Ben Parker, more than most, has been happy to have been taking part in Leeds United’s recent run of behind closed doors friendlies.
The left-back was injured in the opening game of the club’s promotion season, and is hoping to return to first team action after 16 months out of the side. He told the club’s website: “I’m feeling pretty good in myself. Over the past month I’ve felt as good as I have done for a long while.”
Parker did briefly return to the side in April, but broke down after just an hour of his comeback. With George McCartney due to return to parent club Sunderland at the end of the month, Parker is primed to be a key part of the team in the second half of the season: “I went a long time without a game” Parker said: “I’m aiming to keep performing and staying healthy. I think I’m getting back to where I want to be.”
Bates praise for groundstaff.
Despite the big freeze, Leeds United’s game against QPR went ahead at the weekend, making it 16 years since a game was last postponed due to the weather at Elland Road.
The determination to get the games on has maintained the clubs momentum and has seen them take advantage of games being called off to move into 2nd place in the table. Ken Bates had nothing but praise for the groundstaff during his weekly interview on Yorkshire Radio: “The groundstaff deserve great complements when other big city clubs couldn’t open their gates.”
He also offered criticism of bigger clubs and their lack of desire to get games on: “I’m surprised some of them haven’t been better organised, we went to great lengths and put a lot of hard work in to ensure we played.”
Neil Collins has told the Yorkshire Evening Post that the team are not getting too excited by their lofty position at this early stage of the season.
The Scottish defender said: “Without being boring you don’t want to get carried away.” Collins has been promoted to the Premier League with Wolves and Sunderland and is aware how things can change over the Christmas period, but despite the team remaining focused can understand the excitement the team’s form is generating: “At the end of the day, Leeds fans deserve something to be giddy about as they have had a long hard time away and it’s good for them to enjoy it and up to us to keep up the expectations”.