Beating Spurs might allow fans to cut us some slack – Warnock
NEIL Warnock took a swipe at the Leeds boo-boys after his side pulled off a stunning 2-1 win over Tottenham at Elland Road to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup.
Leeds striker Luke Varney held his nerve after being sent clear by skipper Michael Brown's through-ball in the 15th minute to open the scoring, and Tottenham's hopes of a fightback were dealt a blow five minutes after the break when Ross McCormack slammed home a fine second.
Tottenham forward Clint Dempsey deftly headed Gareth Bale's excellent cross inside the far post eight minutes later, having earlier spurned a gilt-edged chance to reduce the deficit, but there was no way back for the Londoners.
Leeds, in fact, could have added to their tally with McCormack guilty of two bad misses in either half.
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Home defender Lee Peltier then ensured Warnock's side exacted revenge on Spurs for their triumph at Elland Road at the same stage of the competition after a replay in 2010 with a brilliant last-ditch tackle on visiting substitute John Obika in stoppage-time.
"I'll probably open a bottle of champagne tonight and have a few little tipples," said Warnock, whose side were criticised by fans after the recent league defeat at Barnsley.
"I'm sure I'll be able to do something like that. I might even treat myself to a bag of crisps."
Some Leeds fans are angry at the expected departure of leading goalscorer Luciano Becchio, but Warnock said yesterday's display should help lift the gloom.
"We've had negative press on some of the results lately and yet we've won six on the trot at home (now seven)," he said. "But in Leeds the glass is always half-empty, it's never half-full in Leeds. That might be a Yorkshire trait."
Warnock rated the win among the best since he joined the club in February last year.
"It's a fabulous day for everybody," he said. "Not just because we won the game, but we had a few problems a few weeks ago, there was a little bit of dissent around the place.
"We go to Birmingham and nobody expected us to win and 1,500 fans followed us, and today was a thank you to them because they got behind us and we ended up winning that game, which gave us the opportunity to play Spurs.
"I really enjoyed the match. We didn't get anything other than what we deserved today and we had a few chances as well. It was a typical FA Cup game. They were like that when I was a kid."
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas said Leeds deserved credit for the competitive nature of their performance and admitted that after conceding an early goal his side were always chasing the game.
"It was difficult," said Villas-Boas, who made five changes to his side. "At 2-0, Leeds got further inspiration and we wanted to get back quickly.
"We had a good 15 minutes before the goal when we had some good chances, and I think it was important to score early. It was difficult as we were always chasing the game and this is a difficult place to play, and we couldn't play our football as well as we could have."