David Hockaday says that he wants to guide Leeds United to the Champions League.
The under-fire head coach spoke at a press conference today and said that it was inevitable that Leeds would make it to Europe’s top competition under Massimo Cellino’s leadership, and that he wanted to play a major part in it.
Hockaday says it's "inevitable" that Cellino will take Leeds to the Champions League one day. "I want to be a big part of that." #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) August 26, 2014
It is a massive statement from the man who was almost fired, by Cellino’s own admission, after the Whites' latest defeat to Watford.
The Italian owner revealed that he had decided to sack Hockaday only to change his mind 24 hours later – after realising that he hadn’t provided the former Forest Green Rovers boss with enough quality this summer.
Even so, Leeds have brought in 12 new players over this transfer window and there is expected to be even more new signings before the end of the month.
This defiant statement hasn’t changed supporters' opinions of Hockaday, though, with the majority hoping that he leaves the club soon.
Despite his grand plans, there have been few signs that he can take them to the top level. Indeed, at the moment the Yorkshire club look more likely to exit the Championship for League One than gain promotion to the Premier League.
The Whites have lost three of their first four league matches this season and face a tough test against Bradford City in the League Cup tomorrow night.
A loss against the League One opponents could have disastrous consequences for Hockaday, but he insists that the players are firmly behind him.
Hockaday said four senior players came to see him on Monday to tell him that he had the "100% support" of the dressing room. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) August 26, 2014
Leeds’s next Championship clash comes against Bolton Wanderers at Elland Road on Saturday, and the atmosphere threatens to be very hostile towards the head coach if the performance isn’t up to scratch.
By then Hockaday will be hoping to have Adryan available for selection, though, and following the arrival of Casper Sloth yesterday, the 56-year-old will be hoping that his new-look midfield will be able to kick-start his side’s season.