Date:Tuesday December 4 2007
Leeds United look to bounce back against a side that names Robbie Williams as one of its supporters. Harry Bassett doesn't like the heat, Casper is back and the skipper returns!
Leeds United assistant manager Dave ‘Harry’ Bassett has hit back at those who have sought to blame Leeds downturn in form on the departure of Gustavo Poyet, and his subsequent employment as the former Chelsea midfielders replacement:
'I refute that (referring to the accusation of Bassett favouring long-ball tactics) but, of course, people jump on the bandwagon and always look for excuses in one way or another.
'I expect they will really be saying Gus Poyet did all the work behind the scenes and Dennis did nothing before I came.
'We haven't got the players to play direct football, as I had at Wimbledon. It is certainly not a replica of Wimbledon.
Turning attention away from the criticism, Bassett believes whilst Vale have struggled for form of late, nothing can be taken for granted this evening. He told the official Leeds United website, leedsunited.com:
'We know we have two games at home where we can get maximum points, but we're looking at Port Vale and we'll worry about Huddersfield on Wednesday.
'There's no point in looking further ahead. We'll put the team out on Tuesday and cross the next bridges as and when.'
Meanwhile, in the Port Vale camp, new boss Lee Sinott has reacted in spectacular fashion following his side’s dismal 1-1 draw with minnows Chasetown in the FA Cup. One would hope that his hand grenade comment is not a literal one!:
”I have been here for four weeks and it needs action. I am going to strip it down as much as I can. I'll just throw a hand grenade in there and see what happens and take things from there.”
“Luke Rodgers will be Captain for the Leeds game and I will evaluate that after the game... It is a bit hard on George (Pilkington), but it is a course of action I have got to take.”
Leeds United are set to welcome back goalkeeper Casper Ankergren who has fully recovered from his gashed knee.
Stand-in keeper David Lucas has also resumed training following his neck injury, though looks set to lose the starting place to Casper.
Alan Thompson and Radostin Kishishev will also return to the squad, however Mark DeVries and Leon Constantine miss out.
A large portion of our success this season can be put down to the strikers, who have gone eerily quiet of late.
Come on lads, wakey wakey!
16 year old striker James Lawrie has been added to the squad that travels to Yorkshire for Vale this evening and he may be set for a shock start.
Vale also make a number of other squad changes, with Luke Prosser, Keith Lowe and David McGoldrick all coming into the already named 16.
Paul Edwards, Craig Rocastle and Danny Whitaker have all been left out as Lee Sinnott wields his hand grenade.
Former Crewe striker Luke Rodgers has been given the captaincy and has (according to Vital Vale) been the one player to give hope to the long-suffering Potteries supporters.
Date:Tuesday December 4 2007
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