Derby County 0 Leeds Utd 0: Leeds hopes thwarted by rudderless Derby

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The Independent Online

Leeds could not be faulted for effort as managerless, debt-ridden Derby defied their League position with a gutsy display at Pride Park. But in the wider context of their promotion ambitions, Leeds will regard a point as insufficient, not least in the knowledge that Sheffield United were similarly held at Plymouth. Watford's handsome destruction of Coventry only heightened their frustration.

Leeds now face Watford at Elland Road on Tuesday, the same night that Neil Warnock's side - whose grip on second place they still believe can be loosened - meet runaway leaders Reading.

"The first requirement away from home is not to lose," the disappointed Leeds manager, Kevin Blackwell, said. "You need breaks to get more than that and today we didn't get them."

Debts , at least, are no longer a concern for Leeds, which cannot be said of Derby, who have seen their liabilities increase from £30m to £45m under the stewardship of the current board, who faced a demonstration calling for their removal from up to 1,000 fans in front of the stadium's main entrance after the final whistle.

They might get their wish in the next few days if a consortium involving the former vice-chairman Peter Gadsby succeeds with a takeover bid.

On the field, Leeds created more goal threats but a Derby defence marshalled by the experienced former West Bromwich Albion centre-back Darren Moore stood firm. Derby have won only once in their last 11 Championship games and dropped 30 points at home, but they put Leeds under more pressure than their visitors might have expected.

Indeed, they had the best opportunity after 58 minutes when the on-loan Spurs striker Mounir El Hamdaoui put Danny Graham clean through, but he shot straight at the Leeds goalkeeper Neil Sullivan.

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