Grayson wants the best from Whites

02 February 2010 04:55
Prolific Beckford burst on to the national stage after poaching the winner against Manchester United in the FA Cup third round and hogged the headlines after his stoppage-time penalty equaliser in the fourth-round tie at White Hart Lane.

The 26-year-old forward, who had withdrawn a transfer request before his heroics against Tottenham, fired his 23rd and 24th goals of the season on Saturday to help Leeds pick up their promotion bid with a 2-0 win against Colchester.

And a half-smiling Grayson suggested it was now time for someone else to step forward.

When asked how his players would approach the fourth-round replay, considering Championship football next season is the main aim, Grayson said: "We'll just go and enjoy it. We've not really spoken about it. We'll just go and enjoy it like we did at Old Trafford."

He has already decided what to tell the players ahead of the clash with Harry Redknapp's Premier League superstars, and today he explained the message would be: "Give the best account of yourselves that you can, have no regrets when you come off the pitch and somebody try to be a hero again because Jermaine's got a lot of the headlines in the last couple of rounds. It would be nice for somebody else to get them for a change."

Leeds have won some new friends under Grayson this season, with an eye-catching display in the Carling Cup defeat to Liverpool in September serving as a warm-up for the upset at Old Trafford and the inspired late rally against Spurs.

All three high profile cup ties were screened live on television, but Grayson stops short of agreeing Leeds are ready to shed their reputation as one of the country's least liked clubs on the back of some favourable national coverage.

He said: "I'd like to think that we're trying to do something about it because of the way that we play.

"There's been a stigma attached to the football club for the last 30 or 40 years, justifiably so or unjustifiably so, that's down to people's opinions.

"All I'm trying to do as a manager is create a team that is hard-working, has a desire to succeed and try to entertain as well, and if it means we're liked, well so be it and if we're not liked and are winning football matches, then who cares?"

Former Blackpool manager Grayson will take heart, in that respect, from comments made by Redknapp after the Tottenham boss had just seen Beckford's last-gasp equaliser deny his side passage through to a fifth-round tie at Bolton.

Grayson added: "He was very complimentary about how we played. He was obviously very disappointed after conceding such a late goal and he made me laugh in his press conference when he said he'd love to come up to Leeds on a Tuesday night and wanted (Michael) Dawson to give away a penalty.

"That's Harry for you. He's a top footballing bloke and I'm sure he'll enjoy the experience at Elland Road on Wednesday night.

"I wouldn't underestimate Tottenham by any stretch of the imagination. They are a big force and when you've got (Peter) Crouch and (Jermain) Defoe and others in your team, it's a big, tough test for us.

"Even though we're at home and it's going to be a sell-out, the atmosphere's going to be fantastic, we know what sort of game we're going to be involved in and if we do ourselves credit - win, lose or draw - then I'll be more than happy with that."

Tottenham 4/5, Draw 12/5, Leeds 10/3  

Source: Team_Talk

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