Reid Needs A Cheer Up

Last updated : 17 August 2003 By Kevin Markey

All the work in pre-season has now been done - though you would not have noticed after so many abysmal performances - and the real stuff starts today against Newcastle.

"Can you believe I was in Dublin last weekend and didn't have a drink?," Reid said on Friday. He certainly deserved a drink after those defeats against Burnley, Hull and Shelbourne.

"I've always been one of those managers who gets the best out of teams but I haven't got the best out of Leeds United during pre-season," he continued. "I've asked them to do certain things and the attitude isn't right. I'm trying to get them organised, to work as hard as I want them to. I've tried to get them fitter but they haven't had the right attitude. How do you change that? There's nothing wrong with giving everything you've got when you go out on a football pitch and I don't think I've had that."

Speaking about this afternoon's game he said: "If you don't use a lot of energy to shut Newcastle down, they can overrun you, when Leeds were at their most exciting they were very high-tempo, they were very good at squeezing teams which is something we've been working on because, if you give opponents time and space, good players kill you. We've got to get back to working as a unit which is certainly something we haven't been doing. Good judges have said they don't fancy us; I can understand that."

Two players missing out today are Danny Mills and Nick Barmby. Referring to Mills, Reid rather pointedly commented: "It's all very well winning the ball but you've also got to keep the thing and pass it well. I don't think Danny agrees with me, but I make decisions in the best interests of this club."

And on Viduka: "I haven't seen the best of Mark, but he's a fantastic footballer and, once I've spat my dummy out, I don't hold grudges

"This season is going to be difficult. I'm under no illusions, but if the players give me what they've got we'll be all right," Reid added. "We've got some talent but they've got to show they've got the determination to match it."

"Every manager is under pressure," he reflected. "Sir Alex at Man Utd has got to win the title and Dave Jones at Wolves has got to stay up, but my job's one of the hardest. If we can finish in the top half of the table, we'll have had a good season."

Let's hope he's having a well deserved drink after today's match.