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Cautious Ahead Of Southampton Clash

Manager Kevin Blackwell has warned his players that Southampton will be harder to beat than in their last clash.

Leeds will be looking to cause Southampton's first home defeat of the season; they have only lost twice so far this campaign since relegation from the Premiership and one of those was Leeds victory at Elland Road last month.

'I am sure Southampton will be worried about playing us and we go there knowing they don't lose many games, they are starting to get to grips with the division and it is very different to the Premier League. They still have a good squad with so many Premier League players and have one of the best defences, with Niemi, Lundekvam, Svensson and Delap in there, and then in midfield they have a few Premier players and upfront they have excitement too.

'They have come together well and are a very good team, you would expect them to do well this season.'

16-year-old striker Theo Walcott proved a real threat last time the two teams met but Blackwell insists they did their homework last time round and will be even better prepared for him now.

'He might have been someone new to supporters but we knew about him before and he's been the talk of football for a little while now, he's very much like Aaron Lennon.

'Southampton were in a position to turn down an offer from Chelsea, we were not in the position to do the same when Tottenham came calling for Aaron.

'He has pace and certainly lit the night up at Elland Road, and has done ever since. With Fuller they have another proven goalscorer with Premier League experience, so they have a decent threat upfront and are solid at the back, they are a team I think will be there or thereabouts.'

Gary Kelly is confident the Leeds defence can silence Walcott this time around.

'He'll test us at the back but we have done well and kept a lot of clean sheets this season, so we have to hang in there.

'It's great to see young lads coming through like that and it's good to see them going to big clubs and doing well, but I hope Southampton can keep hold of him. If they do decide to sell they will make a few bob on him.'

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The Journalist

Writer:  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday November 18 2005

Time: 12:35PM


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