Leeds United 3-3 Watford: McDermott Praises Fans, Zola Convinced Of Foul In Second Leeds Goal

Leeds United manager Brian McDermott praised the home support after his side came from two-goals down at half-time to draw 3-3 at Elland Road. The home fans made an electric atmosphere in the second-half after Matt Smith pulled one back for Leeds and the manager believes this was key in the home side getting back into the game. He said:

"We got ourselves back to 2-1 and the whole place erupted like I knew it would. It was a fantastic atmosphere in Elland Road today and I was proud of my players." "It was an absolutely great atmosphere in there today. I'm sure they'll be initial disappointment that we didn't manage to win the game 3-2 but I think the fans will go home and think they've seen some good football with some real desire from our players."
The Leeds United manager was also very complimentary of star-striker Ross McCormack, who was involved in all three of his sides goals today and took his tally to ten goals in six games. McDermott said:
"You could see he was bright, vibrant and made things happen. It was a great finish for the goal, he was unlucky with his header it must've been pretty close to being onside." "He's working so hard. He's playing like a leader and he's still not at his peak yet. Alex Mowatt, Luke Murphy, take your pick. We've got a lot of great young players coming through. We're trying to build something, not make a short fix."
Speaking shortly afterwards Watford manager Gianfranco Zola spoke of his disappoint with the referee Trevor Kettle as he believes the official missed a clear foul in the build-up to Leeds' equaliser. He said:
"I'm disappointed with the second goal they scored as it was a clear foul. I have to say the referee was very good until then but at that moment, from my point of view, he spoiled the game. It was a clear foul. Also, the third goal it was differently a throw-in for us." "Those two mistakes upset me a little bit but at the end of the day I'm happy with the point and it could've been more."
The Italian had seen his side enter the interval with a 2-0 advantage but it was cut-back quickly by Matt Smith's goal early in the second half, which the former-Chelsea star thinks was key to the game. He said:
"That was the key. My half-way team talk was mostly about the first ten minutes. How we had to focus on the pitch but unfortunately we didn't do that." "Considering the types of games we played and the situation we're going through this is a good point. It's not easy for anyone to come here and get that."
He was also very pleased with Troy Deeney's performance. The striker had put Watford into a twelfth minute lead before scoring a vital equaliser five minutes from time. Zola also had kind words for Ikechi Anya:
"I'm delighted for him (Deeney). We had some discussions and it's so good to see him back on track and playing, scoring. He's big for us." "Ikechi is a lively player. We you have him on the pitch he can transform the action, taking an opportunity for your opponents into a chance for you because of his pace."
The draw meant that Leeds missed the chance to move up to fifth in the table and it ends their run of consecutive wins at home. Watford have now not won in eight games but have picked up consecutive draws now against Burnley and Leeds, while showing signs of improvement.
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Josh has had work featured in the Evening Gazette and on Newcastle United website. He is a Multimedia Journalism student at Teesside University and runs a successful sports blog. He also enjoys films, comics and TV, writing about anything he can. Josh has recently started writing his first of what he hopes will be many books.