Leeds United looking for Keepmoat repeat

Ross McCormack about to score for Leeds United against Watford. He will be looking to continue his rich run of form at Doncaster. Picture: IAN HARBER
Ross McCormack about to score for Leeds United against Watford. He will be looking to continue his rich run of form at Doncaster. Picture: IAN HARBER

After being delighted with his side’s show of character in their thrilling draw with Watford last weekend Leeds United boss Brian McDermott now wants the same commitment from his players as they face two local derby tests.

On paper games against bottom six sides Doncaster Rovers and Barnsley should represent a great chance for the Whites to climb back into the play-off places, but McDermott will warn his players about any danger of complacency against Yorkshire rivals who will be fired up.

Leeds have already failed to pass one derby test at Huddersfield Town and results in the Yorkshire derbies this season could go a long way to deciding where United ultimately finish in the table.

The Whites travel to face Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium this Saturday at a ground where they have already tasted victory this season with a 3-1 success in a second round Capital One Cup tie in August.

They have a good record at the Keepmoat, but will face a Rovers side under one-time Leeds player Paul Dickov that has improved since then and recently beat title favourites QPR at this venue.

United’s record of six defeats in their last seven away games does not bode for confidence, although there have been signs of improvement recently and they are settling to their 3-5-2 formation.

McDermott may stick to the same starting 11 he used against Watford, but Tom Lees will come into contention for a return in defence if he can shake off the injury that saw him miss last Saturday’s game.

United will definitely be without striker Dexter Blackstock, whose loan period has been cut short by injury.

But highly rated right-back Sam Byram came through his return to the first team last Saturday well and is looking forward to what he hopes is a long run in the side again.

He said: “There’s no pain in my hip at all anymore and I’m confident that I’m completely over it now.

“There’s only 19 games gone so far so I’ve got loads of football to get stuck into this season.

“It’s been a hard time and I still need to improve my match fitness but to get a good run now would be brilliant.”