Simon Grayson has been forced to defend himself following the controversy surrounding the red card shown to Nottingham Forest’s Chris Cohen in Leeds United’s stormy 4-1 victory on Saturday.
The Forest full back was dismissed for a challenge on United’s George McCartney, and was dismissed by referee Mark Halsey after consultation with his assistant. Forest though believe that Halsey showed the red card purely down to the reaction of the Leeds bench, which saw Grayson enter the field of play to show his displeasure at the challenge.
The bad blood simmered throughout the match, and saw Nottingham Forest assistant manager David Kelly refuse to shake Grayson’s hand after the game. Forest boss Billy Davies also intimated in his post-match comments that Grayson’s behaviour was the reason that the Forest man was dismissed.
Grayson though defended his actions telling the Yorkshire Post: “The referee has done that and it is down to him (Kelly) what problems he has got with it. If it had been the other way round and a tackle by my player on his then I am sure he would have jumped up and down. I have seen instances this season where their bench has been up and down so I am sure he would have backed his player.”
Gradel nearly subbed.
Simon Grayson has admitted that he was about to substitute Max Gradel before he delivered two goals in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Nottingham Forest.
The Ivorian forward was enduring a frustrating afternoon before popping up with a superb volley goal on 73 minutes to give United some breathing space. He then tapped home from close range in the dying minutes to seal a vital win over their promotion rivals.
Grayson though told leedsunited.com that he was contemplating a change to try to clinch the win: “It was one of those afternoons when it just wasn’t happening for him when he had possession.” Gradel had wasted numerous opportunities, a fact not lost on the Leeds boss: “You can never fault Max’s work rate, his desire and his energy but he can drive you mad at times with his quality.”
Gradel rewarded his manager perseverance, taking his tally for the season to 16 goals with his double strike.
Howson gets award.
Leeds skipper Jonny Howson has been rewarded for a series of fine displays by winning the ESPN Championship player of the month for March. Howson makes it a hat-trick of triumphs for Leeds United, following team-mate Robert Snodgrass’s double triumph in January and February.
Howson scored a fine double against Doncaster Rovers in the 5-2 win at the start of the month, and led the team to pick up seven points from the 12 on offer. He was a late-call-up for the England U-21 squad for their recent double-header, but was pulled out for treatment on a hamstring injury, a decision vindicated for Leeds by his performance against Nottingham Forest on Saturday, which included the vital opening goal.