Snodgrass: Leeds can beat the best

24 January 2010 08:20
Leeds striker Jermaine Beckford stole the headlines at White Hart Lane on Saturday but Snodgrass also caught the eye.

Former England manager Graham Taylor, working as a pundit during the 2-2 draw, would go for Snodgrass over Beckford if given a choice between the pair, with both attracting plenty of interest from Premier League clubs.

Beckford scored both goals at White Hart Lane but Snodgrass pulled the strings as a deep-lying forward or attacking midfielder behind the striker, giving an example of why Barcelona were once interested in him while at Livingston.

The 22-year-old Scot said: "It actually shows you we are on the way up and can compete with these Premier League stars and against a top-class side. But it's up to us now to produce in the league and try to get up.

"You want to try and play the highest you possibly can and I played against Liverpool in the Carling Cup this year and felt comfortable, and felt comfortable playing against Tottenham. It was my job to try and create a few things."

Simon Grayson's men could go back to the top of League One on Tuesday if they defeat Swindon and Norwich drop points against Walsall. Returning to the Championship is the priority this season and they need to get back on track after failing to win since knocking Manchester United out of the cup.

Still, it is difficult for players not to get excited about a match at Elland Road that will remind fans about when they were in the top flight and competing in the Champions League.

"You turn up at Elld Road against Liverpool and it's just like the Champions League nights back again, it's first-class," Snodgrass said. "And all credit to the players that we've got this tie back.

"I think we can beat them. You can't go into any game thinking you can't beat them otherwise there's no point in being a professional footballer. You show them the respect when you're on that park, but they're human, just like us. It's up to us to produce.

"We're not scared of any team - Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham, these are top-class teams, and I just think we should be really, really proud of ourselves because teams have gone to those places and crumbled. And I don't think we did, against Spurs I thought we were the better team."

Beckford looks set to leave Leeds at the end of the season when his contract runs out, with Everton thought to be in the hunt for the 26-year-old. Snodgrass, however, is happy to put talk of departure to one side.

"It's up to us to get that nonsense out of our head, we've got a job to do for Leeds," he said. "If Leeds want to sell anybody I'm sure they would take it up with the player."

Another player to impress was Casper Ankergren. The 30-year-old goalkeeper saved Jermain Defoe's penalty in the first half and made a string of other fine stops.

The Dane was full of praise for Beckford and Snodgrass.

"They are big talents," he said. "Becks is just a clinical finisher and he's rapid. Sometimes people say he doesn't work too hard but you have to pick and choose.

"What do you want? Do you want the goals or do you want a striker who works hard? I think I prefer the goals, to be fair."

Peter Crouch eventually beat Ankergren, and after Beckford's first equaliser it looked like Roman Pavlyuchenko had won the fourth-round tie.

But there was a final twist when Michael Dawson was adjudged to have fouled Beckford in the fifth minute of added time, although the Spurs defender was adamant he won the ball and went to speak to referee Alan Wiley afterwards.

Dawson said: "I passed him in the corridor after everything cooled down and I just had a chat with him.

"He wanted a chat with me and I asked him if he saw it. That was that. I have to accept it. It's 2-2 and it's gone. We pick ourselves up for Tuesday against Fulham."

Source: Team_Talk

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