Win over Manchester United could transform Leeds season – Dominic Matteo
Former Leeds defender Dominic Matteo believes victory over Manchester United in Sunday’s Wars of the Roses could transform their season.
Leeds’ second Premier League campaign has fallen flat and Matteo knows what it would mean for his fans if they beat their rivals.
Matteo, who played in Leeds’ last league win against United almost 20 years ago, told PA news agency: “It’s funny, my memory has been a bit hazy over the years, but I don’t forget that one.
“You didn’t get a lot of results against Man U in that time under Fergie (Sir Alex Ferguson). They were so strong, so physical and so difficult to play against because they had so many great players.
“Getting a result in a game like that meant everything. For these players now, if they win on Sunday, the confidence they get from it will be incredible.
“The fans desperately need a lift, we all know that. Everyone knows and understands the injuries he suffered, but you can’t keep looking for excuses.
“This game is huge. It’s another chance for Leeds to get a result against their biggest rivals. I think it’s possible and it could kick start their season.
Harry Kewell’s header secured Leeds a 1-0 win at Elland Road in September 2002 and the Yorkshire club have won just one of their nine meetings since – a stunning FA Cup win by the same scoreline at Old Trafford in 2010.
“I know guys who have been taking their kids to Elland Road since they were three or four and they’ve never seen Leeds beat them,” Matteo said.
“This game is important to so many people, the youngest and the oldest. Both clubs. It’s the one we talk about the most because there’s no love lost between them, let’s be honest.
Leeds’ 3-0 defeat at Everton last week left them six points above the relegation zone and with United next – followed by Liverpool (away), then Tottenham (home) and Leicester (away) – Matteo thinks Sunday’s result could be significant.
He added: “There is pressure. Teams around Leeds are getting results. Do I think they will be fine? Yes, I personally do.
“But if you look at the games they have to come. The next three are massive and really tough matches for Leeds.
“Leeds are capable of a good enough performance to beat United. The consistency this season has not been there, but this match is unique.
“It’s a winnable game for both teams. If Leeds start well and play like they did at Aston Villa, they have a chance.
“If they play like they did at Everton and in the last game at Old Trafford, they’ll be fine. It’s hard to follow and luckily my betting days are over.