Mack-nificent! Leeds United boss Brian McDermott full of praise for match-winner Ross McCormack

Clinical finisher: Ross McCormack

Clinical finisher: Ross McCormack

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Barnsley 0 Leeds United 1

Leeds United manager Brian McDermott hailed Ross McCormack’s finishing prowess once again following the striker’s match-winning strike.

His 16th-minute effort from Matt Smith’s knock-down was his 29th goal of the season and left the Tykes three points from safety with three games left to play.

McDermott said: “I think the game was separated by a bit of real quality. Ross’ first touch was fabulous and then a great finish.

“He’s a match-winner and those players are very, very important.

“He took the one chance that made the difference. He’s right up there as a finisher.

“After that, I thought we deserved to win the game. They were tough conditions – it was really windy and the pitch was a bit bobbly at times.

“We have kept two clean sheets in two games and we’re delighted with that.”

Leeds defended well during the opening 45 minutes, keeping the hosts largely at bay.

Seeking a landmark 30th goal, McCormack fired a 20-yard effort over after the break and his team-mate Noel Hunt, on as a substitute in place of Mariius Zaliukas, had a shot blocked.

As the visitors continued to press forward in search of a second goal, Smith put a header on target following Tom Lees’ free-kick but it was straight at goalkeeper Luke Steele.

After Liam Lawrence put a 25-yard effort over for the hosts, Hunt threatened to find a way through at the other end following a defensive lapse before finding his route to goal blocked by Jean-Yves M’voto.

In the five minutes of stoppage time, it was Leeds who looked the more likely scorers and McCormack fired in a low drive which went wide of Steele’s left-hand post.

McDermott was delighted with the three points and added: “There are a lot of things that have gone on in the last three months.

“We needed the stability and the ownership is sorted out now.

“I never worry about my own future. I’m doing the best I possibly can and I’ve done the best I possibly can in the last year that I’ve been at Leeds.

“I might look back on this last three months and think that I’ve done well to dig in there because I’ve certainly had to do that.

“There’s definitely a different air around the place and we can look forward now, which is the important thing.”

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