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The Damned United: Part II? Milanic's 32-day Leeds spell feels familiar after harsh exit

Elland Road Revie Stand

Leeds United's sacking of Darko Milanic feels somewhat reminiscent of Brian Clough's exit from Elland Road.

When Massimo Cellino finalised his takeover of Leeds United, fans must have expected plenty of thrills and spills. The Italian earned a reputation for sacking managers on a regular basis, and that has been the case since his arrival at Elland Road.

Brain McDermott was the first to go in the summer, and his replacement David Hockaday lasted just 70 days in charge having been found well out of his depth - unsurprising given that he was sacked by non-league Forest Green Rovers.

Despite calls for caretaker Neil Redfearn to be given the job, Cellino went to Austria and brought back Sturm Graz's Slovenian boss Darko Milanic as his new manager...yet just 32 days into his stint at Elland Road, Milanic is out having failed to win any of his first six games in the hot seat.

That 32 day spell means that the 46-year-old was in charge of Leeds for even less time than Brian Clough, who was famously given only 44 days at the club before being sacked in 1974. That situation as the focus of the film The Damned United, and Milanic's demise draws its own comparisons.

Clough was met with disdain from Leeds players and fans after comments made about the club during his time at Derby County, and whilst that wasn't quite the case with Milanic, Leeds supporters certainly found it difficult to really connect with the former Slovenia captain.

He seemed quite closed and guarded, and was a tough figure to get behind from a supporter's point of view, which led to fans singing for Redfearn's return in Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Redfearn is far from the Don Revie figure which Clough replaced 40 years ago, but fans and players loved him during his temporary spell in charge earlier this season, and it was always going to be hard for Milanic to replace someone so popular - just as Clough found when replacing Revie.

Yet, just like Clough, Milanic can count himself unlucky to have been fired so soon after joining the club. It takes longer than 30 to 45 days to succeed at a football club, and it takes time to adjust to new players and new surroundings.

Leeds is a football club that is desperate for success, and always has been - but there must be some patience in order to get that, and you have to hope and pray that Redfearn gets that if he is indeed handed the reins on a permanent basis this week.

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