Gradel leaves the field after Bristol red card

The press were out in force today at Elland Road to put their questions to Simon Grayson and the lads before the new season gets under way, so there’s plenty of interviews and statements from the playing and coaching staff doing the rounds.

One of the biggest areas of discussion was Max Gradel, who is set to miss the first four games after receiving a four match ban for his sending off against Bristol Rovers. Both he and the gaffer have exchanged niceties and it seems Gradel is really fired up and ready to pay the fans and club back for the mess he got himself into.

Speaking to Radio Leeds, Simon Grayson was first to comment on Max;

“He’s going to suffer by having a four game ban and he’s been fined by the club.

“He knows he’s let himself down, me down and the fans down.

“When you do make mistakes you have got to learn from them. And I like to think that he’s learnt from it and that other players should learn from that experience too.

“He’s disappointed in what happened as it could have had a major influence on how our season finished.”

Max Gradel later responded to the managers positive comments via the Official Leeds United website;

“You have to come back stronger and don’t do stuff like that again.

“The boss helped me. He’s given me pre-season games when he didn’t have to.

“I’m looking forward to the start of the season. I’ll have an extended running session and I hope I’ll be ready for when I come back. I hope when I get back I will get in the team,”

Nothing short of his own stupidity got Max Gradel in this situation – a situation that could quite easily have cost us promotion. However, Max obviously regrets his actions and his pre-season performances show a player that’s determined to right his wrongs.

The Leeds United fans will give the youngster nothing but their full support. Fortunately for Max, the incident didn’t cost us the game, but it won’t be forgotten over night. The fans understand and admire his desire to win, but learning to control his anger is essential for the team and I can only hope we won’t be discussing another incident like this any time soon.