Warnock: Home win won’t change my plans

Billy Paynter, whose future at Leeds United is still uncertain. Picture: IAN HARBER
Billy Paynter, whose future at Leeds United is still uncertain. Picture: IAN HARBER

LEEDS United boss Neil Warnock was relieved to have finally got a home win under his belt on Saturday, but will not let the victory deflect him from the rebuilding job he is planning.

While the 4-1 victory over Peterborough was the Whites’ most convincing since Warnock took over as manager it did not change the task ahead and the first job would be to get some consistency after the ups and downs of his time so far at Elland Road.

He said: “I don’t get carried away, nothing has changed my opinion on what I need.

“You haven’t got to be kidded by one result. We could have easily lost the game in the first half even though we started well and I thought we could have been three or four up. How we missed those chances I’ll never know.

“We had a bit of luck with the first goal with calamitous defending by Peterborough which let us in. I was hoping to just go in at 1-0 and not 2-0 so to get a goal was a massive plus.

“After my words at half-time the players responded. They got on the front foot, we made them make mistakes and we could have had a lot of goals.

“The win’s been a long time coming, We’ve had some great performances and some diabolical performances. We seem to be on a toss of a coin.

“You don’t know what you’re going to get at the moment, but you’ve got to know week in, week out what you’re going to get and that’s what we’ve got to try and build in the next few months.”

Warnock had words of praise for forwards Billy Paynter and Ross McCormack, who scored two goals each, but admitted it was not clear yet whether Paynter would still be at the club next year after struggling to make an impact in his two years at Leeds before Saturday’s game.

He added: “I haven’t got a clue (if Billy Paynter will stay). I don’t think anyone can tell me who is going to be involved, but I think you would be an idiot if you wanted to leave.

“I just wanted to have a look at him. I was pleased for Billy. He did ever so well. He’s been like that in training and that’s why I played him.

“It was a good opportunity, he’s been shining in training and I thought: ‘To hell with it’.

“I told him at half-time that he deserved his goal and he said: ‘Really gaffer? I thought I should have had a hat-trick’, and he could.”

“I’m a big Becchio fan, but he’s been doing a lot of running with 10 men against Reading and Derby and he’s looked a bit drained. Billy Paynter looked fantastic when he came on as sub last week and he’s been very good all week.

“I see Ross McCormack playing an important part next year. Whether he’ll start games all the time I don’t know, but you need a deep squad and if you’ve got that you’ve got the options.

“Ross’s goals speak for themselves, he’s done fantastic. He’s never worked as hard in his life and he’s getting the rewards.”

“I’m hoping Charlie Taylor will learn from that. When you’re a defender you’ve got to learn to defend in certain situations and not do it again. I was disappointed with the goal and he needs to learn from that.

“We’ve got to try to get him some games at the start of next season and loan him out somewhere to toughen him up and give him that physical and mental aspect. But he’s a great prospect and he’ll be disappointed, but he’ll be okay.”