Good Morning. It's Thursday 22nd September, and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road...
I don't ever want to be in that situation ever again - Cooper
Liam Cooper has spoken of the mental torture both he, and his fellow teammates, were under last season, as they came within a hare's breath of relegation. He relived the final day of last season, claiming the entire dressing room had a siege mentality, and were focused to prove the World wrong, and they could escape the Premier League trap door. Although jubilant after the final whistle, the Leeds skipper insists he never wants to be in a position like that again, for the rest of his career!
Of course it's difficult. The thing for me was obviously we were as gutted as the lads playing. I always try and put myself in Stu's situation [Stuart Dallas] and people - think how bad they must have felt. Being a footballer the worst thing that can happen to you is an injury and you're not able to play for a sustained amount of time."
It was hard to understand the situation we were in and that got worse and worse throughout the season. We never got going - to our previous season - at one stage during the season. When Jesse came in we went on that little run and in the end I think that saved us. I think we had ten points from his first six or seven games. When it comes down to it and when you look back on it, that sort of saved us. We knew there was a run of games coming up, where we played the top three or four and they're always difficult.
Obviously anything can happen but we didn't really give ourselves a chance in those games with the red cards. I remember [Luke Ayling] getting sent off at Arsenal, I followed him straight down the tunnel and said 'What happened and what were you doing?'
He looked at me and said 'Coops, I don't know what I was doing. I've never tackled like that in my life, in my career.' all you can put it down to is the stress. The stress of the situation and the situation we were in, it does crazy things to you and it makes you make crazy decisions. "But that was the way it was. We accepted it. The worst thing you can do in that situation is start finger pointing and blaming people. We knew we were in it and we were in it together.
I think the whole world had wrote us off and had us going down in the last game of the season. Yeah, we had to have a bit of a siege mentality and go out there and prove people wrong. We did it in an unbelievable way, but I said straight after the game I don't ever want to be in that situation ever again in my life. My poor Mrs and kids, they got it in the last three games of the season. God bless them. I feel sorry for them I had to give them a big kiss and a cuddle and say everything's alright now.
Perkins scores on three Lions U19 Debut
Sonny Perkins marked his England U19 debut with a goal, as the Three Lions ran out 2-0 victors over Montenegro. Perkins started alongside Darko Gyabi, who was also making his first appearance for the U19s. Perkins in particular has hit the ground running, since arriving from West Ham in the Summer, having turned down a professional contract with the Hammers. He has already scored six goals in five games for Leeds U21s.
Should Gelhardt have been sent out on loan
Between them, Sonny Perkins (6 goals) and Mateo Joseph (5 goals) are on course to take Premier League 2 by storm. Whilst their fledging careers are souring high beyond expectation, back down to earth, fellow teammate Joe Gelhardt's progression continues to stutter. Perkins and Joseph are two years younger than Gelhardt, and are making ground on the former Wigan Academy prodigy. Has too much pressure been heaped on Joffy at an early age, or was he wraped up too much in cotton wool?
Was his confidence dented last season by spending much of it warming the bench, despite Leeds horrific injury worries? Should he have joined a Championship club on loan this Summer, where he would have got 90 minutes every week? With the arrival of Wilfried Gnonto (another 18yo), Gelhardt could be pushed further down the pecking order!
Bamford hails quartet
During a recent interview, Patrick Bamford hailed the club's academy, claiming 'the future looks promising'.
The 29 year old singled out four players in particular (Summerville, Gyabi, Gnonto and Perkins) having played alongside the quartet during their 6-2 win over Southampton last week.
Cry’s [Crysencio Summerville] a really good player and we see that in training all the time. I think the next step for him is showing that in the first team when he gets on. Then obviously you’ve got young players like Darko Gyabi and Willy Gnonto who is new, and did really well, then Sonny as well who is a good player and scored a great finish.
The future looks promising, but then there is also the learning side of it as well because there is no way we should have conceded two at the end. So I think there is a learning curve and they’d have taken a lot away from the game.