In what was being described as the first major sporting event since the shocking events in Norway last weekend, football always came to second to a show of defiance from the Norwegian people who are determined to carry on their peaceful way of life and not retreat in fear.

The attendance was testament to that with 4,500 thousand fans there to watch the Whites – not the most impressive figure by English standards, but considering Sandefjord’s record attendance is 8,000, it was an incredible turnout for a midweek friendly.

The game itself produced few talking points. Like most pre-season friendlies, the pace was slow and the goal-mouth action limited.

Leeds however were gifted an opportunity to take a first half lead when they were awarded a penalty for a foul on Ross McCormack. The Scottish striker decided he would be the one to take it but fired wide to record his second pre-season penalty miss.

It took 83 minutes for the deadlock to be broken when Sandefjord scored against the run of the play to spark life into a home support who were massively outnumbered by a mix of travelling and Norwegian Leeds United supporters.

Ramon Nunez however managed to level things for Leeds to cap off another impressive pre-season performance. The Honduran’s display was undoubtedly the biggest positive Whites fans will take from the game and one that could see him in the starting line-up for opening day against Southampton.

Simon Grayson post-match interview (courtesy of mojoluafc)

SG interview post Sandefjord game by Back2basics

A pre-season friendly seems incredibly trivial at times like these. The events of last weekend sent shockwaves all around the world and I’d like to add my own message to Norwegian Leeds United fans and indeed everyone in Norway at this time. Through adversity, we’ve heard nothing but reports of your countries staggering resolve. The determination to continue your peaceful way of life without fear of those who unjustifiably threaten it is a lesson from which we can all learn. I’m sure I speak on behalf of everyone reading this blog when I say, our thoughts are with you all. Marching on Together!

Final score: Sandefjord 1-1 Leeds United (Nunez)

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  • number1inyorkshire

    i know its only pre season but will this affect MC Cormack confidence in front of goal another miss from the spot

    • Gryff723

      Just after he was starting to look much better at the end of last season, too…

  • mojoluafc

    Post match interview with Larry http://soundcloud.com/back2basics/sg-interview-po

    • TSS

      I'll embed that into the post for you mate. Only just realised I can

  • derbyshirewhite

    We've nearly had a full pre-season and SG is unhappy with the lack of pace and penetration. Watching the centre backs passing the ball between themselves for what seems an eternity before one of them hoofs a hopeful ball forward. Plan A seems to have been built around a squad with no injuries, and now we have a dressing room full of injured players we're pinning hopes on Plan B. It's getting late Simon.

  • banditsteve123

    Just like to wish all in norway all the best all leeds fans thoughts are with you.Now onto leeds not sure wat to make of pre season yes we look solid at no point have we had out best 11 out so i am ok with the way things are going.it looks to me that the gung ho from last season has gone we are going for the hard to beat route that QPR did last season,lets see how it goes when snoddy and gradel both play

  • Gryff723

    Great to have a good-natured friendly in Norway after last week.

    Perhaps we've built a team around players now injured, but the players should know the system well enough to be able to perform regardless.

    Is the problem perhaps that we're trying desperately to break Paynter & McCormack's ducks and it's just not working? If all our play is going through one man at the front and that one man is so low of confidence he can't kick straight, it's bound to blunt our penetration.

  • dannylufc

    Come on SG get a couple more players u know what we need stop wiv the long ting

  • michael horspool

    thanks for including the interview. with how neigitive and honest simon was i think he is close to a few deals for players. if he had no one coming in he would of sugar coated it more- excited now about prospect of players coming in. also said for a while i really rate nunez-NUNUZ FOR ENGLAND! also good point about mccormack i think he is more a number 10 which means with injuries we have no number 9 other than painter….oh b*****ks

  • mattbb

    Graysons comments about certain players perhaps now at risk of losing their place just mindblowing – who exactly is going to replace them Simon! The Squad is pretty paper thin as it is.

  • mattbb

    My view is that we'll have a couple more in by the end of this week, a right back (probably Lichaj) on a season long loan, and one of either Quinn or MOntgomery – thoughthe YP says we have a bid in for both..! I also think we will see Watt back, and possibly signed permanently, I have a gut feeling that Mendy didnt do enough.

  • michael horspool

    please no we cant have scanzes why sorry watt back, he was useless and did nothing in two years one season of which was in league one. Surely the watt loan siging was some kind of dare or due to a loss in a game of poker between wenger and grayson. this clingon bloke has been linked quite a bit and from what i have heard montgomery is pony. like to lichaj back though i liked him and maybe john terry as cover for OB. i know Terry is getting on a bit but he could still do a job for us and has bags of experience

  • Rikton

    Are you mad John Terry this is LUFC we are discussing. JOHN TERRY !!! yeah bates would defo pay his 100 grand a week wages for somebody who can't run, that is either a very very dumb comment or a comment from somebody who doesn't watch much football in England or know how Leeds operate. We do need another striker on loan, i agree bring Lichaj back, not sure on Quinn, We should have been in for Darren Pratley or Barry Ferguson. Lansbury from Arsnal would have been decent, get rid of can't hit a barndoor with a banjo Billy P. and get Gradel Nunez and Snoddy on new deals.

