Brian McDermott savoured "a really big win" after making a triumphant start to his reign as Leeds manager with a 2-1 home victory over Sheffield Wednesday.
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The former Reading boss must have feared the worst when Jermaine Johnson fired Wednesday into a 27th-minute lead in the npower Championship clash at Elland Road, but two second-half goals in six minutes by Luke Varney handed the hosts the Yorkshire bragging rights.
McDermott said: "I was really pleased. It was hard in the first half and we knew we shouldn't have gone in a goal down but there was a good response after the interval, which was really important.
"We needed to pass the ball and create things and I thought the players were really brave in the second half.
"I told them at half-time that the crowd really wanted to get behind them. I've been at places where that hasn't been the case but when we got to 1-1 it made a real difference.
"They were two very well-worked goals. The first was just over the line so I am glad the referee and linesman spotted it and the second was a fantastic bit of skill from Ross McCormack and a really good header by Luke Varney."
McDermott added: "Wednesday have been on a good run. You have to give them credit for that, so it was a really big win for us."
Owls manager Dave Jones suffered verbal abuse from Leeds supporters despite a plea in the match programme for both sets of fans to "keep it clean and respectable".
Jones said: "We should have won. We switched off for 15 minutes and allowed two goals which we should never have allowed. You can't give somebody free headers in your box.
"It's frustrating because they caused us no hassle, apart from a 15-minute period. We had a few injuries and had to change things around but we made some basic errors.
"Jermaine Johnson had a knee injury - but the referee missed that one. Giles Coke was injured as well - that's why he went off. There were a couple more including Reda Johnson with his foot."
Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland's long kick was headed on by Jeremy Helan for Jamaica international Johnson to tuck away his fourth goal in as many games and his seventh of the season.
But, with El-Hadji Diouf leaving the bench at the start of the second half, Leeds were a transformed attacking force. McCormack crossed from the right in the 63rd minute and Varney rose to head in off the underside of the bar. Then McCormack and Varney worked their magic again, this time Varney's close-range header flying directly into the net.
Leroy Lita wasted a glorious chance for Wednesday but Leeds held out for their first win in eight games.