Leeds boss admits survival was first target

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New Leeds manager Brian McDermott has admitted surviving relegation was the only aim when he took the job at Elland Road earlier in the month of April.

Although his side lost 1-0 away at Birmingham on Saturday, results elsewhere mathematically guarantee United’s safety in the Npower Championship next term.

A Hayden Mullins goal was enough to separate the teams in a match that could have been won by either side, but McDermott was happy to look at the bigger picture.

The ex-Reading chief told the official Leeds website: “We are definitely safe in this league now and I’m delighted with that. The players have given us everything.”

The Yorkshire-based club have fixtures against Brighton and Watford before the current campaign draws to a close.

McDermott has admitted that avoiding the drop was the short-term target, before looking to mount a promotion push back to the Premier League next season.

“That was job number one, two and three,” he said. “I put myself on the line to come in at that stage of the season so that was the job.”

However, he admitted the weekend defeat in the Midlands was disappointing.

“It’s about the details and we need to get that right,” he concluded.

McDermott knows what it takes to be successful in the Championship, after winning the title with Reading less than 12 months ago.

Looking to next season, he summarised: “I’m sure that we have mentally strong people in this team, and I’m looking forward to working with them. They are really good people.”

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