Viduka hurting but urges Leeds to fight - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Viduka hurting but urges Leeds to fight

10/02/2004 11:30:15 PM Comments (0)

Socceroo striker Mark Viduka admitted he was finding it difficult to deal with his father's serious illness but remained focused on saving Leeds United from English Premier League relegation.

Viduka returned to action for Leeds in last week's 2-0 loss to Aston Villa after spending three weeks at home in Melbourne to be with his father Joe who had a blood clot removed from his brain.

His father is still in a serious condition in Royal Melbourne Hospital, and Viduka is in constant contact with his family.

"It's difficult for me but I'm in touch with back home all the time and getting news of his progress," he told journalists before training in Leeds.

"He's getting better, but it's a brain injury so it's a very slow process.

"I'm still feeling jet lagged and in the mornings I wake up a bit earlier so I can talk to people at home. There is no other option."

Since his return last week, Viduka, who was rebuked and fined by former Leeds manager Peter Reid for his slack attitude at training, has surprised his teammates with a fired up, aggressive approach.

He has even fronted up to teammates and told them to lift their attitude as Leeds fights for survival - stuck on the bottom of the standings following six successive losses.

"We can focus on the job in hand or sit on our backsides and wait to get relegated," he said.

"I'd like to think none of us will do that, because we're the only ones who can pull us out of this mess.

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