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  Thursday, 12 December, 2002, 23:21 GMT
Bridges blow for Leeds
The Leeds bench look on in frustration
It was another frustrating night for the Leeds bench
Leeds striker Michael Bridges faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after limping out of his team's Uefa Cup defeat at home to Malaga.

The striker had only just returned to the first team after two years out with a series of ankle and knee problems.

But the former Sunderland striker has now suffered a suspected ruptured Achilles tendon in his left foot.

"It doesn't look good at all," said Leeds boss Terry Venables.

I feel broken-hearted for the kid

Terry Venables

"I had a quick word with him and he said he felt as if something had snapped.

"I feel broken-hearted for the kid. He's had two years out and worked ever so hard to get back.

"He started his first game at Fulham on Saturday and was really looking forward to this game. Now he's got a bad one.

"Whatever had happened against Malaga would have been dampened by Michael's injury."

Leeds dominated chunks of their Uefa Cup third round second-leg tie but their 2-1 defeat adds to the mounting problems at Elland Road.

Venables however insisted he was largely pleased with their display.

"I felt we were so much better for long periods of time.

"Malaga are a very good side, but after they went a goal up we showed great spirit.

"We got back to 1-1, and I thought we were the team which was going to go ahead.

"The players had got the crowd behind them, and it just slipped away from us."

I've been aware of the fans' complaints for a long time, but I keep going

Terry Venables

And the under-pressure boss again rebuffed any questions regarding his future at the club.

"I've been aware of the fans' complaints for a long time, but I keep going," said the former England coach.

"I'm not deaf, but it has no effect.

"It's become a way of life. It's been like it a long while. It's not pleasant, but I've got used to it.

"I'm a professional and I will maintain that stance."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Ian Dennis
"Leeds showed a fighting spirit - literally at times"
Leeds boss Terry Venables
"The spirit in our side was great"

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