Leeds United: McDermott eyes up more loan stars

Jack Collison
Jack Collison
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Brian McDermott plans to take a fresh look at the loan market after seeing an approach for a potential signing rejected on Friday.

The Leeds United manager revealed that he missed out on a player ahead of Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Queens Park Rangers having moved to add to the arrival of Connor Wickham and Jack Butland at Elland Road.

Wickham – brought in on emergency loan from Sunderland – turned in an impressive debut at Loftus Road and goalkeeper Butland played his part again with a crucial save from Armand Traore in the second half.

But McDermott, who ruled out an approach for Manchester City’s Jack Rodwell but admitted over the weekend that he had spoken about the availability of West Ham United midfielder Jack Collison, believes he will have further backing from the Leeds’ hierarchy before the Football League’s loan window closes this month.

“We had someone that we tried to get and we got knocked back late on Friday,” McDermott said. “So we’ll see.

“We’ve signed a couple of players in the past week and if there’s someone who we think can make a difference again, we’ll do it.”

Wickham’s impact was keenly felt on Saturday, particularly during a first half in which United dominated and took the lead.

Top scorer Ross McCormack missed an early penalty but made amends on 15 minutes with his 24th goal of the season, a free-kick that beat QPR keeper Robert Green with the aid of a deflection.

But Jermaine Jenas drew QPR level a minute before the break and Butland – the England international signed from Stoke City last month – was called upon to maintain parity when he kept out a goalbound strike from Traore less than a minute into the second half.

“Look at the those two players coming in for Leeds United, and both of them really wanting to come here,” McDermott said. “It’s exciting times for us.

“We think we’re improving, we’re working hard day-to-day and with 14 games to go we’ll see where we end up.”

United’s chances of making the play-offs remain slim after a resounding win for in-form Wigan Athletic at Nottingham Forest increased the gap between Leeds and sixth position to eight points.

Leeds have taken two wins from their past 12 games but McDermott was satisfied with the display at Loftus Road, a ground where only two sides have won all season.

But he called for a greater impact from his wingers, Jimmy Kebe and Cameron Stewart, after the pair endured another ineffective afternoon in west London. McDermott said: “We think there’s plenty to come.

“And we need those guys to make the difference.

“A winger’s position isn’t easy because you have to create and make things happen. You don’t just destruct.”

McDermott added: “They’re working hard off the ball for the team.

“I just want to see someone like Jimmy do what Jimmy does – beat people, get crosses in. It’s a confidence thing.”

McCormack, meanwhile, has joined up with Scotland’s squad despite suffering an ankle injury which threatened his involvement in Wednesday’s friendly against Poland in Warsaw.

United’s captain was injured by a challenge from QPR substitute Will Keane but played on after indicating to McDermott that he was fit to continue.

McDermott said: “I said ‘what do you want to do?’ and he said ‘I’ll stay on’ and he did. It shows you the calibre of the man.

“It was quite a nasty knock but he wants to play for Scotland and he wants to be involved with Scotland. It’s important to him, a special thing.”

Leeds’ next game is at home to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday, their first fixture at Elland Road since February 1.

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