Blackwell: Peter's A Fighter

Last updated : 04 October 2003 By Kevin Markey

Blackwell commented at the press conference: "The whole club has not been handled the right way and we've been on the back pages for the wrong reasons.

"It's been strange for Peter this week. Everyone knows he is a bubbly character but he's been a lot quieter. We wanted to give the gaffer the right platform and, any decision he makes, he does so from a position of strength.

"Peter's a fighter and he has said he won't quit.

"Sometimes you need to express yourself and now Peter can express himself in whatever way he wants.

"Now he can walk in with his head held high and express himself in the right way.

"I have only been here 10 weeks and to see what has gone on has been hard to take.

"Peter felt he had been in the news more than Tony Blair so he felt it was about time he gave someone else the chance to make the news.

"Reidy has told me to say how proud he was of the players and what a great performance they put in for the pressure they were under. The stress on the players was immense going into this game.

"I have come in from the outside and I can see the problems. Everybody wants to knock Leeds United Football Club. The week before I arrived the back pages were about Leeds United this and Leeds United that and to live under that pressure is immense.

"We felt we had reached a watershed at Everton. We sat down after the game and said that if we continued with what we were doing then we would be relegated.

"We no longer have players like Harry Kewell who can win a game out of nothing. Now we have to work for our chances.

"It's going to be a slow process and then you have to integrate the foreign players who have to understand what the English culture is all about. Some of them have only been here for a few weeks and they are still learning."