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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 12, 2006

Leeds legend calls for fans' patience

Leeds legend Peter Lorimer has urged disgruntled supporters to get behind Kevin Blackwell's side when rejuvenated Sunderland arrive at Elland Road tomorrow night.

Sunday's 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Wolves was Leeds' third defeat from six games and prompted calls for Blackwell's removal from a small section of fans.

But Lorimer, Leeds' record all-time scorer with 238 goals and a director of the club, has pleaded with fans to focus their energies on backing Blackwell's men.

Fans chanted `time to go' to Blackwell on Sunday, but Lorimer says: 'It's important that the fans get behind the team and I don't think anyone is going take any notice of isolated incidents.

'But it's a double-edged sword because the players have to go out and give them something to cheer - and I'm sure they will cheer if the players do that.

'Expectations are high at Leeds and we've got to give the fans entertaining football that they will enjoy.

'It's obviously a big game with Roy Keane coming to Elland Road and Sunderland will bring about 5,000 fans so the atmosphere should be something special.

'The rivalry between the clubs is still there from the 1973 FA Cup final so it should be a great night.'

Indeed, Lorimer was a member of the Leeds side beaten by Sunderland in the 1973 FA Cup final, when Ian Porterfield's goal gave the Wearsiders the trophy in one of the competition's most famous upsets.

Leeds now face a Sunderland side buoyed by two successive wins and looking like a team transformed since Roy Keane was appointed manager.

The latest clash between the sides has added spice with Keane guaranteed a hot reception due to his Manchester United connections.

Lorimer added: 'Roy has gone to Sunderland, they are full of expectation and it's his first time that he will be back at Leeds since he was at Manchester United.

'That brings extra flavour to the occasion but I'm not interested in what sort of reception he gets from the Leeds fans.

'All I'm interested in is seeing us get a result.'

The crowd of 16,268 which witnessed Leeds' defeat against Wolves was the club's lowest league gate at Elland Road since the late 1980s.

The pressure is clearly building on Blackwell, whose team face another tough outing at Coventry on Saturday.

'Everybody is panicking, but we're only six games into the season,' said Lorimer.

'We've had injuries and have lost points in the last minute so we've been a little bit unlucky in that way.

'But we've still to go out and do it and there's no better game to do than this match against Sunderland.'

Leeds trio Ian Moore, Seb Carole and Paul Butler are all facing a fitness battle ahead of the visit of the Black Cats.

Striker Moore suffered a dead leg during the defeat against Wolves while winger Carole and skipper Butler are also nursing knocks.

The trio will all face late fitness tests but Kevin Nicholls' debut will be further delayed after the midfielder injured his thigh in training.

However, striker Geoff Horsfield is available following suspension and striker Steve Stone will also continue despite requiring a hernia operation.