Leeds United boss McDermott has ‘mixed emotions’ after dramatic finale to Elland Road thriller (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Leeds United boss Brian McDermott has ‘mixed emotions’ after dramatic finale to Elland Road thriller
5:40pm Sunday 8th December 2013 in Sport
Both managers were happy to put on an entertaining show as Leeds and Watford played out a thrilling 3-3 draw at Elland Road.
The Hornets, without a win in seven ahead of kick-off, used their pace to full effect in the first half to take a 2-0 lead into the break thanks to goals from Troy Deeney and Christian Battocchio.
A half-time talking-to from Brian McDermott whipped Leeds up, though, and with 12 minutes left they led as Danny Pugh, Matt Smith and then Ross McCormack all found the net.
It appeared as though McCormack’s goal was destined to be the winner, with the newly-crowned Sky Bet Championship player of the month pouncing for his 16th of the season and tenth in seven games.
But there was still time for one more twist as Deeney netted with Paddy Kenny on the floor after pushing out George Thorne’s shot, giving way to a draw which brought a standing ovation from all four stands.
“I have mixed emotions as it could have gone either way. It was such an open game and in a game like that, anything can happen,” said McDermott.
“Even at 3-2 I felt we needed a fourth. We were unfortunate not to get it but Watford are a good side who were nearly in the Premier League this season.
“We were 2-0 down and I am proud of the players. We were unfortunate not to win but I can’t be too greedy.
“There may be an initial disappointment that we didn’t win but we may well reflect on this as a good point.”
Deeney’s second denied Leeds what would have been a sixth home win on the bounce, with McCormack at the fulcrum of that run.
He became the first United player since Jermaine Beckford to score in six successive Elland Road games and McDermott is enjoying watching the Scotland international in action.
“He was bright and vibrant and he makes things happen. We need the big players to come up with the goods,” he added.
“He’s working so hard, his mentality... He’s playing like a leader. He’s not at his peak yet and he’s getting better all the time. I’m delighted for him and so are the players.”
Watford boss Gianfranco Zola said: “The first half was brilliant, the second... It was a great game, very entertaining and the people who have come here have had a lot of pleasure.
“Leeds deserve a point, they created a lot of chances and a draw is a fair result.
“But we had to show we were not going backwards against Leeds, especially in a stadium like this with a passionate crowd.
“We needed to show spirit and determination and I see a lot of encouraging things happening in my team right now.”