Neil Redfearn has brought incredible optimism to many Leeds United supporters, but is the expectation now too high?
Neil Redfearn’s temporary spell in charge of Leeds United, in between the ill-fated tenures of Dave Hockaday and Darko Milanic, means fans of the club may now have unrealistic expectations for this season.
How can they not, when the former Academy coach oversaw a four-match undefeated streak with the club taking 10 points from a possible 12 before Massimo Cellino told him to go back to his day job?
Now the Leeds manager’s position is his day job, and that earlier spell means he arrived with a fanfare rarely seen for a man with so little managerial experience.
Since Redfearn returned to the dug-out Leeds have already showed glimpses of the side they were in the heady days that saw wins against Bournemouth, Huddersfield and Bolton Wanderers and a draw with Birmingham City.
But are they really good enough to finish in the top-six as their boss has suggested? And can a fine run under a caretaker manager be replicated over an entire season when that man is the permanent figurehead?
Only time will tell, but the simple fact is the feel-good factor that Redfearn has created is far better than the depressing days of Hockaday or the unexpectedly baffling ones of Milanic.
Redfearn’s recent history means Leeds supporters will expect much from his side…perhaps too much. But that is considerably better than expecting the worst – something that was at risk of becoming the default setting for the Elland Road faithful.
As much as anything else Redfearn’s arrival has instilled a new (or rediscovered) belief in his players; that they can succeed this season when it previously appeared they were destined to struggle.
So yes, the expectations of many supporters are perhaps foolishly large, but what is wrong with that? The alternative has been experienced for far too long, and in Redfearn they have a manager who will get things right eventually, although perhaps not as soon as many currently believe.