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How does Neil Redfearn compare to the last five Leeds bosses?

Redfearn has received the plaudits and turned Leeds' season around in difficult circumstances, so how does he compare with previous men in charge?

Whether working as a conventional 'manager' or as the 'head coach' that president Massimo Cellino has dubbed the first team boss, the common thread for the last six men in charge of Leeds United is that they have all carried out their work to the backdrop of ownership uncertainty and backstage chaos.

With this in mind, it is perhaps testament to all of the six men discussed here that Leeds remain a Championship club and today appear to be in the healthiest position since the first of these managers - Simon Grayson - narrowly missed out on a play-off position in 2011. Now Neil Redfearn is hoping he is allowed the opportunity and clarity of responsibility to build on this and allow for Leeds to actively challenge for promotion for the first time in five years.

Simon Grayson December 2008 to February 2012

Played 169 Won 84 Drawn 40 Lost 45 Win % 50

Simon Grayson immediately 'got' Leeds United as a former player and fan and seemed a natural fit as boss. Winning promotion from League One in 2010 was the club's last major achievement and many feel the side Grayson assembled in the third tier - containing Jermaine Beckford, Max Gradel, Bradley Johnson, Jonny Howson, Robert Snodgrass and Luciano Becchio - is as good as anything Leeds have cobbled together since. Critically absent from that list is a notable defender, and hence Grayson's Achilles heel becomes apparent. Leeds played some fantastic attacking football under Grayson but always looked vulnerable at the back. That said, it is a fact admitted by Grayson himself that he wasn't supported in the transfer market by owner and chairman Ken Bates when he wanted to bolster the squad to clinch a play-off spot in 2010/11. Crucial signings could have made the difference. Leeds finished 7th, Grayson was sacked the following season and Leeds have never been anywhere near challenging again.

Neil Warnock February 2012 to April 2013

Played 63 Won 23 Drawn 15 Lost 25 Win % 37

Promotion-specialist Warnock arrived at Leeds for 'one last challenge' but never endeared himself to the fan base, nor injected his team with any of the battling qualities his successful sides had been famous for. Warnock fell out at various times with star strikers Ross McCormack and Luciano Becchio - leading to the latter being sold to Norwich in a swap deal for Steve Morison - and made bizarre use of the loan system. In the background, Warnock worked throughout the Bates/GFH takeover and his summer spending plans were severely hampered. As a result, the 2012/13 season was an arduous trial for Leeds fans in which the standard of football was typical of the ageing journeymen that proliferated the team, and a number of heavy defeats followed. Warnock stood down in April with Leeds facing a serious threat of relegation.

Brian McDermott - April 2013 to May 2014 

Played 55 Won 21 Drawn 9 Lost 25 Win % 38

McDermott was seen as a stellar appointment given his promotion to the Premier League with Reading and he immediately became popular as he steered Leeds away from relegation trouble with a solid last five games of the season. The summer of 2013 was once again played out with a backdrop of financial uncertainty and owners GFH Capital never truly backed McDermott with the signings he wanted. Still, Leeds started the season promisingly and were in the play-off picture around Christmas time. With the rumours of behind-the-scenes intervention in team affairs from the ownership, Leeds' form plummeted dramatically and McDermott even survived a sacking and reinstatement during the takeover of Massimo Cellino, one of the most bizarre 24-hour periods English football has ever seen. The likeable McDermott never recovered from the incident and held a 'dead man walking' status for the rest of a sorry season in which his credibility suffered further blows via some questionable tactical decisions and yet more heavy defeats. 

David Hockaday - June 2014 to August 2014

Played 6 Won 2 Drawn 0 Lost 4 Win% 33.33

The most illogical appointment in the club's history by far was the hiring of Hockaday as Cellino's first man in charge for 2014/15.  Hockaday was never going to survive long in the position and was never likely to gain any credibility among a fan base who studied the appointment from every angle possible, but always came up with the same answer. It was clear Hockaday was highly disposable and in the position purely to be Cellino's mouthpiece on a match day, and so it proved as he had no input into player recruitment and survived only six games in charge. Despite such a short tenure, Hockaday's obvious flaws were highlighted immediately and the folly of the appointment was thankfully over quickly.

Darko Milanic - September 2014 to October 2014

Played 6 Won 0 Drawn 3 Lost 3 Win % 0

Form had picked up immediately upon Neil Redfearn taking over as caretaker manager but Cellino flouted convention again by appointing little-known Slovenian coach Milanic. Many fans felt there was no need to remove Redfearn from his position but at least Milanic had some credentials, having been successful with Sturm Graz in the Austrian Bundesliga. However, Milanic offered little in his short tenure and tactically and personality-wise it was difficult to draw any conclusions from his time at Elland Road.

Neil Redfearn - October 2014 to present

Played 36 Won 15 Drawn 7 Lost 14 Win % 42

It is harsh to include Redfearn's three separate stints as caretaker manager in his overall stats, but they still highlight that only Simon Grayson has a better win percentage of the recent Leeds United managers. Certainly Leeds fans will now be expecting that win percentage to improve, should Redfearn be given the new contract his performances have deserved, and he then be allowed to continue, unhindered, to build on the obvious progress he has made in 2015.

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