Leeds v Southampton Preview: Warnock taking measure
Published 08:32 03/03/12 By Jeremy Butler
Neil Warnock reckons he will know which players he can flog this summer once today’s clash with Southampton is over.
The Leeds manager accepts promotion this season is a testing prospect and he already has one eye on next term.
And he plans to measure the capabilities of his current squad by watching them taking on Championship leaders Saints at Elland Road.
Warnock has seen his team beat strugglers Doncaster at the death and battle out a draw with relegation candidates Portsmouth since taking over. Now he wants to see how they cope against a club with genuine Premier League ambitions.
He said: “They’ve got great players all over and it’s going to be good for me.
“I’ve seen my players away from home and against Doncaster, which was very up in the air.
“Now I’m going to see them against the leaders with the best forward line.
“That will tell me a hell of a lot. It will tell me whether we’re not too far away, or whether
we’re miles away from that sort of level.”
Southampton boss Nigel Adkins reckons the pressure will be on Leeds today.
With second-placed West Ham, who have a game in hand, not in action until tomorrow, the Saints have a chance to open up a four-point lead at the top.
Adkins said: “They have changed their manager, but there have been a few clubs of late that have changed their manager to try and get themselves promoted.
“I thought Simon Grayson was doing a good job up at Leeds, but they have brought Neil in to get them into the play-off positions and maybe even the automatic spots – but they can’t afford to lose many more games. There is a lot of pressure on Leeds to win the game, and I think it will be played with a lot of intensity.”
Southampton go into the game unbeaten in six League matches and Adkins is confident his players can handle the occasion.
He added: “There will probably be 35,000 people in the ground, so there will be a lot of noise.
“We have big crowds at Southampton too, so it isn’t something we will worry about.
“We have to go up to Yorkshire and the experience that the players have gained this season puts them in a good position.
“We have been on a really good run of form, so we go up to Elland Road full of confidence.”