Leeds need to repair image

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The Independent Online
Howard Wilkinson, the Leeds manager, sends a patched-up side out to face Newcastle tonight at Elland Road but he promises: "Now we have a chance to repair our tarnished image. This is our first live TV game since the Coca-Cola Cup defeat by Aston Villa at Wembley.

"That performance left a bad taste in our mouth. This one will be all about self-esteem and character. I cannot pick the team I would like, but if all the players selected give it their best shot Kevin Keegan will know his side have been in a game."

Senior players at Leeds were furious at the Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson's recent remarks, accusing them of being under-achievers.

The Yorkshire club's fans would prefer Newcastle to win the title but Wilkinson said: "There is no such dilemma for me or the players tomorrow.

"We have no preferences. Quite simply the team that gathers the most points will win the Premiership and deservedly so."

Tomas Brolin, Richard Jobson, Tony Dorigo and John Pemberton are all out injured for Leeds while Carlton Palmer is serving a one match suspension. The striker Tony Yeboah could again be ruled out after missing six matches with a knee problem.

Keegan, meanwhile, could look to Keith Gillespie as his Frenchman David Ginola is sidelined through suspension. Gillespie has been fighting a fitness battle on two fronts with an ankle injury and a bout of tonsillitis.

"I've done some running and if there is no reaction I am hoping to be in the frame for Monday's game," Gillespie said.

Newcastle's assistant manager, Terry McDermott, said: "Come Monday we'll know exactly what we need to do and what is expected. It is not the ideal situation but at least it leaves it in our hands. Really we know we've got to win our three games anyway, irrespective of what else happens."

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