Quick links


History suggests Darko Milanic should not fear his Leeds future

Gary McAllister and Neil Warnock both had a run of games before recording their first wins as Leeds United manager.

McAllister took five games to register his first victory following his appointment in January 2008, whilst Warnock had to endure two draws and a defeat before three points were picked up on March 11 2012.

Current head coach Darko Milanic has gone five games without victory since his appointment at the end of September, drawing three and losing two, although he has yet to lose at home in the run up to Saturday’s game with Wolves at Elland Road.

While results have not been going the Slovenian coach’s way, the club have been slowly improving on the pitch performance-wise, and he appears to be figuring out his best first XI as the weeks go by. Brazilian prospect Adryan finally made his full debut for the Whites on Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw with high-flying Norwich, and the abilities of Souleymane Doukara, Tommaso Bianchi and Mirco Antenucci have all been fitted into a previously frequent-changing first-team set-up.

Despite failing to register a win in five games, the club have lost little ground in the Championship play-off race, and, following the draw with Norwich - who currently occupy fifth place in the table - Leeds sit just six points off the final play-off place, and only 10 off of Derby County in top spot. With the closeness of the Championship as a division, a run of three or four consecutive wins can kick-start your season into a real fight for promotion, and there is no reason why Leeds fans should start writing off the current campaign as another of mid-table obscurity.

The draw at Norwich is a result which could prove to become useful if the club can start to find some real form against the weaker teams in the division, with Norwich undoubtedly possessing one of the strongest squads in the division. If the Whites can continue to draw against the top teams, whilst beating the weaker opposition, they will be well set for a finish in the play-off places - but it has been the results against the ‘small teams’ that have hurt Leeds this season.

Milanic lost 2-0 at Brentford in his first game in charge - a goal margin that really should have been higher - and he also fell to a 2-1 defeat at Rotherham on Friday night, despite taking the lead through Antenucci. However, McAllister lost 2-0 at Elland Road in his first game, whilst Warnock fell at home to Southampton in his second game - something that Milanic has so far avoided.

Despite the current regime in charge at Leeds appearing to not have the greatest amount of patience in relation to the the hiring and firing of managers, Milanic should not be fearing for his job despite his poor start on the pitch. More established managers have arrived at the club and taken time to claim their first victory in easier situations, and Milanic’s prime job of steadying the off-field issues in Yorkshire appears to be progressing well.

If he continues to progress on a winless run then it may be time to start worrying, but, all things considered, Milanic has done nothing but an impressive job since his arrival at Elland Road.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch