Neil Redfearn does not want to see the off-pitch problems at Leeds affecting his players.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, Redfearn has outlined his desire to see the Whites players remain professional and focused when they take to the Elland Road pitch on Saturday.
All the pre-match build-up to Leeds’ tie with Blackburn Rovers has been centred around the on-going off-pitch problems, with Redfearn’s assistant Steve Thompson suspended for the immediate future with no real reasoning.
In a separate development, it was also revealed that leading goalscorer Mirco Antenucci, 30, was not being selected by Redfearn due to orders from above. The Italian forward has a clause in his contract that triggers a one-year extension if he reaches the tally of 12 by the end of the campaign, and the head coach is being pressured into not selecting him to prevent such an occurrence.
Despite all of these issues, Redfearn has still had to prepare his team for a Championship tie with Blackburn on Saturday, with the Rovers still looking for an outside hope of securing a play-off place.
It will be a tough game for Leeds, and one would suspect that a number of players will be affected by the ongoing issues. It is hard to see how a squad of players who are clearly fond of Redfearn will react when there is a defined mission to undermine the coach, but Redfearn himself has outlined his desire to see the team he selects remain professional in the face of adversity.
The former academy boss said: “On Saturday I’ll just make sure that for their sake and for the supporters who pay the money to come in, the lads are as professional and focused as they have been all season, and I’m sure they will be.
“But this just doesn’t help. The timing’s not ideal. It’s never ideal.”