    • mattbb

      sure it was a joke.. i think your comment on Terry not being able to run unfair, i understand he can do a good impression of Usain Bolt whenever his missus is inspecting his texts.

    • michael horspool

      are you really that stupid that you thought i was being serious? are you five or stupid? i know all about how leeds is run and i know that although john terry has said he would take a wage cut to play for leeds (players agent confirmed that on twitter!) there is no way bates would pay 50k a week to a player who wouldnt make our bench as he is no where near better than lees and o'brien. Spoke to mr terry himself and he even offered to play left back just to wear the famous white shirt but was told to go swivel as bozan bodravic or whatever his name is is much better. on a more serious note, i heard leeds have been linked to wayne rooney and carlos teves and im being well serious. i wish i was you Rikton! just one question do you fall over often?

  • hopefull

    mathew upson cant find a club as reported in the times today, would be good to see him in a leeds shirt if he would consider wage drop, pie in the sky, probably!

  • Matthew

    Guys, lets be honest here.

    Without Becchio and Somma we're pretty muched screwed. The lack of either really showed in this game.

    We're not going to break into the top 6 and stay there until both are back and playing again.

    This game pretty much proves we have problems, on paper we should of easily beat this tinpot team, who are essentially a league 1/2 team if they were in the English leagues.

    • mattbb

      i wouldnt write us off so soon, Grayson isnt so dumb that he would just settle for an ineffective Paynter while Somma and Becchio recover, it would be professional suicide. Remember Nunez, McCormack, Gradel, Snodgrass and even the current trialist Mendy have form as strikers, and can comfortably play there. I'm hearing Ched Evans is being looked at too on various rumour sites, he got 9 for the blunts at the end of last season so I remain hopeful that with some additions in the coming 2-3 weeks that things might not be so bleak.

      • Matthew

        We cant just rely on Strikers, more so the ones who cant score to save their lives to save us, okay our midfield is good, but as proven last season, we need Becchio lol

        By the way, kinda ironic that fans are voting other fans down because they cant accept something, this season will be our hardest thus far, and we are in a weak position at the moment and I expect it to show at the Southampton game.

        • mattbb

          "By the way, kinda ironic that fans are voting other fans down because they cant accept something"

          not sure what you mean here Matthew? can you elaborate.

          • Matthew

            Wasnt accusing you lol, just noticed I went from a +2 I believe to a -1 then to a 0 lol

            Anyway, sorry if it seems like im being negative with my opinion, just I dont see us doing well without Becchio and Somma, we pretty much fell over towards the end of last season without Becchio, and Becchio pretty much IS the spearhead of our attack.

            I'm not being a crazy Becchio fanboy by saying that, I just value both him and Somma and believe without these 2, we may struggle to win games.

            Yes Gradel is a proven goalscorer, as is Nunez, but both Becchio and Somma fit into our attack and make it a well oiled machine.

          • mattbb

            ok, no worries mate, if you were being negative then quite frankly i wouldnt blame you..
            I note Michael Johnsons just gone to Leicester City on a season long loan, I wonder when Sven's goping to start off his own trasnfer target list and stop just going for anyone we express an interest in.. hopefully he'll have emptied his piggy bank now and we can get in Lichaj. See Ken's discussing a further 2 midfielders by the weekend. Wonder if theyre free transfers..

  • banditsteve123

    Not sure wat reception alan smith will get on sunday but i hope its a good one i foe one think he was forced to join man utd they were the only club that would pay upfront so lets remember him for the good times

    • TSS

      Yeah, but let's not forget he was never a particularly good striker. A very average player over-hyped because he was born locally.

      • mattbb

        I always thought his goal against Lazio was rather well taken to be fair TSS!

      • michael horspool

        agreed i have been saying on this site for ages he was average at best. look at his stats for an out and out goalscorer. he was lucky to play alongside viduka who was one of our best certianly in my lifetime and smith was still not great with his scoring record. glad he aint come back cos he wouldnt make our team and this is a team with PAINTER in it. wouldnt want to see him booed though because at the risk of sounding like a american teenager 'he is not worth it' i dont get all the hype no one would talk about it if derick lilly was coming back to the club. and smith may be local but he aint leeds fan because with his money we would all play for pittance for our club…in fact fuck it lets booo smith the rat-monkey-slag-chimp

  • ross mccaramac

    surely there are other right backs to be had, lichaj looked ok so many people saying lets bring him in as if the guy is daniel alves…

    • Matthew

      Lichaj was/is exactly what we need. Grayson wants him back too, if Villa will loan him to us.