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Leeds United chairman Ken Bates warns players that their jobs are on the line
Published : 17 Feb 2010 19:46:43
In a withering attack, Bates also leveled accusations of complacency at the team as his Yorkshire club's faltering promotion push suffered a fresh set-back when Walsall became the first League One side to beat Simon Grayson's team on home soil this season with a surprising 2-1 win. 'The boys have got to knuckle down,' Bates said. 'Some of them, of course, will be playing for their jobs next season so it is up to them. Related ArticlesLeeds strive to overhaul NorwichBates hits out at 'basic' CarlisleLeeds: players were attacked on pitchCarlisle await FA response to pitch invasionLeeds United win hearts and mindsSport on television'We have the players, we have the ability as we have shown, the quality and the tenacity and fighting spirit to get out of this league without too much trouble but only if we get back to our earlier form when we played as if our lives depended upon it. 'I am sure that Simon, judging by his reaction on Tuesday night, is aware of the problem in certain areas with certain players and I am sure that will be put right. 'We are a big club and we have a big squad and a good management team and now we just need a determination to demonstrate our superior ability. We are the biggest club in the division and we simply have to play like it and not play like an also-ran. Worryingly for Bates, Leeds have now won just once in their last seven league outings and Bates suggested that Grayson's charges have been raising the white flag. 'We have gone off the boil a bit,' Bates added. 'We had a great win against Manchester United and a great performance against Spurs and I think some of the players think the rest of the league is easy which it isn't. When I was watching the Walsall game I noticed that when they got their first goal two of our defenders stood looking at (Julian) Gray wondering what he was going to do. They should have closed him down but because they stood off him they let him get his cross in. That is just slackness and it has got to stop. Bates continued: 'The games that we have lost or lost points in we haven't been beaten, we have surrendered. The reports of the last three games say we played brilliantly that it is a lack of clinical finishing. Those who watched the Bristol Rovers v Charlton game saw Bristol harry Charlton like a pack of terriers, hunt them down and give them no respite and fought man to man. 'We need 28 points to get promotion and we have 16 games left. We are still three points ahead of Colchester with a game in hand and better goal difference and it is up to us to get on with it. 'The only consolation is that our biggest competitors, Charlton, have also suffered a blip so we have got off lightly. It will be a four-horse race certainly until the end of March because Colchester are doing very well.' Bates also said former Manchester City forward Paul Dickov was on the brink of joining Leeds. 'He landed this morning and he is coming back to the club,' Bates said. 'We have had discussions with his agent so it is up to him now. Simon sees him as the last piece of the jigsaw and he will give us more options up front. 'He is a cheeky little player and he has demonstrated on the training pitch that is as fit and quick as ever. He could be playing for a position next season so he has every incentive. Simon knows him from Blackpool and now it is up to Dickov.'