Leeds chaos bemuses Morison

Date published: Sunday 19th April 2015 2:47

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Six players – Mirco Antenucci, Giuseppe Bellusci, Dario Del Fabro, Marco Silvestri, Souleymane Doukara and Edgar Cani – withdrew from the squad on the eve of Saturday’s trip to Charlton citing injuries, and is just the latest incident in another turbulent period at Elland Road.

A “freakish set of events” was how beleaguered boss Neil Redfearn described the sextet’s absence after the game but Morison, who scored Leeds’ goal in the 2-1 defeat at The Valley, told BBC West Yorkshire Sport: “We’re around it every day.

“People draw their own conclusions over what happened (with the withdrawals). It’s a tough situation and you have to take everything at face value, but it’s been like it all season in one way or another.”

When asked if there was a split in the camp, the 31-year-old added: “It’s just been one of those seasons where every day something different has happened.

“I’ve never known anything like it in football and I’ve played for teams scrapping for their lives – Millwall last year – and teams that have been promoted. I’ve played in the Premier League with a bunch of Championship players that should never have stayed up and the one thing we had ultimately was a team and team spirit.

“Sometimes you can get away with being very, very average – I would class myself as an average footballer – but I’ve had a team around me and it works.”

Former Leeds captain Trevor Cherry, meanwhile, branded the players who withdrew at short notice from Saturday’s match a ‘disgrace’ and called for them to be sacked by the club.

Italian quartet Antenucci, Bellusci, Del Fabro and Silvestri, Frenchman Doukara and Albanian Cani all told Redfearn they were injured and could not travel to London.

According to the manager, Silvestri had been rested since sustaining a knock but had been expected to recover, while Antenucci and Cani declared themselves unfit after training on Thursday with the rest pulling out following a ‘light’ session on Friday.

But Cherry was unimpressed and wants the players out of Elland Road.

“I would sack them and take the PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association) on,” he said on BBC Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek.

“I don’t think players can do that, it’s scandalous and it’s just another story for Leeds United that is disgraceful.”

Striker Antenucci used Twitter to defend himself, as did goalkeeper Silvestri who posted a picture of a cut on his back suffered against Norwich on Tuesday night.

However, Cherry questioned if they were legitimate reasons to withdraw.

“In the old days you used to play with anything, cuts or one thing or another,” he said.

“The managers had a big say in whether you were fit or not. You didn’t just come in and say ‘I’ve got a headache, I’m going home’. I’m sure with George Graham or Don Revie, I can’t imagine what would have happened if you’d have done that.”

The withdrawals continued the chaos that has plagued Leeds.

Redfearn’s position has become increasingly threatened over recent weeks, despite leading the club to Championship safety after taking over from ill-fated predecessors David Hockaday and Darko Milanic.

He saw assistant Steve Thompson lose his job without warning on April 2 and his own deal, which expires at the end of the season, looks increasingly unlikely to be renewed under the club’s current regime.

Club president Massimo Cellino has been banned since January after being found guilty of not paying tax on a yacht in Italy, but is due to return in a fortnight’s time.

Cherry, who played for Leeds between 1972 and 1982, was left to lament the situation at his old club.

“It’s a club that’s a shambles and has been a shambles for 10 years,” the ex-England defender said.

“We just stutter from disaster to disaster, joke to joke. If it wasn’t sickening it would be funny. You couldn’t write a book about Leeds United and what’s happened.

“Personally, I don’t know the Italian guy but I don’t think he realises the size of the club, it’s just a little play thing and he’s making a mess of it in my opinion.”

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