Viduka pulls out of Leeds' Dublin visit

 

Mark Viduka has today pulled out of Leeds' pre-season trip to Dublin - much to the disappointment of boss Peter Reid - though it is not yet known whether the injury will rule Viduka out of Australia's trip to Dublin later in the month.

Viduka has cited a sore ankle as the reason why he will not be travelling to the Emerald Isle tomorrow for matches against Aston Villa on Saturday and either Shelbourne or St Patricks 24 hours later.

Viduka is known to be unhappy with life at Elland Road these days, particularly in light of a training-ground war of words with Reid last week.

Although the two men made their peace, striker Viduka's late withdrawal has led to Reid commenting: "I am very disappointed."

But any suggestion of another bust-up has been allayed by Viduka's agent, Andrea D'Amico, who said: "Mark is one of the most serious men I have ever met in football.

"I am sure Peter Reid is disappointed because Mark is a great player and he is the manager and he will be without his services this weekend."

Reid is also without David Batty due to the midfielder's fear of flying and so he will remain in Yorkshire and continue to train at Thorp Arch.

It is not the first time Batty has asked to keep his feet on the ground for last February he travelled by ferry to Rotterdam for a UEFA Cup clash with PSV Eindhoven.

The club did look into the prospect of the 34-year-old making a sea crossing on this occasion, only for it to prove too problematic.

"We are taking just about our strongest squad, although David won't be travelling," confirmed Reid.

"He doesn't like flying and there's no point in asking him to make two ferry trips that take about half a day each just for a couple of days of football.

"He won't be going, but he will be training here at home."

The majority of the squad, meanwhile, will attempt to end their pre-season misery following a run of four matches without a win.