Sam Allardyce is satisfied with the strength of his Leeds team, saying they did not capitulate like Real Madrid did at Manchester City.
- Leeds lost 2-1 to Man City
- Premier League champions thrashed Madrid
- Manager hopeful of keeping Leeds up
WHAT HAPPENED? Leeds have taken one point from the two matches they have played since Allardyce replaced Javi Gracia at the helm in early May. After losing 2-1 to Manchester City, they came from 2-1 down to earn a draw against Newcastle last week. Allardyce is tasked with keeping the Elland Road club in the Premier League and he sees some positive signs, pointing to City’s 4-0 demolition of Real Madrid in the Champions League this week.
WHAT THEY SAID: “I saw Real Madrid buckle this week in a way that we didn’t,” he said to The Times.
Discussing his side’s hopes of staying up, he added: “All I can say is I’m thoroughly enjoying it. The training ground is fantastic and I love being out there again. It didn’t help facing Manchester City in one of the four games. It didn’t help giving away two penalties to Newcastle. But somebody had to come in and hopefully we’ll find a way of helping Leeds stay in the division, because it took so long to get back here. I think we’ve got what it takes to succeed.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Allardyce caused a stir when he was unveiled as Leeds’ new manager by saying that he is as good a coach as City, Liverpool and Arsenal counterparts Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Mikel Arteta. However, he admits that the comments were just a ploy to help his players.
“That’s about taking the pressure off the players and putting all the focus on yourself,” he said. “The master taught me that; Fergie [Sir Alex Ferguson]. He said you create a diversion, a stir; say something to the press to take the attention away from players who are being criticised all the time. I went in there intending to say that. And, hey, I never said I was better than them.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
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WHAT NEXT? Leeds hope to pull themselves out of the bottom three of the Premier League on Sunday when they visit his former side West Ham. Leeds are just a point from safety, with Everton sitting just above them and Nottingham Forest a further two points away.