Skipper calls for unity

Last updated : 31 January 2003 By FootyMAD
Woodgate arrives at Newcastle
United fans protested outside Elland Road on Thursday following the sale of Jonathan Woodgate to Newcastle and Robbie Fowler to Manchester City and Matteo has called for supporters to lay off chairman Peter Ridsdale and get behind the club.

"I think the club were within their rights in believing they had received transfer fees for Lee Bowyer and Olly Dacourt at the start of the season. Those deals didn't materialise," Matteo told Sky Sports news.

"I don't think that was anybody's fault but the collapse of the world transfer market has seen the fees for players like Robbie Fowler and Seth Johnson drop.

"That seems to be the position that has led Woody to be sold as the last option.

"Nobody is happy that it has come to this but I can see why.

"I hope a witch-hunt against the chairman [Peter Ridsdale] doesn't develop. That would serve no purpose at all. We all know that at heart he is a Leeds fan.

"We still have enough good players to make an impact and aim to qualify for Europe for the sixth consecutive season. Right now we need everybody to stick together."

Ridsdale has called a press conference for Friday lunchtime where he says he will explain to fans the reasons behind all the departures from Elland Road.