Date:Friday February 3 2006
VITAL QPR asked loyal Leeds fan Kevin Markey for the lowdown on Rangers' opponents ahead of tomorrow's clash at Elland Road.
1) You seem to have an abundance of strike power at the club, whose the managers first choice pairing and who do the fans wish to see start up front?
Don’t think Blackwell minds, as long as they are doing their job. They all have their attributes but Hulse and Healy are very popular with the Leeds support whilst Cresswell and Blake are both good strikers in their own right. Moore and Ricketts won’t get a look in above those four whilst they’re fit.
2) Your in a decent position going into the last third of the season, do you think you can grab the second automatic promotion spot?
Sheffield United will need to slump badly for anyone to overtake them, but they are plenty of games left and stranger things have happened in football.
3) Where did the club aim to finish the season, was promotion the aim?
A top ten finish would have been progress, but with the new players that have come in since the summer, I think a play-off spot was the minimum expectation.
4) Are the fans happy with the current situation?
With what has gone on since relegation I would say the fans are delighted with the progress being made. Blackwell has worked miracles and deserves any plaudits that come his way no matter what happens between now and the end of the season.
5) Kevin Blackwell has been praised for the job he's done at Elland Road but compared to a club like ourselves he's had A LOT of money to spend, is there something we don't know about?
A lot of wheeling and dealing has gone on behind the scenes. Ken Bates knows the football scene inside-out and I’m sure he’s used this knowledge for Leeds’ benefit. In the scheme of things we’ve spent nothing compared to what was wasted in the ‘living the dream’(sic) years. Plus the loan players we have managed to get this season have been quality, people like Jonathan Douglas and Liam Miller who are Premiership players.
6) Who are the players/ unsung heroes we should be looking out for on Saturday?
Gary Kelly has been outstanding recently as has Paul Butler, Sean Gregan, Shaun Derry and Eddie Lewis. But the ones to look out for will be Robbie Blake, so much trickery on the ball and Richard Cresswell, who appears to be finding his feet, and goals, of late, plus the 2 loan signings mentioned above. Not forgetting the ‘Incredible Hulse’ and David Healy, you can always tell a good side by who’s on the bench and ours hasn’t been too bad all season.
7) Obviously last season was embarrasing from our point of view (6-1) were you surprised by the scoreline?
You took an early lead and made us very angry. We’re dangerous when we’re angry! You came into the game with some good form behind you. It was just one of those days. Brian Deane scoring 4 goals! And it could have been worse as Healy also missed a penalty.
8) We come to Elland Road with quite a few injury problems but the team are still pulling out some surprise results but we lack consistancy, what do you think the game will be like, what style of play do Leeds play with at home?
We’ve been very good, results wise, at home this season. It should be quite open as both teams like to play. The fans demand a good response at home.
9) Who are the Rangers players who think could cause you problems?
We tried to sign Gareth Ainsworth once, decent player. Georges Santos can be a danger too. And Paul Furlong knows a trick or two. But I think we’ll need to keep an eye on Steve Lomas in midfield. He can create chances and can knick a goal too.
10) What do you think the final score will be?
I think we’ll shade it 1-0 or 2-1. Not anything like last season!
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