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Last Updated: Friday, 9 March 2007, 07:06 GMT
Leeds United against the world
By Chris Bevan

Gus Poyet and Dennis Wise
Poyet and Wise have 10 games to save Leeds from relegation

It would be easy for Gus Poyet to think the world is against him - as assistant manager of Leeds United it often is.

But the charismatic Uruguayan is still enjoying life as Dennis Wise's number two despite the predicament his side find themselves in at the bottom of the Championship.

Four points adrift of safety with 10 games to go, the outlook on the pitch is bleak for a Leeds side that have not won in five matches.

That is without mentioning developments off the field where, in the past month, one player has been accused of leaking team news to the opposition and another - captain Kevin Nicholls - has asked for a move to one of their relegation rivals.

606: DEBATE

All this at a club that just six years ago reached the Champions League semi-final too, as if they are not reminded of that often enough.

There are plenty of people who would love to see Leeds, chairman Ken Bates and Wise end up in League One but Poyet remains unruffled.

I know it is good news for some people if Leeds fail. It is much better for the press for something to go wrong here than at smaller clubs

Leeds assistant boss Gus Poyet

"Dennis and I know all about that already - we had it as players at Chelsea and we have been dealing with it for years," the former Uruguay international told BBC Sport.

"When Chelsea went to play a smaller team in the FA Cup the ground was always full of reporters and you are thinking are they here to cover the game or because they are waiting for us to lose to make a bigger story from that.

"I know it is good news for some people if Leeds fail. It is much better for the press for something to go wrong here than at smaller clubs.

"But seriously we don't think about that. I am just trying to get on with my job and to get the best out of our players.

Poyet is clearly flummoxed by the Nicholls situation - which ironically has come about ahead of Leeds' crunch match at Elland Road this weekend.

"Football is crazy," Poyet said. "You come in one morning and everything is alright - then you turn around and your captain wants to go to a team who you are playing on Saturday?

"I have to pinch myself sometimes to see if I am dreaming because that cannot be real.

"Do I feel under pressure now? No. What happened there shows I don't know what is going to happen in the next five minutes, so why worry about Saturday? Too many things can happen."

Leeds' poor form is more of a concern but Poyet is persuasive when he argues why they can still survive.

"If we were still in the position we were in back in December where we were losing by two or three goals and not creating chances there would be problems," he explained.

"You could see then something was missing and I would be really worried if it was the same situation now.

Kevin Nicholls
Nicholls stunned Leeds by asking to return to Luton Town

"But from 1 January onwards we have only lost games by one goal - so it is there for us to see - we are close.

"We just have not scored at the right time - one goal can change not only those games but the whole season. That is why we keep believing and are still really positive.

"We can still win every game. I know it is easy to say it and very difficult to do it - but it is true."

In under two months time Poyet, Wise - and the rest of Leeds - will know whether that belief is misplaced.

Until then Poyet will keep smiling and, apart from staying up, he has only one wish.

"I'd love it to be really quiet between now and the end of the season - so we could just train and play," he said.

"I would love to have a completely normal run-in with no fuss. I don't want any more problems or complaints - or any fights or rumours."

That would certainly help Leeds' cause but, if recent events at Elland Road are anything to go by, it seems a lot to ask.



SEE ALSO
Poyet focused on clash with Luton
09 Mar 07 |  Leeds United
Moore hits out at Leeds captain
05 Mar 07 |  Leeds United
Wise lambasts wantaway Nicholls
03 Mar 07 |  Leeds United
Leeds 2-3 Sheff Wed
03 Mar 07 |  Championship
Wise glad he revealed team leak
16 Feb 07 |  Leeds United
How can Leeds save themselves?
23 Jan 07 |  Leeds United
Wise takes over as Leeds manager
24 Oct 06 |  Leeds United


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