Leeds recorded their first win of the season at Derby yesterday
LEEDS boss Uwe Rosler saw Chris Wood’s late strike earn his side victory at Derby – and then hit out at the ‘cruel’ fixture programme.
After Tom Adeyemi put United ahead and Chris Martin levelled for Derby, Wood popped up in the 88th minute to bag the victory.
Yet Rosler said:“To ask us to play four games in nine days, including three away from home, during the second week of the season shows no responsibility for the players’ health.
“We have got our reward for the hard work we have put in since June 29. We were very close against Bristol and Burnley but here we got our little bit of luck and our reward.”
Rosler also hailed the performance of teenage midfielder Lews Cook.
“Lewis is a very good prospect,” he said. “He runs at opponents and also keeps the ball well to retain possession for us.”
Meanwhile, Derby boss Paul Clement was left lamenting his side’s nasty habit of conceding first.
“That’s four times in five games we’ve gone a goal down,” he moaned.
“We were unhappy with the award of a corner but turned our backs and our marking was poor.
“Our response was very positive and we deservedly got back into the game, but you have to play well over 90 minutes, not 20 or 25.
“We were hoping to have nine or ten points by now, so I’m unhappy with our start.”
Wood ruffled the top of the netting from the edge of the box within two minutes as a ragged Derby were forced to defend a series of corners.
The darting runs of Cook and Alex Mowatt promised to provide an opening whilst Derby looked principally for a quick counter-attack. Cook, just 18 and making his return after a red card at Doncaster, was magnificent throughout.
Clement’s side, who now have just four points from five games, looked to have escaped to the interval level before Leeds went in front in the 43rd minute.
Rams argued – correctly – that a leftwing corner should not have been awarded but were napping at the far post as Adeyemi’s glancing header converted a Stuart Dallas cross.
Derby emerged a totally different force after the break – Johnny Russell blasting in a shot, Jeff Hendrick forcing the first save from Marco Silvestri and Martin equalising in style, all within three hectic minutes.
Martin’s turn inside Liam Cooper was sublime as he brought up his half century of goals for Derby in all competitions.
The increasingly influential Hendrick was inches wide with a measured shot and Silvestri athletically tipped aside Russell’s left-foot volley as Derby briefly threatened to run riot.
Derby had justifiable claims for a spot-kick waved aside when substitute Andreas Weimann’s shot hit Cooper’s arm but Leeds dug themselves back into the game before Wood’s winner.
Mirco Antenucci’s cross was wastefully headed over by the all-action striker before Cook provided the pass for Wood to twist and fire a venomous swerving shot beyond the stranded Scott Carson for his third goal in three games.
Expect both to challenge for the top six but, for the moment, it’s Leeds who expect to strengthen.
“I’m confident of signing a player before the deadline,” added Rosler. “We could still do with one or two more because we have a small squad.”
Meanwhile, Clement reflected: “We’ll probably look to the loan market for young talent.”
ON THEIR WAY: Leeds’ Tom Adeyemi celebrates scoring the opener
STAR MAN LEWIS COOK