Leeds United set out on revenge mission in FA Cup

Liam Bridcutt.
Liam Bridcutt.

Revenge will be in the air at Elland Road this Saturday with Leeds United looking to make amends for their poor display and defeat to Rotherham United back in November.

It was returning former Leeds boss Neil Redfearn who enjoyed sweet revenge on that day as his new team walked away with a 1-0 victory and he will want to put one over the Whites again when he brings the Millers to Elland Road for a third round FA Cup tie.

But this time it will be current United head coach Steve Evans looking to get back at his former employees as he will not want to be on the losing side a second time against the club he left earlier this season.

After the testing recent programme he would like to be able to rest players and maybe give the likes of young full-back Lewie Coyle a go, but will balance those thoughts with the desire to avoid the unwanted double against the Millers.

Evans is also keen to get his side back to winning ways after they have not won in their last three games and were lucky to get anything out of their game against MK Dons at Elland Road when only a bizarre late own goal by Antony Kay gave them a 1-1 draw.

Evans admitted his team had been fortunate to avoid defeat and was highly critical of the players’ passing in the game, although he gave them some mitigation as it was the last game in a tough period.

He said: “We had good spells against Preston, even though it was hard work. Against Wolves we were exceptional after 20, 25 minutes and at Forest we were excellent throughout the game.

“With Derby we went toe-to-toe with a really good side so if I’m going to defend my players then this might just have been a stretch too far in terms of the same players going out and delivering.

“I don’t think we played until around the 80-minute mark and we were gambling a bit then and chasing the game.

“We won enough tackles, we won enough of the ball, but our quality on the ball was way short of what we would expect and what we’ve worked on.

“It wasn’t a game for the purists, that’s for sure – as they were as bad as we were.

“We’re very grateful for the own goal, it looked bizarre to me and the kid probably couldn’t do it again if he tried it another 100 times. We’ll take the point and move on.

“Leeds United supporters should be entitled to turn up to Elland Road against whoever we play in the Championship because of the level and expect to be winning. This is why we need players. We are inconsistent in certain areas of the pitch.”

Evans’ first signing of the month is midfielder Liam Bridcutt, who is to stay on loan until the end of the season with a view to a possible permanent transfer in the summer. His initial loan deal ended last Saturday, but Leeds have struck a new deal with Sunderland.

Leeds are also trying to do a deal with Norwich for striker Kyle Lafferty and are looking to make possibly another couple of signings this month.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Evans said: “Liam Bridcutt has signed the paperwork, that is all officially recognised and through. We have tied him up till June and then we’ll see what happens in the summer months.

“Kyle Lafferty is a different proposition. Our owner has had a few chats with his counterparts at Norwich and I have to let that process take its due course. It’s all frustrating when you’d like to add to the group.

“It’s a young man we identified from a while out. He’s not made it a secret that he wants to be here.

“I have to be very respectful to Alex Neil and David McNally as they will have a huge say in whether we can agree a deal.

“But he’s not the only apple we’re trying to get in the barrel. We’re trying to sign two or three good players.

“I don’t get into the specifics of what the money is, that is left at the president’s level. What I do know is that the players we are trying to bring in are good players and, in the main, coming from above.”