Redfearn on Milanic and Cellino's desire to improve the academy

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Leeds United academy manager Neil Redfearn says that he has a good relationship with Darko Milanic and that Massimo Cellino wants to improve the youth set-up at the club.

Neil Redfearn believes that Leeds United chairman Massimo Cellino is realising how important the academy-system is to the club. 

Redfearn says that Cellino is determined to make Leeds academy even more productive than it already is and he is happy to have the opportunity to be at the helm during this time. 

The academy-manager feels that Dario Del Fabro's addition over the summer highlighted just how important Cellino feels the academy is to the side, and he expects the Italian owner to make even more advancements in this area soon. 

"Del Fabro is a perfect example [of how much he wants to improve the academy]," he said in an interview with BBC Radio Leeds. "He had him at Cagliari for years. He's one of his and he enthused about him when he first came over.

"I knew from that moment that the academy and youth football meant a lot to him because he built a strong academy in Cagliari and he wants to do the same here. I think it's dawning on him now how good this academy can be and how good it is."

Cellino's approach has come under scrutiny because of his outspoken nature and reactionary approach.

The Italian has built up a reputation of being a trigger-happy chairman, but Redfearn insists that Cellino is a positive thing for Leeds and he only wants to improve the club. 

"He's got a reputation of being something different, but from what I see he's very approachable, he loves the game, he'll listen to your opinion, he likes to tell you his opinion, but he loves the game," Redfearn explained. "He works things out really quickly and understands where he wants to go.

"I think he's genuinely got this football club's interests at heart which is the most important thing and I can see that in what he's doing and what he's trying to do and how this clubs benefit from him being there.

"From my point of view he's great. He's very flamboyant, straight to the point and that's how he is. You've got to get used to how he is, but as regards as a football man, he's very knowledgeable of the game and takes a great interest in people that have been in the game for some time."

Cellino has already asserted some of his influence on the side by bringing in a number of Italian imports to Elland Road over the summer.

It means the Whites squad has a cosmopolitan feel to it, but Redfearn says that he likes working with non-native English speakers.

"I don't speak good English, let alone Italian," he joked. "But it's a good thing. The Italian boys have been very good. The vast majority of them their English is really good and the ones that don't speak good English listen. There's a little bit of humour there and it's all healthy. It's never been a problem."

Redfearn was touted as a candidate to takeover as first-team manager, after David Hockaday when he was sacked earlier in the season, but eventually Darko Milanic was selected ahead of him.

It means that Redfearn has had to go back to his role at the academy, but he insists that he has a good relationship with the Slovenian manager. 

"We have good dialogue," he said. "We speak after every under 21 game and I tell him the players who have done well and who is pushing on and who would benefit his squad. He takes that information and goes and does what he thinks is right. There's no problems, it's how it should be. It works well."

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