Neil Warnock wants 'hostile' atmosphere at Elland Road for West Ham visit

 

Leeds boss Neil Warnock believes a "hostile and intimidating" atmosphere at Elland Road tomorrow can inspire his side to victory over promotion hopefuls West Ham in the npower Championship.

The Hammers make the trip north on the back of consecutive home draws against Watford and Doncaster which have seen them drop to third in the table.

Leeds are pushing for a play-off place, going into the game four points outside the top six, and Warnock insists his team will go all out for the win.

"I don't want any negativity. Let's all get together and have a real positive atmosphere," he told the club's official website.

"It makes a statement when Leeds United gets a crowd of 30,000 and it can be hostile and intimidating.

"It's a great stadium when it's nearly full like this and what a great opportunity for us to try and beat a West Ham team, who have the best away record in the division. We'll certainly be looking for the win."

West Ham's faltering recent form has allowed Southampton to go two points clear at the top of the table, with Reading now second a point ahead of the Hammers, who have a game in hand on their title rivals.

Saints travel to struggling Millwall, who knocked them out of the FA Cup last month.

Reading travel to Barnsley boosted by the loan signing of former West Ham midfielder Hayden Mullins from Portsmouth until the end of the season.

And the new arrival, who was born in Reading, is hoping to help his hometown club continue their impressive form after eight wins and one draw in their past nine games.

"I'll try and back the boys up and if I need to fill in anywhere I will," Mullins told the club's official website.

"I know the run that the club have been on, everyone knows that in the division - and Reading are the team to stop at the moment."

Fourth-placed Middlesbrough, seven points behind West Ham, travel to a Birmingham side who have slipped out of automatic promotion contention following four league games without a win.

Brighton in fifth are away at another play-off contender in Blackpool and boss Gus Poyet is confident his team can finish in the top six.

"We have a great chance of getting into the play-offs, but it's not in our hands," the Uruguayan told the club's official website.

"People say that if we win every game we will make it, but it's not realistic. Every other team will also look to win all of their remaining games and if that happens Birmingham City and Hull City will move above us because they have played less games.

"It is still very open and every team has got to be on their game because it's not the right time to have a bad run. Any team that has a bad run now could find themselves out of the race because a lot of teams are on fire near the top."

Hull hold the last play-off spot, a point behind the Seagulls, and travel to Crystal Palace.

Elsewhere, crisis club Portsmouth, bottom of the table, host Bristol City and second bottom Coventry travel to Watford, while Doncaster, third bottom, host Derby and Ipswich entertain Peterborough.

PA

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