Neil Warnock assures Leeds fans El-Hadji Diouf 'will not go anywhere else'

 

Leeds fans should not worry about losing El-Hadji Diouf in the January transfer window following another stellar display, according to his manager, Neil Warnock.

The Senegal international was once again at the top of his game last night as Leeds bloodied the noses of Everton and sent the Premier League high-flyers packing in the Carling Cup at the third-round stage.

Goals from Aidy White and Rodolph Austin ensured the that Sylvain Distin's late header was nothing more than a consolation in a 2-1 defeat for Everton, but it was the showing of Diouf that got many talking.

He has rarely been a popular figure during his decade-long stay in England, with Warnock himself once comparing him to a sewer rat.

The pair have formed an unlikely double act at Elland Road, though, and even though Diouf could walk away from Leeds in January, Warnock is sure that they will remain as football's odd couple.

"Dioufy will not go anywhere else, he's promised me certain things and I'm happy with that," Warnock said.

"He's obviously not doing it for money, he's one of the lowest-paid players at the club. He's not going to get a stage like this again is he? He's a matador and you need something like that.

"It's no good going to Saudi Arabia or Dubai or wherever he was going for six or seven times the wages. He's better off with me, isn't he? He's given me his word, if that's worth it. He's been straight up with me and I've been straight up with him."

But while Warnock was left to purr about Diouf and claim that any side - including his own - left in the competition could win it, opposite number David Moyes headed back to Merseyside reflecting on another missed chance.

Despite the sterling work the Scot has done in his decade in charge at Goodison, a losing appearance in an FA Cup final is the nearest they have come to winning some silverware.

Assistant manager Steve Round spoke in the build-up to last night's tie about how this season could be Everton's time, but they failed to deliver, with a much-changed line-up simply not turning up.

Six players were rested from the side which beat Swansea 3-0 on Saturday, but Moyes was adamant that a poor start - White scored after four minutes - was to blame for the loss and not the alterations.

"We were not very good in the first half, but we got better in the second, but not as good as we've been playing," he said.

"We started terribly, gave them the initiative and lost the game in the opening 20 minutes due to the way we started. We gave away a really poor first goal and left ourselves trying to get back into the game."

On whether or not his decision to rest players was key, he added: "These boys are in the squad and have to be able to show they can come in and play. If you don't use them, what's the point in having them? The players want to play and be involved."

PA

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