Steve Morison hit Leeds’ derby winner at Sheffield Wednesday
BOSS Neil Redfearn hopes this victory will prove emblematic of his reign after Leeds picked up their first points in six games.
The tumult around Elland Road over the past few weeks has been sadly familiar for Leeds fans and the unexplained suspension of Redfearn’s assistant Steve Thompson at the beginning of April precipitated five consecutive losses.
But while United supporters have heard it all before, the Leeds head coach is hopeful that the club can now put hard times behind them both on and off the pitch.
Redfearn said:“The plan is I’ve got next week’s training and the game against Rotherham, and then I’ve got to sit down with the owner and have a chat with him and see what he wants to do.
“I want to be at Leeds United and be successful. I don’t want to be at Leeds United and be a midtable side or fighting relegation every year.
“I want to get this side out of this division because it’s good enough. You see the supporters that turn up, they deserve that.
“My voice needs to be heard, my experience needs to be listened to and then we need to get our heads together and agree on things.
“I’m hoping that what’s been put in place and what we’ve built is utilised, whether I’m here or not.”
Wednesday were forced on the defensive immediately as Alex Mowatt went through on goal, but keeper Keiren Westwood came out well to make the stop.
Mowatt went close again on 14 minutes, curling a freekick just wide of the post after Jeremy Helan felled Sam Byram on the edge of the box.
Byram himself was at fault when Wednesday went ahead 19 minutes later, with the United winger fouling Lloyd Isgrove.
Leeds protested that the foul took place outside the box, but replays suggest that referee Robert Madley made the right call by giving a penalty.
Chris Maguire’s subsequent spot-kick was tame but enough to put Wednesday ahead with Stuart Taylor diving the wrong way.
They could have doubled their lead before the break had Leeds ‘keeper Taylor not been on his toes to keep out former Whites man Tom Lees.
Charlie Taylor pulled Leeds level 12 minutes after half-time, applying the final touch after Luke Murphy’s free-kick hit the Wednesday wall and Steve Morison poked the ball on to the winger.
Morison went from creator to scorer 15 minutes later, timing his run onto Byram’s through ball to perfection and shooting past Westwood at the second attempt after the ‘keeper closed down his initial effort.
It could have been worse for Wednesday as Rudy Austin went through on goal in the last minute, but his pull-back went behind the run of former Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp.
Wednesday manager Stuart Gray said: “I thought we deserved to go in the lead – it was a penalty – but then we just couldn’t build on it.
“But the frustrating thing is that we gave away far too many freekicks around the 18-yard box and so eventually you will get punished.
“I’m hugely disappointed for the 28,000 fans that have turned up, probably 24,000 of them are Sheffield Wednesday fans.
“If we’re going to get anywhere then we need to make sure that this place becomes a bit of a fortress.
“Our away form’s been excellent and we’ve got 17 clean sheets, but our home form has not been acceptable.
“It wasn’t as though Leeds played well to get the victory. Everything was self-inflicted by the cheap free-kicks we gave away.”
MOR THAN ENOUGH: Leeds players celebrate in front of their fans after Steve Morison netted their winner Inset: Chris Maguire puts Sheffield Wednesday in front from the spot