Leeds United boss: Fans played their part in opening day win

Ross McCormack celebrates opening the scoring for Leeds United against Brighton. Picture: IAN HARBER
Ross McCormack celebrates opening the scoring for Leeds United against Brighton. Picture: IAN HARBER
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Leeds United manager Brian McDermott has thanked the fans who packed into Elland Road for the part they played in the Whites’ dramatically clinched opening day victory in the Championship.

United’s biggest opening day home crowd for a decade roared the side on to a 2-1 victory over Brighton with Luke Murphy’s winning goal coming just 15 seconds from time.

The three points rewarded the fans for their noisy support in a noticeably positive, party-like atmosphere, but McDermott believed they also did their bit to help the team win.

He said: “We’d worked hard in pre-season, but when the season starts and there’s 30,000 plus it’s a different kettle of fish.

“You have to use the crowd to your advantage and they dragged us over the line.

“I’ve been here before with away teams, but never seen it like that. It was a different level, right from the anthem before the game. It was different. When we went 1-0 down there were no rumblings, everyone kept together. I’d have loved to see the volume of noise after the goal.”

McDermott also praised his players.

He added: “Bringing Matt gave us another dimension. Dominic Poleon did well when he came on and so did Adam Drury. It’s about the group, though, not individuals, because we’re going to need everyone over the course of the season.

“We deserved a break at the end and sometimes if you do the right things you get a break.

“Paddy (Kenny) made a match-winning double save not long before the end and you hope you get a break at the other end.

“There was a dispute over our winner, but we had one about their goal. It could have been 1-0 on that basis. It was a terrific finish. Matt Smith got a header down, but last kick of the game? We’ll take that in the first game of the season.”