thought we did okay with our choices last week because we seemed to, as we made more substitutes, didn’t didn’t waver and improve somewhat and fresh legs and a bit more spiritd and a bit more quality.”

Any extra edge or motivation against Newcastle from you?

“No, it’s a long time ago. 200 was a long time ago. Was I disappointed? Yes. What did it do to my career? Massive knock back. But ss always, I always recover and move on. It was an opportunity that in the end, I couldn’t avoid the change of ownership that was unexpected. I have no criticism of Mike. It’s his club. He wanted to do what he wanted to do with it at that particular time and made those choices. For me, it was a blow to my career at that particular time because I wanted to take Newcastle as far as I possibly could, like it’s doing now, That was the ambition of me and Freddy Shepherd at the time, but that wasn’t to be.”

On observations of Newcastle time wasting

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“He time wastes. They all time waste when it’s in the last five minutes when they are winning 2-1. Don’t be daft, that’s rubbish that is. We’ve all been talking about ball in play more than we’ve talked about time wasting and on where the ball in play is or can be improved. But the game is ferocious and quick enough as it is. Players fatigue and players’ injuries and players’ resources are strainedmore than ever before. So if you speed the game up even more and you increase the level of time they are on the pitch even more in running, you’re going to get more and more injuries and more and more crippling injuries than you’ve ever gotten because it’s never been as quick as it is now. And with it being so quick, recovery time becomes of the essence. And then because of so many games, there is no recovery time because there’s no recovery time you get more and more injuries and then you ultimately end up getting more and more chronic injuries which may limit a player’s career to a lot shorter than it should be. But we can’t do anything about that because the players ask for so much money that we have to try and increase our profits and increase our turnover every year to fund the players that are so expensive to bring into Premier League football now.”

How do you deal with Newcastle compared to Man City?

“A different way of playing and managing how the play and the players obviously, looking at how they play and obviously trying to remember when they go out on the field what the strengths of Newcastle are to nullify them and what their weaknesses are to try and obviously get a goal to score against them. So you play completely differently to Manchester City.”

The challenge against Newcastle in being offensive at home but also having defensive resilience?

“They’ve got some talented players on the front front three and there’s more to come on with Almiron and Maximin as well as the three upfront they started with against Arsenal. There’s a big goal scorer in Wilson which we have to manage. But then at the other end, you can get in behind and you can get down the side of Newcastle if you can break through midfield. It depends on our quality then when we get to the final third and what we decide to do with that final ball. If we don’t get the ball right, we won’t create as many chances we would like to put Newcastle under pressure and to hopefully have something to go forward with because I’d like to score the first goal if possible. That’s very important for us on Saturday. Getting the first goal would be a big lift. It would help us win the game. I’m not saying we would win the game but going a goal down would be a very difficult job, I think, mentally for the players to come back from but if that’s the case they’d have to try and do it. But what we won’t have to do is go daft like they have done before and leave the back door open and conceded two, three and four again.”