Leeds United manager Simon Grayson has turned the other cheek after criticism from Coventry City striker Gary McSheffrey.

Leeds chase their third successive away win, at the Ricoh Stadium tomorrow, with Grayson refusing to rise to McSheffrey’s jibes.

McSheffrey angered Leeds chairman Ken Bates this week by claiming Grayson had shown him disrespect by ignoring him and failing to take up an option on his services in the summer. Instead Coventry stepped in to sign him on a free transfer from Birmingham.

McSheffrey, who has scored four goals in his last five games for Coventry, also claimed Leeds should have signed Sky Blues midfielder Michael Doyle, who spent all last season on loan at Elland Road.

And if they face Leeds tomorrow both men will have something to prove.

Grayson said: “Players are entitled to their opinions but I am not going to get into a war of words with McSheffrey.

“It isn’t the first time a player has been disappointed about not signing for a fantastic club like Leeds. I am just concerned with getting the best out of my players when we take on Coventry.

“I was really excited about signing Gary on loan from Birmingham in January. He helped us get promoted, as did Michael Doyle, but I made a decision at the end of the season that there were other avenues to go down by signing different personnel. I felt the decision was right for Leeds and the pair of them left.

“When Gary left it’s not as if I never spoke to him about what was going to happen. He has found his home in Coventry and done well recently by scoring a few goals and I wish him and Michael well after the weekend.

“Michael was a big part of our success and maybe he was unfortunate not to be signed by us but we decided to go down a different road.”

Bates reacted to McSheffrey’s remarks by claiming the striker failed to make an impact while on loan at Leeds and advising him to “let his feet do the talking”.

After wins at Middlesbrough and Scunthorpe, Grayson is looking to extend the away run and said: “Our away form has been very good recently. Players maybe play with more freedom away from home, or maybe teams sit back at Elland Road and catch us on the break.

“Everyone would love to see good home form but if we are picking up wins, whether they are at home or away, I will settle for that.”

United are still without the injured Richard Naylor, Sanchez Watt and Shane Higgs, but Lloyd Sam, who has missed the last five matches, is nearing full fitness and Billy Paynter came through another 90 minutes in a behind closed doors friendly at Blackburn this week.

Ross McCormack is back in training and is also in contention, but Grayson has to decide whether to change a winning team.