In his weekly column for the Independent, Neil Warnock this week admits defeat in the race for Chris Wood, explaining that Leeds United cannot compete with the financial powers of Leicester City.

“It looks like I’ve missed out on Chris Wood – I just can’t compete financially with Leicester City”

Neil Warnock fails to mention any other signings he may have lined up, only adding that he hopes to secure the services of players he currently has on loan.

It seems Neil Warnock is relatively happy with the current squad. While some fans are starting to criticise decisions and insist reinforces are desperately needed, it’s hard to ignore the fact our side has taken 15 points from the last 7 matches.

Personally, I don’t think there’s any real cause for concern. At the halfway point in the season we sit 2 points outside the play-off places, which means, Leeds United only need a slight improvement on the first half of the season to secure a spot we’d have snatched people’s hands off for in August.

When you consider the improvement we saw following the arrival of the loan players Warnock refers to, then consider the return of Davide Somma and Rodolph Austin, it’s hard to argue that our squad hasn’t already been strengthened.

As a club, we’re also in a much happier place than we were at the start of this season. The takeover was taking it’s toll on everyone – players and management included – and I think the end of that particular saga will also help us have a stronger second half to the season.

Quietly optimistic. On and on…

You can read Warnock’s column in full here.

31 Responses

  1. Gav Javelin Andrews

    im quietly optimistic too. i think if the home form sustains and we take points off the bottom half teams away then we have every chance of making the playoffs. at elland road we can beat anyone, tate and jerome look good so maybe permenant deals would be good. diouf on 18 month contract seems inspired (possibly the name i have on my shirt next season). hold on to becchio and bryam both rumoured to leave and we have a real chance. play offs mean u can pick a name out of a hat. hopefully the new owners can give warnock more of a chance with maybe 1 or 2 signings, but im more optimistic than last season! i would take a 1 in 4 chance of making the premier league next year nicely! MOT!

  2. craig

    not to forget the players still to offload; connolly, nunez, rogers, pugh, rachubka. There’s Bromby still to come back in, Somma, Hall and Austin back, Kisnorbo, Poleon etc still around the squad. I think getting Thomas, Tonge and Tate on permanent deals would send out a big message. Thomas may be difficult to tie down as i think WBA still rate him.

    • djedjedje

      Tonge, I’d go with. Tate too, if his wages are reasonable and can show that the last couple of games are just a dip in form. Less sure about Thomas – are we really going to play to his strengths?

  3. djedjedje

    I’m currently more concerned about how we play, not who we pick to play or buy. It takes about quarter of an hour to spot how we are set-up to play and are far too one dimensional to dominate matches. That puts a lot of pressure on luck to graft results.

    This would be acceptable if our squad was truly dire, but on a number of times this season we have shown that we can play some decent stuff when we get the ball down and pass it, as well as harry the opposition when they are in possession. It’d be nice if Warnock was a tad braver. Without it, I’m not sure Diouf and McCormack are going to see what function they have in the team.

    • Irving08

      Interesting point about a certain lack of bravery in Warnock’s work; but at time he also
      looks over-confident. He seems to find it difficult to occupy the ‘middle ground'; so he can appear alternately and alternatively foolhardy and over-cautious. One constant is his talking up of other teams and their resources. Do our players really want to hear this from their Manager ?

  4. Craig Sweaton

    The two issues I have are the new owners seem to be backtracking the november statement of “no reasonable target refused”, & the very obvious left back frailty. Midfield i see no real problem except the lack of a true, running winger and Somma looks surprisingly sharp for his 18 months out.

    • Ron

      I’d be surprised if GFH has any real financial muscle whatsoever. The amusing thing about the takeover was the guy selling was telling us in his program notes that the new buyers would not be throwing money around in January. I can’t recall that happening in the corporate world before – forward statements on behalf of new owners by the man no longer in control……………..Strategically sound maybe, depressing? You bet. I am sure Bates remains in case he can profit from Promotion, otherwise, he’d have walked with a check in hand. Wake me up in Summer – there will be no excuses then.

      • Col

        Ive said from the start that the deal looks very dodgy to me but then again, it’s Bates so what else can you expect?!
        I just hope we can bring in at least ONE signing that will give our long suffering supporters a bit of hope. Signing Tate & the other loanees on deals until the end of the season will not fill me full of optimism.
        I feel the only way we will make a big signing is if McCormack is sold. Warnock clearly doesn’t want to play him is maybe this will happen?
        On a positive note, GFH appear to be listening to supporters which is a massive step forward.
        Things are looking better but I remain unsure if this is the start of a bright future for the club? The next month or so will tell us more.

      • gilesy10

        Please fellas , listen
        A sale which dragged on for whatever reasons probably cost more and more for the new guys as it went on . Now they are supposed to just throw more money at the club for a manager who’s here for his own bit of history . NW not the man to lead us forward. You think a 52 million investment and these boys don’t have a plan.
        There’s a lot more to come . Lets get this season behind us . Invest in a new manager new squad . Prem players will be available and willing to join us .
        Because we are talking man city money!! Yes that’s the investment coming . New stadium new era , long term plan for our beloved club . It will all come to light soon.

