Ross McCormackRoss McCormack has told Yorkshire Radio that the long-ball tactics favoured by Neil Warnock didn’t suit Leeds United.

The Scottish striker was seen shouting obscenities at his now former manager after scoring Leeds’ only goal in a 2-1 loss to Derby County on Monday and admits the pair had a difficult relationship.

After netting 19 goals last season, McCormack fell victim to Warnock’s change in style.

The direct approach Warnock implemented favoured more physically commanding strikers such as Luke Varney and previously, Luciano Becchio. McCormack meanwhile fell down the pecking order, making just 21 appearances this season, many of which saw him played out-of-position.

McCormack also believes the Leeds United team is no better now than it was 12 months ago, countering Warnock’s claims that The Whites are in a better position than he found them.

Elsewhere, Neil Redfearn has ruled himself out of the running for next Leeds United manager. The caretaker manager said he was happy to help out on a temporary basis but would prefer that the owners appoint a new manager “sooner, rather than later”.

74 Responses

  1. Matthew

    It’s all true.

    And with Warnock the Dinosaur gone, we’ve now moved out of the Jurassic era.

      • Tare

        Naylor for the cause and reasoning here: in a long term plan every U18 player in the 1st team structure and open competition for pre season camp.Naylor was a true leader and why not???

        Even though this Anfield game was a defeat then actually I realised some huge prospects there; Walters sulking after substitution but he has just personality for the game: some other things as well.

        If any measurement could calculate that 1-2 per season juniors could promote to 1st team and with the Whites we have 4-5 boys coming out so what then??? Tare

  2. marty66

    good on you Ross, I think we’re going to see a much improved display this weekend and watch out Charlton. I hope the next few games go really well for the boys because I personally think that Naylor is the man for the big job.

    • Ludlow Leeds

      Naylor’s a good bloke, is Leeds through and through, and has done well in his first season with the U18s – in an Academy environment and philosophy largely set up by Redfearn don’t forget; but the man for the big job? Really? Not a chance.

      What’s wrong with half the people on here? O’Leary, Naylor??? Am I living in a parallel universe?

      • Andrew Grainger

        Well said Ludlow Leeds. O’Leary…how on Earth can anybody contemplate the man who was the c0-author of our demise to where we are now, as a manager to take us forward? I despair. After today’s debacle, the board must act immediately. There is no time to waste. Neil Redfearn sounded on Yorks radio like a man who doesn’t want to be there. We have no leader off the pitch and none on it. If we don’t act now we ARE going down, make no mistake. McDermott is a no brainer choice. He has a proven record at that level. He is a strong character. He is a leader. We need him and I would be in my car with a contract now if it was down to me

  3. marty66

    All the U18’s look to him and lets face it they ARE the future of the club so it makes sense for the long term to appoint Naylor or depending how things go this month just leave well enough alone.

    • Andy Hirst

      Initially NW improved our defense but as time went on it seemed to be at a cost of our Attacking influence But in the end I don’t think anyone believed anymore who’s fault The manager the board the players I don’t really know But what I am sure of is that This Club does not deserve this We are LEEDS,…. LEEDS UNITED & That’s What We Will Always Be MOT MOT MOT …….

  4. mrbigwheels

    I feel better already. Just waiting now for ‘Redders and Nails’…(sorry)… to shake one or two up…. half the team in fact. Well done Ross. Beccs will soon come off the bench with a story.

  5. peter

    Ross is perfectly right,the long ball game is totaly wrong for leeds,get back to playing football and the results will come.

  6. Double Dickhead

    Interesting article! I wonder how many of the Leeds team feel the same about the tactics. I think that this team is better however than the previous one! You just never know with Naylor, he may just get a shot at it. I wouldn’t object having seen how the youngsters organise themselves. If they want a young, but unproven manger, Naylor may be a good bet.

  7. mitch

    Am I the only one who remembers the hoofball played by our team before the arrival of Warnock – much to Grayson’s frustration?

    • TSS

      That was more a result of poor defence and panicky clearances when we were under pressure, it wasn’t our default tactic.

    • wyla

      Not at all, I remeber Graysons tactics were hoof it long for Becchio to head it on for Beckford. Not much different from Warnock’s tactics but then we had a goal machine and genuine talent in Beckford back then

      • TSS

        Grayson’s style varied, but it was mostly played down the wings for Snoddy and Max to cut inside.

        Becchio was the targetman (that’s what he’s good at and how he should be played), but it wasn’t about hoofing the ball forward, he was simply used to hold it up while other players overlapped. We did plenty of passing and weren’t afraid to take players on. Was nothing like Neil Warnock hoofball.

    • spellz

      I thought Grayson actually involved the midfield more and got them spreading it to he wings for players like Snoddy and Gradel to deliver the ball forward with venom, we were much more dangerous just leaked alot of goals with it.

