Warnock wants to make Elland Road a fortress

LEEDS United boss Neil Warnock has vowed to turn round his side’s Elland Road fortunes next season after they finished the 2011-12 campaign with an 11th home league defeat on Saturday.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 30th April 2012, 9:46 am

After seeing the Whites pick up an unwanted record for the most home losses in a season in the club’s entire history Warnock will make it a priority to try to turn Elland Road into a fortress once again.

His planned major overhaul to the squad will begin to take shape with an announcement of the players to be retained on Wednesday and a press conference the following day will see the manager outline his plans.

Centre-back Jason Pearce is expected to be the first signing announced with United also heavily linked with forward El-Hadji Diouf, but Warnock again reiterated that there will be many comings and goings now the disappointing 2011-12 season is over.

He said: “There’s a sense of relief that it’s all over.

“I’m disappointed with the way we lost, but I’ve known for four or five weeks what type of job it was hoing to be here. Nothing changes.

“I think the (home defeats) record is justified, it shows how low we’ve come.

“Instead of being a fortress and an advantage to us, it’s been a weakness. It won’t happen again.

“As a manager you need to know what nine or ten of your players are doing. But it’s been a bit of a toss of a coin.

“This is the probably the lowest ebb for Leeds to lose that many games.

“They couldn’t have tried anymore and with a bit of luck they wouldn’t have had the record, but that’s how it goes.

“The fans were fantastic. I turned to Ronnie Jepson and said ‘look at this lot here, 72nd minute and making that noise’. They’re desperate to have a team to be proud of and that’s what makes it a great last challenge for me really.

“We’ve got to put a team out that I know will win games.

“We’re having a drastic change to the squad. I don’t have the time to wait to blend them in. We need to get ready and get amongst them.

“I want hungry players and on Thursday you will see what I intend.

“I know the players I want and I’ve already got one in line who I’m pleased with. I’ve got to find the sort of players who will revel here – who’ll enjoy games at Elland Road like I do on the bench. I need to rely on people and that’s not been the case.”