Warnock: Leeds can win Capital One Cup

Neil Warnock believes that recreating the spirit of 2003 could see his Leeds side achieve something special in this season's Capital One Cup.

Football News: Michael Brown, Danny Pugh, Leeds

The veteran boss masterminded a shock 2-1 third-round win over Everton at Elland Road on Tuesday, and quickly hailed it as his best-ever cup win.

That is rich praise from a man who a decade ago took his Sheffield United team - who like Leeds were in the second tier - to the last four of both the FA and League Cups.

He has reunited some key members of that team in another part of Yorkshire, though, with Michael Brown still as dogged as ever in midfield, Paddy Kenny between the sticks and Michael Tonge returning to form and fitness while on loan from Stoke.

There was another ex-Blade present on Tuesday night too, with Phil Jagielka sitting on Everton`s bench, and Warnock could not help but take a trip down memory lane afterwards.

"It was like going back in time, with the weather chucking it down, the fans singing, the officials were great, everything was," said the 63-year-old, who twice accounted for Leeds during Sheffield United`s own cup runs.

"There were a few bandages and blood, the two centre-halves both had stitches, it was a proper cup tie.

"Browny showed what he could do at his age and it was like going back in time to when we were all at Sheffield.

"We had Jags there watching and I was pleased for Browny and Tongey, who had to do another role. He covered the full back and the winger and we called it the graveyard shift when we were at Sheffield. He was super."

Leeds will be one of 16 teams to go into the hat for the fourth round on Wednesday, having played all three games at home so far with an aggregate score of 9-1.

They may well need another home tie to have a chance of going through again, but Warnock knows that is what it takes in knockout football.

"When we beat Leeds at Sheffield, Leeds were weak on the night and it was a great cup run.

"I think anyone left in this one can win it. You`ve got to have a good night - a good night, a good draw and decent conditions."

But while Leeds can now afford themselves the time to dream of further scalps, Everton have to reflect on a opportunity gone begging.

Despite their current standing of third in the Premier League, the League Cup was viewed as their best change of silverware this season.

A side sporting six changes from the one which beat Swansea 3-0 on Saturday was unable to deliver, though.

Despite the alterations manager David Moyes left himself well stocked by selecting the likes of Sylvain Distin, Victor Anichebe, Johnny Heitinga and Marouane Fellaini, while Nikica Jelavic, Phil Neville and Steven Pienaar were called from the bench.

And, according to Heitinga, whose sloppiness contributed to Aidy White's opening goal, he and his team-mates let a 5,000 strong travelling contingent down.

"We came with 5,000 Evertonians, which was great. The support of them was really great. It was because of us that we lost, not them," he told his club`s official website.

"The next round when you see Leeds playing it will still be hard that we're not continuing in the cup, but that's football. You need to focus on the next couple of games and we need to bounce back now. Not only for ourselves, for the fans.

"The confidence is still in the team because we've played really good football the last couple of months, we're near the top of the league and we want to stay there.

"We saw it as a way we could win silverware and it's the shortest way to a trophy. We are out of the competition now and we need to focus on the league instead."



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