Varney hat-trick delights Leeds United boss

Luke Varney scores his third goal for Leeds United against Stevenage from the penalty spot. Picture: BRUCE ROLLINSON
Luke Varney scores his third goal for Leeds United against Stevenage from the penalty spot. Picture: BRUCE ROLLINSON
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Leeds United boss Brian McDermott was delighted with the three-goal contribution of striker Luke Varney as the Whites got back to winning ways at Stevenage.

Varney, who has made himself a cult hero with the United fans after a difficult start following his move from Portsmouth last year, came up with a nine minute second half hat-trick to clinch a 3-0 win for Leeds.

The latest pre-season friendly remained goalless until Varney struck with a header from a Rodolph Austin cross on 71 minutes. He added a second four minutes later from close range before completing his treble with a penalty after he had been brought down in the area.

Manager McDermott said: “In his position confidence comes with scoring goals and if Luke can get goals and get the crowd signing his name, it’ll get his head right up.

“That can make all the difference to someone like him and he took his goals really well.

“I wanted people to make the most of their opportunity and he and a few others did that.

“We’ve got a few lads who can play up front for us and Luke is one of them. He’s done himself no harm.”

McDermott, who made eight changes to the side beaten 1-0 by Walsall on Saturday, was encouraged by an improved display by the team.

He added: As a squad we needed a reaction to Walsall and we spoke about putting that game to bed.

“I don’t want to feel like I did after Walsall again and we’ve beaten a tough Stevenage side.

“The feeling in the dressing room afterwards was so much better.

“You have to earn the right to play in games and we did that. Against Walsall we didn’t earn the right. It was a big lesson and we were good value against Stevenage.”