Leeds United's great form coincides with Cellino absence - Coincidence?

The Italian stepped down from his role as chairman in January.

There is never a dull moment at Leeds United and this season has proved no different. The ownership of the club by Italian Massimo Cellino has certainly seen the place become perhaps even more tumultuous than ever before.

This season Cellino has largely been in charge of player recruitment, which saw an influx of some good, some bad, Italian-based players.

His apparent fear of the number 17 is also well documented, as his chopping block mentality when it comes to management. Dave Hockaday and Darko Milanic have both been in charge since Leeds parted company with Brian McDermott in the summer.

It is certainly fair to say that not many other chairman of Championship clubs get as much news coverage as the controversial and enigmatic Italian.

However, results on the pitch were not great either. Former youth coach Neil Redfearn is now in permanent charge and Leeds went on an eight-game winless streak from November until January.

However, their recent form has been impressive. Leeds have won four of their last five games and are steadily rising up the table. They started the run on the 20th January, with a win against Bournemouth and have since defeated Huddersfield, Reading and Millwall - just a home defeat against high-flying Brentford getting in the way.

But is it a coincidence that this run of form has run alongside Cellino's absence from the club?

Cellino was disqualified by the Football League in December after tax evasion charges in Italy came to light. He was also asked to step down from his role as chairman and, after losing an appeal, he did just that.

This was three days after the Bournemouth win and since then Leeds have been flying.

Without Cellino's unfortunately distracting presence, Leeds have been playing well and there is surely a case to say his presence before may have been a hindrance on the team's performances.

Time will tell if Leeds can keep up this form going forward, but if they do, the superstitious Cellino may have to stay away for good.

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