Cellino in no hurry to appoint new Leeds United head coach

Neil RedfearnNeil Redfearn
Neil Redfearn
After the flurry of transfer activity and amid the continued speculation over who will replace David Hockaday as the new head coach Leeds United have the little matter of a return to league action to prepare for this week.

The Whites are set to go on their travels to Birmingham City for a midday kick-off in which they will be looking for their first away point of the season.

Including the Capital One Cup defeat to Bradford City it has been three losses from three away games so far and an improvement is needed sooner rather than later if Leeds are to climb from their present 18th position in the Sky Bet Championship – especially with another away game quickly following at Bournemouth next Tuesday.

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Who will be in charge for the first of those trips is still the subject of much speculation with apparent original top choice Oscar Garcia having now taken up the Watford hot seat.

Steve Clarke returned to the head of the betting at the weekend with Gary McAllister also believed to be in the frame once more and former Norwich and Newcastle manager Chris Hughton admitting he is interested in the job.

Former Leeds players Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Dominic Matteo and Robbie Fowler have also been linked with the job in the last 24 hours, with all reported to have applied.

But though he is clearly not short of choice owner Massimo Cellino now seems to be ready to take his time to get his next appointment right and the win in the last game against Bolton Wanderers did buy him time to seek the head coach he is after.

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Caretaker Neil Redfearn will take the side to Birmingham if no new head coach is appointed before the weekend.

He said: “The training was quite generic last week, but it’ll be targeted at Birmingham this week and we’ll be prepared for the game no matter what happens with the coach’s job.

“That’s my responsibility until something changes and I’m happy with that. In the meantime we can’t afford to miss a step.”

Redfearn ran the rule over some of United’s new boys in a development squad game against Ipswich on Monday, looking particularly at Adryan with Brian Montenegro and Dario Del Fabro who also arrived last week, not being able to play as international clearance had not come through.

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Brazilian midfielder Adryan could now be included in Saturday’s squad following his season-long loan move from Flamengo.

Redfearn added: “He’s got great feet and terrific touch. He looks like he’s 12 years old but there’s a real player there, an exciting player.

“All three of the new signings have settled in no problem. Their fitness was spot on and they were right on the money in training. It doesn’t feel like they’ve got much catching up to do which is obviously a bonus.”

Whoever picks the team for Saturday has a few tricky selection problems to solve with plenty of players to choose from. Right-back Gaetano Berardi has recovered from concussion and is available and striker Souleymane Doukara is on the mend after rupturing ankle ligaments. Both would strengthen the team that beat Bolton in the last match.