Leeds v Chelsea : The Magic of the Cup!!

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Thanks for answering these questions Cross. First of all, how did Cross:Magic RoadTrip go and what have you got planned for 2013?

Cross:Magic RoadTrip was a huge success. The idea was to create a magic show with a difference.
The whole series was created and filmed with no budget whatsoever. But in the first few weeks of filming, word spread and we managed to secure performances to celebrities left right and centre.

Each episode features some high profiles names and some unbelievable magic. Once released it instantly became an online hit reaching over 100,000 views within its first month. Anyone reading this can check out the series by clicking on www.crossmagic.co.uk/videos
As for what I have got planned for 2013….. You’ll have to wait and see!

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Fair enough. Have you been able to blag any Leeds tickets through your magic events/ abilities?

Unfortunately not no. Although I did receive a tweet from new owner David Haigh in reply to my offer of performing magic at Leeds. Would be good if he was genuinely interested in booking me!

Now onto the Football. Being from Manchester, why Leeds United?

My dad has followed Leeds since he was a kid, being a Yorkshire lad himself. He started taking me and my brother to matches when we were young and we’ve never looked back since. I’m proud to be a Leeds fan in Manchester. I bet you can guess who was laughing hardest when we beat Man Utd in the FA Cup at Old Trafford a few seasons back!

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Were you pleased about the GFH Capital takeover?

Definitely. It needed to happen. The new owners are coming across as having Leeds’ best interest at heart and I do believe them. I’m looking forward to what I hope is a successful era under the new owners.

Is it a good thing that Master Bates is still around and likely to become club president in the summer?

If you put the two words ‘Master’ and ‘Bates’ together to make one then you pretty much have the definition of Ken Bates. He’s a w****r. Regarding him staying on at the club.. In my opinion, I don’t think we had a choice. I get the sneaky feeling, although I could be wrong.

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But I do get the feeling Fat Santa (Bates) wouldn’t have sold the club unless he was able to stay on in some way or another. Hopefully he won’t have much of a say in transfers both in and out the club in future. His handling in the past has been diabolical.

How’s Warnock getting on?

Given his resources this season he’s not doing a bad job. He has done his best with the team despite money restrictions before the takeover. No matter what though I have the utmost Respect for Neil and I know he will work his socks off and do his best for the club.

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What is Leeds’ priority this season?

I think now the takeover has taken place we need to sign a few more quality players and look for promotion. I firmly believe if the owners, staff and players knuckle down then it’s a reachable target.

How do you rate your summer signings?

I highly rate them. We have a totally different squad this season. When all our players are fit we have a very solid, hardworking group. We just lack a bit of pace which admittedly we have had in past teams the last few seasons. Sign someone with pace in January along with a couple of others and we’ll be a force to be reckoned with.

Who are your main rivals for promotion this season?

It’s hard to say at this stage, the league is so tight at the moment. I’d hate it if Huddesfield or Millwall got promoted though. But realistically I think we need to watch out for Crystal Palace and Leicester. They’ll both definitely be up there at the end.

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Are you satisfied with your big game performances so far this season?

Depends what you class as the big games? Every game in the Championship is a big game. It’s anyone’s league so we need to be looking at winning as many as we can. If you’re referring to big games in the cup (Everton and Southampton) then yeah. We were solid and played a good game against both sides. Now we have Chelsea as our next juicy high profiled opponent.

Where might it fall apart?

It’s hard to say. Last month we went on a bad run and was talking about relegation. Then a month on we have won four out of five and we are back to talking about promotion. The last 10 games are usually what makes or breaks a team though.

Where will you finish? (One word)

Play Offs (I know that’s two words)

Haha we’ll allow it to be hyphenated at Play-offs! What’s in the near future for Leeds United?

I definitely think we’ll be back in the Premier League. If we’re unlucky this season then definitely next!

Now the League Cup. Is this game about beating Chelsea or getting to a Semi Final?

A bit of both. The rivalry is fierce between Leeds and Chelsea. I’m not sure how much their foreign players will know about it but they’ll no doubt be in for a shock when they come to Elland Road. Chelsea only took a few hundred fans to the World Club Cup Final which is a joke. We took over 5000 to pre-season games abroad against no name teams!! Moving on.. The Leeds players will be playing with heart and the atmosphere at Elland Road is going to be immense. They won’t have played in anything like what they will at Elland Road in a long time. If Leeds do beat Chelsea then I think the cup is quite winnable. All the major teams will be out and then it’s anyone’s for the taking.

As you mention, there’s been a fierce rivalry between the two clubs dating back to the 60s & 70s, especially the 1970 FA Cup final & Old Trafford Replay [Chelsea won the replay in the last FA Cup to be won outside of Wembley before the rebuild]. What were your thoughts when you first heard about this clash?

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I was like a kid on Christmas Day. My Birthday is on the 21st (Friday) and I text my Dad saying it was a great early birthday present. His response was quite negative as we were playing poor at the time. But look at how things change. Our form is a lot better and Chelsea’s is a lot worse. They’ll also be tired due to the traveling back from the World Club Cup Final. I’m not even sure how much preparation they’ll have had for the match. Hopefully none!

Happy Birthday for the 21st!! Who are your key players?

I shall only name fit players and these aren’t in order. El Hadji Diouf has to be in there. He has been our best player this season, FACT. Luciano Becchio is our top goalscorer so far this season so he obviously gets a mention. Finally for me young Sam Byram. Sam has been a star so far this season. He has outplayed some of the best opposition players in the Championship (and Premiership) and is a true asset to our club. Obviously the likes of Ross McCormack should be getting a mention but he’s had a lengthy spell out injured and is still getting his fitness up. So the names mentioned above are my current key players.

Before the World Club Cup Final, some people were prematurely saying Torres has found his old form, should Leeds focus on trying to stop him or aren’t you bothered?

Of course we should keep an eye on him if he plays. Watching the final the other day though. It seems that all any opposition needs to do against Chelsea is keep players tight on their midfield. Then all they do is pass back to Cech. It seems they struggle getting deliveries in to their forwards when under pressure in the midfield.

Who do you see as the danger men for Chelsea?

Who isn’t a danger for Chelsea? Let’s not kid ourselves they are a quality, expensive team. Torres, Mata, Hazard, Cole. Every area of their team has quality. It’s just if they can deliver on the night.

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Score Prediction?

I’ll be putting a cheeky bet on Leeds 2 – 1 Chelsea. I’m not fussed of the outcome. I’d much rather focus on getting Leeds back to the Premier League. But I can’t say I’m nervous, more quietly confident.

Sweet. Thanks very much and all the best for the rest of the season.

Cheers fella.

Cross

Website – http://www.crossmagic.co.uk

Twitter – www.twitter.com/crossmagic

Facebook – www.facebook.com/crossmagic

YouTube – www.youtube.com/officialcrossmagic

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