  8. walt kelly

    well said mac,well lets hope you can turn things around i never wanted that muppet as our manager and hopefully the new guy will clear out his dross he brought to the club, i think there was more to it when becks went warnock will go down as the worst manager that ever managed leeds united

    • kev raunds

      Agree,totally right,give Redfearn and Naylor a chance to see what happens,dont expect miracles overnight a lot of damage has been done.

  9. Nick

    Well presumably Ross wouldn’t have McDermot as the new manager then, his style is direct. Just saying.

    • spellz

      Petition for O’Leary? I never thought it would come to the day where as a Leeds Fan I feel like I am part of a small minority of fans that actually want our club to progress.

  10. JDC

    All the calls for Richard Naylor are a bit premature … the guy has already said that first line management doesn’t interest him, he enjoys working, and developing the young players. Let him get his experience working under a sensible (not NW) manager and who knows what the future may hold … he may eventually fancy his chances.

    Well said Ross McCormack … You didn’t enjoy playing hoof all and the rest of us don’t like watching it.

  11. Graham Byrnes

    Nice to see. I thought there were something wrong and couldn’t understand why warnock left him on the bench or out of position, hope the others think the same except brown and kenny that is they were his best buds lol!!
    Redfern and naylor should be left till the end of the season and they may even change their minds and want he job. I’m hoping for a team like this on sat
    Subs:- white kenny diouf kimpel Austin Norris Sanchez

    • TSS

      Trouble with that line-up is I don’t think Poleon and McCormack would compliment each other. McCormack is going to roam around a little and play on edge of the area, you need a Becchioesque player in the box. I’d stick with Morison personally – he’s a good striker, he just hasn’t had the service.

      Also need width, we’ve lacked it all season, so I’d recall Connolly to RB who was always good at getting forward, allowing Byram to play RW. Stick White on the opposite wing (or possibly even Diouf) and we should at least create a few more chances for Morison and McCormack.


      Warnock – Peltier – Pearce – Connolly

      White – Green – Tonge – Byram

      McCormack – Morison

      • wyla

        that connolly comment is hilarious, excellent wit, wait, you were joking weren’t you?

      • TSS

        Connolly WAS good going forward when it was him and Snoddy, it was his defending that was questionable. Fans were always harsh on him though, knew someone would take a shot at that.

      • terrence

        Connoly and pearce – back to the Grayson defence – dodgy, dodgy!

      • mrbigwheels

        Have lost track of Connolly and his form. This looks interesting.

      • Flippin-Pop-It-Bruva

        Hang on a min did you say recall connelly lol ???? He is the worst right back ive ever watch play and 9 times out of ten the worst player on the pitch. Agreed he was good at crossing but he was rubbish at defending, passing and running quickly and never closed the ball down and was too slow to catch any winger he only just looked average in division one and hes hardly Gary Kelly lol i agree that we should bring these exiled back to have a go [like Poleon] but this is a step too far for me id rather ask kelly to come out of retirement. Tss heres my team lol i dont know why we dont try a formation that suits passing and defending like this one tongue and white defensive [one good at passing [tonge] the other quick on the counter [white], play Mccormack as the magician and green and diouf wide to stretch the full backs with morrison playing as a striker to get on crosses from Green and Diouf and to run onto through balls from Mccormack? Tss do you think we should stick to standard 4-4-2 as a safe bet to stop the chances of relegation?

        Byram Pearce Peltier Warnock
        Tonge White
        Green McCormack Diouf

      • TSS

        “but he was rubbish at defending, passing and running quickly and never closed the ball down”

        Yeah, but aside from that, he was pretty much faultless…

        The trouble is, we don’t have another RB and I think we need Byram on the wing.

      • Graham Byrnes

        Yeah possibly, but I’ve put 4.3.3 formation with hall and poleon to run the width with mac in the central role.
        That way diouf and Morrison can be left for the last half hr or when needed along with white to run at the defence when they get tied lol.
        Ps. Please don’t bring him back lol

      • JDC

        Sorry TSS … no to Connolly. If you want to play Byram in midfield, as I do try bringing Zac Thompson back fro loan and play him at RB.

    • terrence

      Kind of agree with most of that except Pearce who is a serious liability in defence.Given too many goals away like the Grayson team used to. Otherwise good.


    O’leary and wilkinson and play some of the developmental kids and inject some pace that has been missing all season. ON ON ON

  13. Allwhite

    Bring back O’Leary – excitement, style and purpose. He will bring through the young players and sort out the defence. He also knows the Club inside out. No contest.

    • SmithyHK

      Deluded. Genuinely worrying to hear a fair number of supporters talking up DOL.
      You are aware what has happened to this Club the last 11 years, and why?

