Is Cellino's Milanic appointment still haunting Leeds?

Massimo Cellino 2

The 32 days wasted with the Slovenian in charge could prove very costly this Championship campaign.

It is clear, for everyone associated with the club, that there can be no quick fix for Leeds United.

Years of mediocrity have frustrated fans to no end but hope has remained. Over 7,000 supporters traveled to Ewood Park to watch the Yorkshire side face Blackburn Rovers on Saturday. They left disappointed.

A first-half goal from Souleymane Doukara gave Neil Redfearn's men the lead but a late collapse reminded fans of an all-too-familiar story. Individual mistakes cost Leeds points yet again and they are back to 16th in the Championship table.

But could their current struggles have been avoided?

Redfearn cannot be expected to produce miracles after just three games in permanent charge of the club - but what if he had been in charge for considerably longer?

Leeds' incredible momentum when the 49-year-old was in caretaker charge at Elland Road was miraculous. Dave Hockaday's nightmare spell at the club was almost completely forgotten as Redfearn's young squad entered every game with no fear and came out of it with a result.

That momentum came to an abrupt halt, however, when owner Massimo Cellino - for reasons still completely unknown - decided to appoint Darko Milanic as Leeds head coach. For several weeks thereafter, the Yorkshire side could not buy a win.

When Milanic was inevitably sacked after just 32 days, the hope was that Redfearn could pick up where he left off as caretaker boss. But football is never as simple as that.

The 49-year-old is the right man for the job but should have been appointed when Milanic was. Now, Leeds have lost a month out of their season and it could prove very costly.

Imagine a Redfearn side that could have gelled together for several weeks and built up a real head of steam? Instead, the current boss has had to rebuild from the very beginning, meaning those individual errors and lapses in concentration will take even more time to iron out. But it could have been so different.

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