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McDermott hoping for Leeds stay after important victory

Leeds United East Stand

Manager Brian McDermott believes his previous success in the Championship is perfect for reviving the fortunes of Leeds United.

McDermott, who previously won the Championship with Reading in 2012, has been struggling to lead the Yorkshire-based club through a period of uncertainty which has coincided with Massimo Cellino's protracted takeover. After a run of form which saw them lose eight of their last 10 games, a 2-0 victory at Elland Road on Saturday may just hint at a change in fortunes.

As the Football League have given approval for Cellino's takeover, any inclination the Italian had towards sacking McDermott can now be seen through.

As the former Reading manager was sacked in January, before being reinstated a day later, there has been an aura of distrust between him and his new employer in any public appearances the duo have shared.

Although McDermott has every right to fear losing his job, in the wake of victory over Blackpool he expressed a strong case for his potential to improve the club, and lead them back to the ever-distancing Premier League.

Talking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, McDermott announced: "He[Cellino]'s his own man, he'll do what he thinks is right, and rightly so. He's the owner of the club."

"But I've won this league. I've won it in a stable environment. You're not talking about a manager who hasn't."

"I've also been in a play-off final and I had a 50 per cent win ratio in this league (with Reading) so I know what's required."

"I haven't got that at Leeds but it's where we have to get to. Given an opportunity, I feel so strongly that I can do it."

Although the environment has not been stable since talks with Cellino started, now that his takeover has been cleared, the club, and McDermott in particular, can expect an addressing of issues which have come to the fore in recent weeks, notably the failure to pay the players wages in full.

Although rumours of contact with various other managers have been emanating from Elland Road since Cellino's first involvement, Gianfranco Zola and Gianluca Festa are names frequently referenced, there is no clear vision for how the Italian intends to run the club.

Zola's agent has brushed off any speculation, telling Press Association Sport: "The one thing I can tell you today is that Zola will not be Leeds' coach for next season." 

Whether McDermott is still at Elland Road next season may depend on how he imposes himself in the four remaining fixtures this year. Victory in all of them may not only secure McDermott's future, but also Cellino's faith in him.

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