    • TSS

      I don’t recall such a statement, but have they refused a reasonable target?

      It’s Warnock who said we can’t compete with Leicester and he’s probably right. It might be £1m now, but what happens when we offer £1.5m? You think Leicester are going to walk away before it gets silly? I doubt it. Then you have to factor in the crazy wages LCFC are willing to pay.

  5. Bluesman

    A lot of talk about lack of finance for Warnock to strengthen, other than players he has alread got and about making the play offs. So what? Are we good enough to get promoted or even win the play offs, no! So why all the excitement? This situation is far away from what was promised prior to the completion of the takeover.

  6. Paul

    I’m not entirely convinced that GFH believe Colin is their man, in which case I don’t expect to see to much activity throughout January.
    Loved the reference to the return of Somma and Austin from injury by the way, it was akin to reading/listening to Bates “like new signings”, I jest.

  7. Adam

    You fail to point out and mention at all our Pethetic defensive record so far this season. We have conceded 40 goals which is worse than the teams in the bottom 3. This will be compounded in the second half of the season and will result in us not gaining a play off place unless it is sorted out. Warnock has simply failed to address this and we will not go up unless he does, or we bring in someone who can.we must be more consistent defensively.

  8. superleeds93

    The most infuriating thing about this season is the way Warnock seems to make the opposite decision to the one that anybody else watching the games would do. Starting Michael Brown/Drury over younger pacier options. Putting Somma on instead of McCormack when a goal is needed. Playing Lee bloody Peltier…. I seems that the way to get into Warnock’s side week in week out is when you’re 34 past your best and happy just to get noticed, Or if you used to play for the blades. I still feel Warnock is the man for the job, i just don’t feel he understands the squad potential he already has. that said I just hope he makes the most out of january and doesnt get us another has been.

  9. Jordanlufc

    I agree about not playing the style but we need someone like diouf in midfield someone with abit of class and who can pick a pass and slow thing down. We don’t have the financial clout that Leicester have they will of offered around 40k a week wages just like beckford. You have to think if we spend millions in jan we will get ripped off for what we get. And if we did get promoted at the end of the season we will need 11 new players. And a new manager I recon. That will cost a fortune. I think backfired will off being on the list but he is now on loan for the rest of the season there is not many strikers left what we would buy. Wickham maybe on loan or ever Powell

  10. henrymouni

    All the talk from NW has been about bringing another striker in, to go with Lucciano, Ross, Davide, Andy Gray and Luke Varney. Why?
    Our defence stinks!!!
    We need a mobile/swift, tall centreback – not Tate, I’m afraid.
    As he does not seem to rate Drury or Aidy at left back, we need a strong left back.
    We need a strong right back too.
    Sam has been brilliant!!
    I would move him into midfield, as he is fast, strong and attacking player, wasted at the back.
    I prefer Pearce to Tate.
    A creative midfield player, who can hold the ball up and pick a pass, and can cover the ground would be good too.
    The fact that NW seems to be content with getting the loan players signed up worries me.
    That have been part of our shambles for a while now!
    We have had a good decent run, but we were not the best team in some of those games.
    Indeed our true seasonal form showed up in the Forrest game.
    GFH are keen to hear the fans opinions but what does that mean?
    I think they are keen to get fans back to support the club, which is good.
    BUT they must realise that unless they build a winning, entertaining team, there ‘openness’ means nothing!
    I am still in ‘wait and see mode’.

    • Irving08

      I agree: it is the owners, not the fans, who should set the agenda. And if they don;t know how to, they shouldn’t be running the club.
      The most important thing they can do is to engage serious people to find a Manager with vision and a team building strategy to support it. (Failing that, coax George Graham out of retirement !)
      It is not going to be easy. Our books are bulging with well paid players near the end of their careers, who have no incentive to seek pastures new.
      Do these people really understand what they have taken on ?

    • gilesy10

      There’s a raring to go , quality young player in Dawson waiting for a chance. . Best midfield prospect for years. M O M every week dvlp squad . Also 2 or 3 others worth a chance. Warnock. Not a clue ego too big . I pray nightly for him to go but it will be at the end of season , where we finish 10 or 11 in table

  11. Tare

    Defence seems to be a problem (once again) as it was during SGs regime. People has been changed so it is only one conclusion here that mental factors between the ears are affecting certain players. Is LUFC just too big issue to handle? I can’t get it; this should be a once in a lifetime opportunity for them??? Tare

  12. mrtoad

    Leeds have wealthy backers.
    Leicester no longer overspend, Pearson is having to make cuts due to Sven’s lavish and largely unsuccessful buys.
    Millwall matched Leicester £ for £ in the deal. If Leeds can’t even match Millwall it has a problem.

