Quick links


'Cellino was protecting me' - Admission at Leeds shows head coach-owner dynamic

Neil Redfearn has been speaking about the decision not to hand him the head coach role ahead of Darko Milanic.

Leeds United head coach in waiting Neil Redfearn has been speaking about the task at hand.

Redfearn taking the job will be confirmed imminently, with the 49-year-old explaining the situation at a press conference on Thursday, confirming he will be in the dugout against Cardiff this weekend.

There were calls for Redfearn to be handed the job permanently previously, after his four game spell as caretaker manager in late August and September.

Owner Massimo Cellino was keen for him to return to his position at the academy at the time, appointing Darko Milanic instead, who he fired last Saturday after six games in charge without a win.

Speaking at his press conference on Thursday, Redfearn explained that the reason he was not handed the role, was that Cellino felt it was for his own good.

He said: "I've been in discussions with Massimo all the way down the line, I know what he's trying to achieve, and I know which way round he's trying to do it.

"I know he was trying to protect me, you know, with me going back into the academy, but obviously things change in football and you have to grasp things as they come along.

"If this means us kicking on now and me taking up the baton then so be it."

Redfearn's comments show that Cellino, despite the criticism, cares about the club and those working there who he trusts, and did not want to put him in the firing line.

It's worked out for the best, because the Italian has clearly realised Redfearn is the best person for the role, and Milanic's failure compared to his success shows he really is ready, and does not need protecting.

The alternative is it shows Cellino's skills as a salesman; having not wanted to appoint Redfearn originally, he managed to convince him it was for his own good.

Whichever interpretation you believe, it gives an interesting insight into the relationship between the pair and the events which have transpired at the club over the past couple of months.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch