Neil Redfearn is currently caretaker manager at Leeds United, but should the club allow him to take over full-time?
49-year old Redfearn made over 1000 first-team appearances in a playing career that spanned 24 years, and has been involved at Elland Road since 2009.
The former Whites Under-18 coach now focuses upon both the Academy team, as well as managing the reserve team squad, and his current caretaker role is his third of such a role at Elland Road. He oversaw the club for four games after the sacking of Simon Grayson in 2012, before suffering a 1-0 defeat to Charlton after the departure of Neil Warnock in April 2013. His third spell has come following the sacking of Dave Hockaday, and his one game in charge was the 1-0 victory over Bolton last weekend.
Whilst Leeds President Massimo Cellino has promised that a number of candidates are being reviewed for selection, and that a host of people are calling him to offer their services, perhaps it is time for Redfearn to be allowed to take the reigns - with the club of Leeds United tied into his mentality.
Having been at the club since 2009, Redfearn has overseen the careers of a number of the Whites’ youngsters, many of whom have progressed into the first-team set-up. Sam Byram, Charlie Taylor and Alex Mowatt are all former youth products who have since become first-team regulars, whilst Dominic Poleon and Tom Lees progressed through the academy and left the club this summer. With the large number of foreigners in the current first-team set-up, it would be wise to appoint a manager who understands the mentality required to succeed at Elland Road, and Redfearn is the only candidate who has the experience to back up his claim to that title.
His management credentials may not be the highest, but Cellino willingly hired Hockaday - the man who failed to achieve promotion from the Conference with over-spenders Forest Green - and so that may be overlooked. His vision and desire to return Leeds to their rightful place in English football is all that would matter to the Italian owner, and, for all his eccentricities, he has spoken fondly of restoring past glories, and an English coach would be key to that.
The most successful era in the history of Leeds United was the famous title winning team of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, and the core of that group of players progressed through the youth academy in Yorkshire - Jack Charlton, Billy Bremner and Eddie Gray were all youth products who went on to threat success with the Whites. Redfearn has built a similar set-up during his long spell behind the scenes at Elland Road, and it may just be time for him to step out of the shadows and combine his love of Leeds with his well-nurtured players to create a title winning team once again.