What The Locals Say.........

Last updated : 24 November 2003 By Kevin Markey

First up is the Yorkshire Evening Press' Martin Jarred;

New man in charge, same old result. Caretaker-boss Eddie Gray could not break the habit which is leaving Leeds United adrift at the foot of the Premiership - defeat.

The arrival of Bolton Wanderers was viewed as a golden opportunity to kick-start United's torrid season but once again their defence self-destructed as Leeds crashed to their sixth straight loss.

When he took the helm, chairman Professor John McKenzie likened sorting out the club's finances to turning round an oil tanker. Now the team is sinking faster than the Titanic.

Gray rearranged the deck-chairs by axing Jermaine Pennant and Salomon Olembe, and had to do without the injured Gary Kelly and suspended duo Dominic Matteo and Alan Smith.

But after 17 minutes United were holed twice and were left scrambling for the lifeboats.

A bright opening quarter of an hour counted for nothing as Michael Duberry's weak clearing header fell straight to the feet of Kevin Davies who swept the ball home. A minutes later Davies worked his way through United's static defence to cross for Greek international Stylianos Giannakopoulos to tap in his first Premiership goal.

After that it was easy for Bolton to defend their lead as United lacked the spirit, fire and imagination to get back into the game.

Apart from a few tame headers from Mark Viduka they were hardly able to work goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen and a poor game drifted towards its inevitable conclusion.

Despite strong vocal backing, there is an air of inevitability hanging over Elland Road - relegation. And worse could follow - administration and possible liquidation.

Matters on and off the pitch leaves fans asking the big question: which manager in their right mind would want to take the job on?

Gray, whose own bid for the post can't have been helped by this tame performance, is well aware of the seriousness of the situation.

He said: "I don't know what's going to happen behind the scenes. If somebody else comes in next week, then all well and good, but who ever comes in, it'll be a hard task.

"You look at the League table, the position off the field and what you have got to work with, and it will be tough."

He added: "The club is an attraction - the supporters were terrific, but it will be hard to get results." Indeed, it is hard to see where United's next point is coming from.

Leeds United: Robinson, Camara, Radebe, Duberry, Harte, Milner, Morris (Olembe 77), Batty (Chapuis h/t), Johnson (Barmby 77), Sakho, Viduka. Subs (not used): Carson, Domi. Caution: Sakho.

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Hunt, N'Gotty, Charlton, Gardner, Nolan (Pedersen 73), Frandsen, Okocha, Gianakopoulos, Davies.

Goals: Davies 16min, Gianakopoulos 17.

Referee: Graham Poll (Tring, Herts).

Attendance: 36,558.