Warnock hails ‘magnificent’ team

LEEDS United boss Neil Warnock praised his players after they ended a run of three games without a win with a battling 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest at Elland Road.

The Whites played some good football in the first half to open up a two-goal lead, but had to dig deep to hold on in the face a second half onslaught from Forest to claim the full points and climb back to 11th in the Npower Championship.

Warnock said: “I thought they were magnificent, all 14 lads giving absolutely everything.

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“We knew they were a good side, you could see that in the first 10 or 15 minutes, but we played some cracking stuff and I didn’t think there was a man of the match, I thought every player was heroic.

“I was proud of the team. They had about £4 or £5 million on the bench and we had a lad making his debut scoring the winning goal and young Sam improving.

“Dioufy has never worked so hard in his life, Beccs was a threat and I thought Michael Tonge was super. Austin as well and he made that length of the field run at the end. I thought there were some incredible deeds and that’s what makes it a great win. It was a fabulous team performance.

“Some of the kids have taken their opportunities and I was ever so pleased with them today.

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“I was pleased for Paddy Kenny that we won because he doesn’t make many mistakes. He made a couple of good saves at the death.

“Pearcey should have come off with his ankle, then Peltier did his and Adam Drury did his knee near the end.

“It was a late decision to play Luciano, but he’s a tough cookie really and he knows we were desperate for him to play.

“I think he’s getting better every time and I thought Dioufy was super, especially when we needed him in the second half to slow it down a little bit. He didn’t give the ball away and he’s getting fitter and fitter. There were a lot of plusses.”

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Warnock thought the game was a good advert for the Championship with both teams playing their part.

He added: “You couldn’t take your eyes off the game and it was exciting, that’s what we want, we don’t want boring games.

“They started well, but the first goal gave us some belief.

“We should have been out of sight by half-time, but we haven’t got many goal scorers so to get two is good for us.

“The one that Sam (Byram) put on a plate for Becchio to make it three just before half-time was too easy. We never do anything like that and make it easy for the manager.

“In the second half you’ve got a team like that who play the ball around like they do and they had to rely on a long throw. It was credit to us.”