Former Leeds United midfielder David Prutton reveals how Gus Poyet's exit affected club

Gus Poyet Press Conference Still

The current Sunderland boss left Leeds for Tottenham in 2007.

This weekend Leeds United welcome Nottingham Forest to Elland Road for one of the biggest games in the Championship calendar.

David Prutton, who is currently a free agent after his release from Sheffield Wednesday in the summer, played for both teams. The skilful and talismanic midfielder came through the books at Nottingham Forest and after a poor stint in Southampton he joined then struggling Leeds United in 2007.

This weekend he has spoken to the Yorkshire Evening Post about events at Leeds while he was at the club, in particular those involving now Sunderland boss Gus Poyet.

He said of Poyet’s exit from the club in 2007:

“Gus going was huge.

“It wasn’t a case of cracks appearing but the interim period was weird. It’s hard to explain. Little comments which would have been taken as a joke while Gus was there started to be taken seriously.

"We’d been armour-plated with Gus around but with him gone, the place was more tense, more fragile I guess."

The Uruguayan was assistant manager to Dennis Wise at Elland Road. However he left to take up a similar role at Tottenham Hotspur under the management of Juande Ramos in October 2007.

From then on Leeds struggled to keep on the automatic promotion push and in the end, with a team containing now Forest boss Dougie Freedman, they lost the play-off final that season to Doncaster Rovers.

Now Poyet is at Sunderland, battling relegation to the Championship where he would face former club Leeds. He will hope to continue that fight with a positive result against Aston Villa this afternoon.

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