Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino is due to return from a trip to the USA today as speculation persists over who will be appointed as the next permanent manager at Elland Road.
Neil Redfearn is currently in caretaker charge of the side and Cellino has confirmed that the search will continue when he arrives back in the UK today.
Here are key questions he’ll have to address on his return relating to the team and his search for a permanent manager.
Which candidates are better than Redfearn?
Cellino has continually insisted that several of the applicants so far are not better suited to take the job on full-time than Redfearn.
For the Italian to take first team duties away from Redfearn, the applicant coming in has to offer something different to the current temporary boss.
It’s a case of the owner looking through the list, watching how the team plays and then judging that decision. If there’s no one better, Redfearn is well placed to guide the side up the table.
What should he be looking for?
Several experienced players have already applied for the Leeds position (Robbie Fowler and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink to name two) and what Cellino has to ask himself is simple; should I be looking for an experienced ex-Leeds player or an experienced coach?
Ex-players know all about the identity of the club but an experienced coach like Redfearn is in touch with the team and arguably better suited in terms of moving things forward.
What’s the state of the team?
Ultimately, the only thing that matters at the moment is the team and Leeds starting the climb up the Championship table.
Redfearn will have at least the Birmingham City game to prove himself and if the team looks well settled and fluent, it bodes well for the coach. However, if the team looks disjointed and sporadic under Redfearn (which is hugely unlikely), Cellino could be prompted into appointing a new permanent manager quickly.
What do the fans think?
The fans are always a great measure of mood and the general direction a huge decision should take. Redfearn is popular with Leeds fans because of the work he’s already done at the club, developing younger and fringe players. However, that productiveness could be risked if he’s made first team boss.
Three points is the most important thing this weekend as the Leeds United owner mulls over several questions.