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Thursday 19 September 2019

Roofe puts Leeds in driving seat as 'hangover' subsides

Leeds United's Kemar Roofe shoots at goal with an overhead kick. Photo: Craig Brough/Action Images via Reuters
Leeds United's Kemar Roofe shoots at goal with an overhead kick. Photo: Craig Brough/Action Images via Reuters

John Percy

Kemar Roofe says Leeds United have set aside the disappointment of letting automatic promotion slip from their grasp after his goal earned them a 1-0 win at Derby on Saturday to make them favourites to reach the Championship play-off final.

Marcelo Bielsa's side lost three of their last four regular-season games to hand second place to Sheffield United but have a spring in their step again ahead of Wednesday's semi-final second leg at Elland Road.

"We knew we couldn't let not going up automatically leave any kind of hangover," Roofe said after his second-half strike, his fourth against Derby this season, gave Leeds the upper hand.

"We can't feel sorry for ourselves. We're in the play-offs, which was our aim at the start of the season. It is still a massive achievement.

"I can't wait for our supporters to really up things at home."

The bad blood simmering between the clubs in the wake of the 'Spygate' row was not helped by the furore over a late penalty given to Derby before referee Craig Pawson changed his decision after consulting his assistant on the line.

However, Derby manager Frank Lampard feels going to Elland Road as underdogs might help his team.

"Their fans will be pumped and we'll need to show some balls but I don't mind that challenge," he said. "It's a better chance for our players to relax and be comfortable on the ball because we will be written off." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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