      • TSS

        Yes. Ridsdale and the board.

        Give a manager money, they spend it. It’s not their job to control the finances, they’re employed to coach and motivate players. That’s why we don’t require them to have degrees in finance and/or a background in business (unlike the club’s accountant and the dozen or so members of the board we had back then!)

      • spellz

        The only problem is with the money DOL spent he won f**k all.

      • TSS

        Would he have though? If it hadn’t been for the Bowyer/Woodgate thing and the madness going on upstairs, does anyone think we wouldn’t have won trophies?

        I base my opinion of O’Leary on his playing style and how he got the best out of players. He was a great motivator and played some very attractive football. He also loves this club and has a point to prove. We could do much worse.

      • spellz

        On the right path but you cant spend that much and win nothing we were like the equivalent of now Man City with Ridsdale borrowing against gate receipts and they have one premier league title to their name.

        Also even O’Leary cashed in on that drama with Bowyer and Woodgate what was it United on trial or something, honestly to bring him back would re-ignite too many bad memories of where we went wrong I personally think it is ludicrous and the wrong direction for us to be heading but I respect your opinion, you are entitled to it.

      • JDC

        Also still lives locally … no relocation costs. You’re also spot on about Ridsdale … he should have learned to say “no David”. Out of the names on the list of prospective candidates … no contest.

      • ALMonkey

        ‘We could do much worse’ – suggests that your heart is ruling your head a bit and also sounds a tad pessimistic, glass half empty
        Also ‘point to prove’, what about Coyle, McDermott and O’Neill to name 3, surely they’ve all got just as much, arguably more a point to prove (that they can still manage at the top table and were wrongly fired, perhaps not so much OC) than O’Leary?


    Ok ,Warnock may not have been the right man for the job but would anybody else have done any better ? I think not, as the same funding constraints and player sell offs would still have happened. Besides Warnock did manage to get some good cup performances out of the team , which although not a priority did give some good entertainment .After being sacked by Ridsdale I remember O’Leary saying that Leeds United hadn’t seen the last of him, so who knows maybe he will be the next manager .

  15. igiveup

    BREAKING NEWS: Jim Magilton is interested in the job…whoopee f**king doo!! In other news a North Korean syndicate are looking to buy us out (knowing our luck!!)

  16. Thommo Hawk

    Always get how players really feel after the fact….but you could tell all day long that long ball never suited us we simply don’t have the physical attributes or skill set for that style of play.

    What we have even now as we speak, but even more so 18 months ago, is a team built for quick ping ping passing – between Byram, Diouf, McCormack and Morison we have 4 players capable of opening up any defense in this league like a can of peas *IF* they’re utilized correctly!

    For me McCormack is one of the best strikers in this league nevermind for LUFC – he might not win the Golden Boot but some of the goals I’ve seen him score, inclusive of his goal the other day (corker btw) it just confirms to me that he is this league’s Wayne Rooney. Class!

    • TSS

      I agree. He’s not a six yard box striker so he’s never going to hit 25-30 per season, but if he’s played in the right position he’ll definitely get double figures.

      But it’s not just the goals he scores that makes McCormack so valuable, he’s also the most skilful player we have, extremely comfortable with ball at his feet and he creates as many chances for others as he gets himself.

      I highly rate McCormack, he’s the best player in the squad as far as I’m concerned, and, as you say, among the best in the league. Just a shame we’ve wasted him for the last 14 months playing hoofball.

      • Thommo Hawk

        You know what sickens me the most? Is the fact that when Warnock first came to the club his first port of call originally was to sell Ross McCormack…..instead he ends up selling Becchio (one player I thought would retire a LUFC player lol) but it just goes to show you doesn’t it first thing I’ll do is sell Ross and bring in Tonge …. erm …. Tonge is a decent player but really Neil??

        It’s funny though because this policy we’ve had for buying unknown players for peanuts has actually worked for us believe it or not the problem’s been we come to sell those players on when we should be keeping hold of them. Snoddy, Gradel, Becchio all unheard of before they came here and all were great young players with summat about them. All sold for around £3m a piece to our detriment. Ross McCormack was also bought on the cheap if I remember correctly but that was awesome business on SG’s part.

  17. maroon5therest0

    i personally hope for NW to shut up for once always has something to say. leeds to win a few games to make this season less of an embarrassment and start next season with new management and fresh young players

  18. spellz

    It is good to see someone speak out at the disastrous tactics that was put in play for the season and for NW to at least leave with not just the fans opinion but that of one of his own players.

    I also feel it was a shame for ross to see the bench as much as he did as he was Becchios direct replacement for goals, I think Warnock as much as I respect his record did not do himself justice at our club and got it all wrong from day one and good for Rossy for having a go at him he deserves every obscenity under the sun for this appalling season.

