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Leo delights the boss

English Barclays Premiership

George Graham heaped praise on Oyvind Leonhardsen after watching the team navigate a successful route through the second round of the Worthington Cup. Our tigerish midfielder opened the scoring and created the opening for Steffen Iversen to score his first goal of the season against Brentford.

“I thought Leonhardsen, who scored one, made one and could’ve had more, was outstanding,” said George. “He kept plugging away and he was getting on the end of things in the attacking third. He nearly scored one or two in the first half. I was very pleased with him.”

Leonhardsen switched to the right following the introduction of Jose Dominguez in place of Les Ferdinand. The change appeared to offer the team a better balance with Leonhardsen operating on the side of his stronger foot. George, however, was keen to pay tribute to his contribution on the left.

“He got us the goal and could have scored another one from that position, breaking from the left. He’s so full of energy and likes running off the ball. I thought he was excellent tonight, Leonhardsen."

Brentford proved to be stubborn opponents in the opening period and the failure to break that resistance frustrated the crowd.

“The first half we dominated so much, but we couldn’t get the goal again,” George reflected. “The team was nice and patient, played the ball around and eventually we got it and arguably could have won by any number. It was just a matter of getting the first goal. You can get a bit impatient, but the boys still played the ball around quite well.”

The return of Dominguez was a welcome boost for the manager, who after the match admitted that Chris Armstrong could still be some weeks from fitness.

“Throwing Jose on gave us a bit of width, he likes running at players but he’s not fit yet. He’s been injured for quite a while, but he gives us a different option.

Briefly looking ahead to the weekend trip to Elland Road, George commented: “Leeds is always a difficult place to go to. Back to work.