Warnock makes first contribution to Leeds United cause

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IT was supposed to be a watching brief on his first day in his new job, but new Leeds United manager Neil Warnock could not resist delivering pre-match and half-time team talks to the players now under his command as the Whites took on Doncaster Rovers on Saturday.

After being officially announced as the new manager on Saturday morning Warnock spoke to the players for the first time before the Yorkshire derby at Elland Road and after a poor first half display that left the Whites 1-0 down he delivered a few words of wisdom at the break, although caretaker Neil Redfearn was left officially in charge for the match.

The result was a comeback and a 3-2 victory that revived United’s seemingly flagging hopes of reaching the play-offs in the Npower Championship.

Warnock admitted there was much work to be done to reach the top six and he had already spotted some flaws that needed ironing out, but he was pleased with the spirit shown by the players and loved the atmosphere generated by the crowd in the second half.

He said: “I thought they did well. We changed formation at half-time, or just after, and I thought it worked well.

"All credit to them, a lot of teams might have given up, but at 2-0 down it got the atmosphere going."

“I think we're a long way from being a top side, if I'm honest, but the lads have got spirit and they showed that to come back from 2-0 down.

"You look at the league and everybody's trying to help everybody else aren't they? No-one's running away with it, so you never say never do you?

“It’s going to be wide open. Anything’s possible.

“When you listen to the crowd and the atmosphere it just whets the appetite.

“I remember coming to watch Leeds against Manchester United here and I think it was a full house. It was amazing and a fantastic atmosphere.”

Warnock, who has signed a contract to the end of next season, explained to Yorkshire Radio that the key to his tactical change was to get key player Robert Snodgrass on the ball where he could do damage.

He added: “I told Robert at half-time that we have got to get you in that hole somehow because if you’re a winger out wide and they put two men on you it’s virtually impossible.

“He’s the best player on the pitch and we’d got to get him in area where he has the ball.

“There were other little things I noticed like having everybody back for corners. We may as well as have two or three on the half-way line.

“It was just basics. We had three men back when we’re attacking and could have been two versus one. I said to Brucey you are marking one man and we’ve got two more back there so why not get in the box?

“When you’ve got a player winning headers like Becchio sometimes you’ve got to play it early to him. I had to stop the central midfield players getting it off our centre-halves . When you’ve only got two in there you can’t have midfielders 60 yards from Becchio. So it’s just adjustments really.

“The players are very keen, they listened and it won’t do them any harm because we’ve won a game we would have got beaten in if that third goal had gone in."