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Morning Leeds-in for 8 February: Heckingbottom thinks that February will be key to the season

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Hull City v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images

New head coach Paul Heckingbottom spoke to LUTV in regards to the new season.

Heckingbottom identified the next month as critical month for the club, and the players, saying:

In the short term, I think this next month is going to be the really defining month of the season and we have to give everything to win points.

We find ourselves in a position where we are on a bad run and have players missing through injuries and suspensions.

There is an opportunity now for others and it is a big opportunity, because sometimes they have to be gifted like this and it is up to the players to take them

It’s good to hear Heckingbottom speak about players stepping up and taking opportunities. The club has seen rather stale at times, with players not performing and still retaining their spots in the lineup. If PH is going to get the best of the players at the club, then he’s got to motivate them, and often the best way to motivate players is with playing time.

The other point that Heckingbottom is hinting at is that while Leeds are in 10th place, they have an opportunity to get make up ground on teams above them in the table, as Leeds are going to be playing a lot of the top six during this stretch, so it’s put up or shut up time. At the end of this month, we’ll know if Leeds are going to make the playoffs or not. Hopefully PH can work magic like he did at Barnsley.

Leeds United Links

Andrea Radrizzani called hiring Thomas Christiansen a “mistake.” I’m not sure I like trashing the old manager on his way out of town, but I do like that AR is taking responsibility instead of throwing other people under the bus. [Through It All Together]

Pontus Jansson is reportedly fit to play against Sheffield United. [Through It All Together]

England and English Football Links

86 year-old Patrice Evra has joined West Ham United on a free. Considering how his Marseille exit went and the planned West Ham fan protest, maybe he was signed to kick fans in the face. [Brace the Hammer]

Danny Cowley has dismissed reports linking him the open manager’s position at Barnsley FC, choosing to focus on the job at Lincoln City, who are going to the FA Trophy final at Wembley. To be fair to Cowley, Lincoln has a pretty good chance to be playing against Barnsley next season in League One. [Yorkshire Post]

It took a replay at Wembley, but Tottenham Hotspur finally defeated Newport County in the FA Cup. [BBC.com]

World Football Links

The FMF is reportedly considering “temporarily” stopping promotion and relegation between the Mexican first division and the second division. With only six of the 16 teams eligible for promotion from the Ascenso (the second division) anyway, this shouldn’t come as that much of a shock. [FMF State of Mind]

A look at former United States international Eddie Pope. [Stars & Stripes FC]

A look at what’s going on with MLS expansion. [The Blue Testament]

AC Milan’s Sporting Director hopes for 10 years of Gennaro Gattuso at Milan. [AC Milan Offside]