June 14, 2024

SAM ALLARDYCE ASSESSES LEEDS UNITED’S SURVIVAL CHANCES AHEAD OF WEST HAM.

Here are you Leeds United headlines for Saturday, May 20, 2023.

Allardyce’s message

Sam Allardyce will send a clear message to his Leeds United players tomorrow. The Whites boss knows they have to get a positive result at West Ham, and it’s a time for straight talking.

“That’s it, do or die, lads,” Allardyce said ahead of the trip to east London. “Fight to the end, but fight with the right temperament and the right amount of control and don’t lose control.

“Certainly don’t lose the game plan. In the games I’ve looked at before I got here it was a loss of control by a team that went a little crazy in terms of just going all out to try and score a goal and end up conceding two, three, four or five.

“So you don’t lose control and you stay in the game or you try and get ahead in the game. When it gets to the latter stages, depending on where we are, is where more risk comes into play.”

Old Fergie trick

Sam Allardyce admits he took a leaf out of Sir Alex Ferguson’s playbook by comparing himself to Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp at his Leeds United unveiling. The former England boss created headlines after almost two years out of management when he insisted he was ‘up there’ with the managers of both Liverpool and Manchester City.

Allardyce was called upon as a survival specialist to replace Javi Gracia in the Elland Road dugout with just four matches remaining. Leeds have picked up a point from encounters with Manchester City and Newcastle United, and could be relegated with a defeat at West Ham on Sunday.

Following days of speculation, Allardyce was appointed on May 3 and took his first media conference as the interim United boss. The 68-year-old admits he always intended to make the comparison to Guardiola and Klopp to act as a ‘diversion’ to the team’s struggles amid a five-match losing run.

Allardyce told the Times: “That’s about taking the pressure off the players and putting all the focus on yourself. The master taught me that; Fergie [Sir Alex Ferguson].

“He said you create a diversion, a stir; say something to the press to take the attention away from players who are being criticised all the time. I went in there intending to say that. And, hey, I never said I was better than them.”

Smith can’t watch

Leicester City interim boss Dean Smith has confirmed he will not watch any of his team’s relegation rivals in action ahead of their do-or-die showdown at Newcastle United. The Foxes sit two points adrift of safety with only two games remaining, and could be relegated with defeat at St James’ Park on Monday night if results elsewhere go against them.

Leicester suffered a heavy home defeat to in-form Liverpool in their last outing, and will take to the pitch on Tyneside knowing the state of play at the bottom. Everton travel to face Wolves on Saturday afternoon, with Nottingham Forest hosting Arsenal in the televised evening kick-off.

Leeds will then be hoping to capitalise on a European hangover when the take on West Ham at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The odds are against the Foxes repeating their great escape act from eight years ago, and Smith does not see the benefit of watching any of their relegation rivals in action.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Thursday, Smith told the Leicester Mercury: “The only game I’ll be watching closely is Newcastle [against Brighton] tonight. It may affect what we need to do, but I don’t need to watch the games, I just need to follow the results.”

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