Leeds United out to wreck Danny Wilson’s ‘dream’ start

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Max Gradel is a transfer target of Brian McDermott Max Gradel is a transfer target of Brian McDermott

Leeds will be wary of the new manager factor when Danny Wilson begins his second spell as Barnsley boss with Saturday's Yorkshire derby at Elland Road.

The Whites have taken 13 points from the last 15 on home turf and moved back into the play-offs with last week’s 3-0 triumph at Doncaster.

Rock-bottom Barnsley’s visit should offer the perfect opportunity to cement that place in the top six. But the wily Wilson, who should have top scorer Chris O’Grady back from a calf injury, has challenged his new side to rip up the form book.

Wilson said: “It’s a terrific challenge. We’ve got a lot of tough games coming and there’s none better than a derby to get started.

“To win that one would be the stuff dreams are made of.”

Leeds hot-shot Ross McCormack continues to live the dream after netting 11 goals in his last seven outings. The onus will be on the Scot to keep scoring after crocked Dexter Blackstock had to return to Nottingham Forest.

Brian McDermott’s options will be tested over the hectic Christmas schedule but striker Noel Hunt is ready to throw his name back in the frame after two months out.

The Irishman said: “There are a lot of games in a short space of time so you need to dig deep into your squad.

“Hopefully I will get back and get involved.”

McDermott is eyeing a January move to bring back winger Max Gradel from St Etienne – something that McCormack would welcome.

He said: “Max is a good guy. The formation at the moment might have to change to accommodate him but that’s what you do with good players.”

McDermott has identified Gradel as one of several targets as he bids to give the club’s
promotion push a boost during the transfer window.

Gradel was controversially sold to the French side for less than £2million in 2011 after scoring 25 goals in 84 appearances.

“He’s a player all Leeds fans know and love,” said McDermott. “I have a target of two or three players that we’ll look at in January. Max Gradel would be on a list of players we like.”

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