Former Whites midfielder Andy Ritchie has suggested that Darko Milanic will have been delighted to have been offered the job at the ‘biggest club’ outside of the Premier League.
Milanic, who represented Slovenia 42 times during his playing career, took his first training session earlier this week, and is set to lead the Whites out for the first time this weekend at Brentford.
His management record is impressive, with all nine of his titles coming in a five-year spell as the head coach of Slovenian side Maribor. However, he failed to win anything with Sturm Graz, his most recent club, and he confirmed that he was buying out the remainder of his contract to join Leeds on September 23.
A number of critics have shared their opinion of the subject, and Ritchie is no different. The 53-year-old, who spent three years at Elland Road in the 1980’s, has called for people to give Milanic time to prove himself - with his past achievements the only way to judge him as a manager.
Quoted in the Yorkshire Evening Post, Ritchie said: “It’s pointless me saying ‘yes, he’ll be a success’ or ‘no, he won’t’. Only time will tell. But as far as his credentials go, I think he’s got plenty – or more than enough to justify the opportunity he’s been given at Leeds United.
"He did very well at Maribor and no matter what anyone says about Slovenian football, trophies are trophies. To win nine in five years as Maribor’s coach means he dominated that league completely and was more than up to the job.
"Sturm Graz was a little tougher for him by the sounds of things but it didn’t look like they were pushing him out of the door when Leeds came calling. He left with no angst and no bitterness, and that gives you some insight into his character and the relationship he had with the people there. He doesn’t sound like trouble or high maintenance.”
Ritchie has also shared his view that Milanic must have been delighted to have received the offer to take charge at Elland Road, having progressed from the Austrian Bundesliga to one of the biggest clubs in English football.
"From Milanic’s point of view, he must have been delighted to get the call,” the former player, who also turned out for Manchester United, added.
"It’s not often that the biggest English club outside the Premier League come calling. I’m not blowing smoke up anyone’s backside here – I genuinely think that if you were being offered any job in the Championship, you’d want the job at Leeds.
"Obviously Massimo Cellino is a unique character, a demanding bloke to work for, and the pressure to be a success is huge but I’ve said it so many times – if you get the club on a roll, great things will happen here. Get it right and you’ll have 40,000 through the gates for every home game.”
Milanic will be looking to continue the great things that Neil Redfearn started this season, with the club currently on a run of four games without defeat - leaving the top end of the Championship table in sight.