Neil Warnock and assistant Mick Jones spoke to the media as Leeds played their first pre-season match of the summer. They covered White, Snodgrass, the match, their frustrated hard work, and their helplessness in the transfer market while Bates remains and his mess is unable to be cleaned up (reading between the lines, of course!)
Aidy’s Leeds United through and through. [...] Eventually the pull of Leeds, I don’t think he could resist really.
Norwich have made another bid for Snodgrass?
From reading the papers and all the media that’s correct!
We’ve not had a bid that’s acceptable yet, and Robert knows that. I think everybody knows my feelings and nothing’s changed on that. But in football you don’t know what’s around the corner so we’ll just have to keep an open mind on that.
We’re very thin at the moment, but hopefully over the next few weeks there will be a few new additions.
What I’m looking at over the next few weeks are players who will really make a difference, not the squad players, and I hope there’ll be some more in the next few weeks.
At the moment I’m just keeping the seat warm and trying to do the best I can to get a squad together to give us a good go at promotion next year. It’s not been an easy summer, but I can’t remember having many over the last few years!
I’ve had 25-30 on my list, so there’s quite a few players you could link us to.
I’d like to probably bring another 8 in. [interviewer audibly surprised]
Don’t forget you’ve got to have a decent squad [for injuries and suspensions].
It’s disappointed me a little bit that we couldn’t get more players in at this stage. But some things you can’t do in football and Aidy White’s another to tick off. It’s all about getting them over the line.
Shaun Harvey’s working his – er – socks off, to help me to get these players.
I’ve not slept much over the past couple of weeks or months, there have been easier times for me. But the fans have been fantastic for me so I owe them that really. It’s important I repay them, and I think they know the kind of team I’m trying to build and what I’m trying to do and I think they’re all with me on that. And that does matter to me that – a lot.
Absolutely yeah. I wouldn’t be here otherwise – it would’ve been easier to leave, believe you and me!
I haven’t met [the buyers] so it’s no good me commenting on speculation. But there’s so much happening you’d be naive not to have reassurances, wouldn’t you?
What Mick Jones Said: The Match
The first game of the season is always good for people’s fitness levels. There was a lot of enthusiasm tonight and a lot of hard work. They stretched us on occasions, but there were good individual performances as well. For the first game, I thought the first 45 minutes in particular was exactly what we needed.
We didn’t play Rob Snodgrass or Luciano Becchio because of small strains, but if it’d been a league game both would’ve played.
You’ve got to start judging players further down the line with harder matches, no disrespect to Farsley. Preston in particular, and Norway, they’ll be tested to the full.
Sam Byram’s come through at left-back, and he’s got the makings of a very very good player, but he’s not on his own. There’s one or two lads who have a long way to go and a lot to prove, but I think the next couple of years will be vital to them, not tomorrow.
Aidy’s fantastic. We’re all delighted for the boy. We all knew about Derby and all the other interest, but he’s a Leeds boy and he’s absolutely delighted to have signed a contract and he’s buzzing now.
We see him as a player who can settle in any position. At the moment I don’t think Aidy has found his true position yet and I don’t think we know what that is yet, but I do know he’s got fantastic pace, fantastic enthusiasm, he’s made of the right stuff, and being a Leeds lad is a big plus.
We’ve known Andy Gray a long time and all through the pre-season I’d say he’s probably the 3rd fittest at the club, which is quite impressive given he’s had quite a long career. He’s a proud man, Andy, and I’ve a sneaking suspicion he’s come here to prove a point.
Sisyphean Effort, The Second
I’ve never known Neil work as hard as this. All summer he’s been at it, even more so in the last week or so. I just hope it’s exciting times over the next 10 days to 2 weeks.