  13. wjohn228

    Really……Leeds.won’t be.anywhere near the.playoffs unless Warnock is do more than just retain his loanees.

  14. Chareose

    Horrific performance…… and why am i not surprised ?? Sorry for joining the band wagon but I have never been a fan of Warnocks playing style and its been obvious since Shef wed that we needed a complete rebranding of the club which includes a team capable of playing attractive football. Its the only thing thats going to bring the fans back….. I preferred Grayson to this, atleast he tried to play good football !

  15. Irving08

    I wish I could share your optimism, but even before today I had decided that Warnock is not the man for the job we need doing. And this job is not promotion in one season, but the patient and methodical job of building a team. The conclusion I have come to is that Warnock was appointed to fit the wrong agenda. Looked at charitably, his constant fiddling with formations and players is due to his being a man in too much of a hurry. His thinking is becoming increasingly muddled too. Take today, for example: what conclusion could he possibly draw beforehand if he had factored in the possibility of a poor result ? – that the formation was wrong or the players he selected ? His man management skills are questionable too: criticising players in public is not the way to coax from them better performance.
    New owners theoretically come with an advantage: they can set a long term agenda (OK medium term). Mid-season is perhaps not the best time to do it, but they must be prepared to do so if, as is perfectly possible, we lose our next two home matches. What they must not do under any circumstances is to spend much, if any money on new players. Instead they should institute an inquiry into why players are or may be performing below their capabilities.

    • Chareose

      spot on completely agree…. Short termist obviously wont work in this scenario….. It needs to be a long term plan to sign players who the club beleive have the potential to take the step up to the premiership because every team ive seen promoted has players who are premiership quality…..most of ours would at best be warming the bench of a premeirship club…..

    • kev raunds

      good post,it will be three years before we are anywhere near ready for the prem,new manager and new team

  16. Tingley Dave

    Listening to NW today post match commens he had decided that the team wouldn’t be good enough to beat Hull and his plans are all about beating Bolton next match. Forest match mostly had the same approach. We are too slow, Tate is about as fast as Brown who spends his time around the box these days rather in midfield. If we don’t win against Bolton might as well start the planning for next season and get rid of NW now. He and his staff had no clue at Forest in controlling the field from the sidelines unless it is tto prove how many new players we actually need!

  17. mrbigwheels

    Firstly the depression is in the expectation. Why are so many expecting to be in the top six?, Factoring in the timing of this takeover there is, never has been or will be, (imo), a realisation of promotion this year and I believe that is the line of the ‘new owners’… I certainly do not hold the view that Warnock and his staff believe…. this is the year or have the expectancy either….

    There are problems with some of the playing staff obviously and Warnock cannot see any investment forthcoming to draft in players of the calibre he needs to do the job. if indeed the job is to chase promotion. Clutching at straws is the expression I received and my own conclusion is one of sadness that Bates always seems to be in the win, win position leaving Warnock to play the devil’s advocate and the supporters floundering and confused. Am still not sure where GFHC fit into all this other than the brilliant plan by Bates to continue an ownership and involvement, with payback, of LUFC.

    There is very little money with a prevailing draft of Batesitis continuing to fan the whole affair. Warnock will go to other pastures and eventually reveal the sham this present repainted shop front with the same old goods inside is. All shittypoo for the majority but everything will be grasped… eventually by the customers.

    So sad for this Club and its history.

  18. warnockout

    tss you are losing your mind. We are in a false position and we are just a mid table side at best.
    Just got back from Hull.
    Do you really think we just need a slight improvement?
    Wake up

  19. ScottishWhite

    Tate is ok as a stop gap, but it would be a complete waste of a transfer fee and wages if we were to sign him permanently. He’s 31 and is only going to get slower, not only that, but he has already demonstrated that he isn’t really good enough for the Premiership. I don’t think Brown is that bad, he trys hard and is quite effective at breaking up play. If he was played as the holding player in a 5 man midfield, I think he could be quite effective. However, playing him next to a completely unfit Rodolph Austin against Forrest was ridiculous, as was Warnock’s failure to realise why we were losing the midfield battle until it was too late.

    Thomas has match winning quality, we need wingers like him if we are ever going to get promoted. Although, having said that, he doesn’t like putting his foot in. If Warnock could toughen him up a bit he would be a decent permanent signing, I don’t think West Brom will let him go though; if they do, it certainly wont be on the cheap. Warnock has made some very strange decisions this season, both tactically and in the summer transfer market. Considering some of the utter shite that we still have in the squad I don’t think we’re doing that badly. Warnock certainly deserves a chance to build the side and take us into next season, promotion is probably an unrealistic aim for this season.

  20. Matthew

    Honest question, what were we playing yesterday? What I saw wasn’t football. Hull City had
    all the possession and controlled the game from start to finish, so I ask again, what were we playing against Hull?

    I’m just going to go ahead and say it. That was the worst game we’ve played in many years, we played better football under Grayson.


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