Date:Friday December 30 2005
Hull manager Peter Taylor backs former Leeds star, Nick Barmby, to ignore Elland Road boo-boys
Barmby will receive a hostile reception on his first return to Leeds United but Taylor has backed the former England international to handle the boo-boys.
The 31-year-old joined Leeds for £2.75m from Liverpool in the summer of 2002 but went on to make just 25 Premiership appearances in two years at a cost of £110,000 per match.
Signed by Terry Venables, many believe Barmby suffered for being so closely associated with the man who had also handed him an England debut in 1995.
As Venables's reign started to go awry, much of the fans' frustration was taken out on Barmby whose first team involvement effectively ended with the former England manager's dismissal in March, 2003.
He then played only one Premiership game for each of Venables's successors, Peter Reid and Eddie Gray before the Hull-born player moved to the KC Stadium on a free transfer in the summer of 2004.
Taylor: 'I am sure Nick will receive some stick but it will not be deserved because it was through no fault of his own that he did not play very often for Leeds. He is a strong character and I am certain he will not be affected by any crowd reaction.
'We were very fortunate to sign Nick because it was only a desire to play for his hometown club that made it possible.
'Nick has brought vital experience to the side and is such a hard-working player, the only problem I have is making sure he does not tire himself out.
'That is why over Christmas I had to be careful with him and put him on the bench at Crewe (on Boxing Day). The rest was a factor in his performance against Ipswich two days later.'
Barmby had a year remaining on his Leeds contract when he moved to Hull and took a substantial pay cut to join his hometown club, who he helped to promotion last season.
Barmby: 'I am looking forward to playing Leeds because they are an ex-club. I enjoyed my time there but unfortunately it did not work out. Elland Road is a great stadium, has a great atmosphere and the fans are fanatical, just like ours are.'
Kevin Blackwell: 'Nick is a very thorough professional and a good lad who it sadly did not work out for at Leeds.
'Despite that, he was great to have around because the young kids benefited from seeing how professionally he conducted himself around the ground and in training.
'We know he has good qualities because he has been bought and sold for a lot of money during his career. It shows that a lot of managers have thought very highly of Nick and I am sure Peter is glad to have him.'
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