  19. markj222

    We must get Poyet, and if he really wants the job at the end, he should just step down like Grayson did at Blackpool, then Leeds can agree a compensation with Brighton seperately

  20. Joe W

    We were always on your side ross, don’t think the miserable old man got away with it.

  21. Tebbsaldinio

    Lol Naylor

    1995–2009 Ipswich Town 324
    2002 → Millwall (loan) 3
    2002 → Barnsley (loan) 8
    2009–2011 Leeds United 68
    2011–2012 Doncaster Rovers 13
    2012 Rotherham United 5

    Total 421

    So i would say hes more ipswich through and through lol you people really do make some stupid comments sometimes !!!

    • TSS

      Naylor’s a Leeds fan, former teammates of his have told how he used to sign Marching On Together in the showers (at other clubs). He’s also got an LUFC tattoo. Who he played for doesn’t effect who he supports

      • Tebbsaldinio

        Im not been funny but robert snodgrass sung marching on together in a karaoke bar in leeds and look at him now !!!!

      • tebbsaldinio

        On the back of that Jamie Carragher has an Everton tattoo but i suppose your gunna tell me hes Everton through and through right??

      • TSS

        Snoddy was a Leeds player when he did it and Carragher probably was an Everton supporter as a kid.

        Difference is, Naylor was known to be a Leeds fan when he was at Ipswich, just like players we’ve had are known to support other clubs.

        I’m not saying he should be manager (he shouldn’t), but why call him a liar and try to dispute the club he supports? Because he played for someone else? He had no chance of getting into the Leeds team when he started his career, we were at a higher level. Was he supposed to wait until we were relegated, hope we made an offer, then come play for us?

        Your argument makes absolutely no sense, I don’t even understand why you’re trying to discredit his support in the first place?

        Every time we need a new manager we get silly comments like these. People picking fault where there is none to make a case. Some people can’t admit the person they don’t want has any positive features at all, it’s like the anti-O’Leary fans who refuse to give him any credit whatsoever, basically insisting that all of his accomplishments at Elland Road were based on good luck and fluke. It’s absolute nonsense.

        I don’t want Naylor, but I’m not going to start calling him a liar and making up faults to make that argument. I don’t need to, he’s far too inexperienced for the Leeds United job.

  22. MattV

    maybe we will see a more attacking style of football without Warnocks paper defensive tactics, shit to watch and still leak goals

  23. SoWhite

    Well said Ross, never liked Warnock’s hoofball style of football and it never did suit the troops. Ross has been with leeds for a while now and knows how we play well better than most. I think deep down we all knew Warnock was in favour of playing the lads he bought in during his time as manager the likes of Brown, Varney, Morison (who played terribly on Monday) Green, Pelts, Austin, Tonge, none of which are good enough to all play in the same team at once because none of which are talented or skilled enough to help us gain promotion. We’ve lost most of our best players (Snoddy, Becchio) and never replaced them!! Still missing Max Gradel down the wing as well. In my opinion this team we are now hampered with will set us back 2 seasons until we get rid of them all. MOT, hoping Neil Redfearn plays a more traditional and decent leeds united side, including Ross McCormack in the first team and Aidy white for his strength in pace!! Other than that, we must push on to the summer and look to changing our squad 100% for next season.

  24. mrbigwheels

    Thanks Ross… hoofball doesn’t suit Leeds, end of.

    So Poyett or O’Leary then. Can see why ‘W’ was angling Coyle and McD.. No thank you.

  25. Mark

    Simon Grayson should never have been sacked, he should have been manager of Leeds for life. If he had been properly supported we would be promoted by now. Adkins had 30 million to spend at Southampton, when they got up from league one they didnt sell players like we did, they bought even more, which is why he got three successive promotions. In comparisson under the Bates regime we stood still as soon as we got up to the championship, and then went backwards with the stupid east stand, which forced us to sell our best players. If I were GFH I would give Grayson back the job, he deserves a chance to take us back to the premier league, if he was supported well enough, he could do it

  26. Rosco

    O’Leary???? Naylor??? You can’t be serious! This is not the time to be experimenting! The new owners need to dig deep and get Martin O’Neil in ASAP!

  27. mrbigwheels

    I know the pitch was poor at Charlton but really apart from Ross and Byram… What the hell is Redders going to do with the rest of the wooden tops?.

    Heavens help us… Eddie Gray should perhaps get involved for a few weeks to relieve the obvious pressure on Mr Redfearn in the light of GFHC differing in all directions other than trying to sell off chunks of this Club.

    Statically we should stay up but… Why oh why should the support be taken down to the wire like this?. We may not deserve the Prem for some time but we certainly don’t deserve to be scratching at the walls of darkness next year. We’ve paid good money already!.


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