Luke Ayling sends two-word message to ex-Leeds boss

APOEL's headcoach Thomas Christiansen looks on during the UEFA Champions League group stages play-off football match between Cyprus' APOEL Nicosia and Denmark's FC Copenhagen on August 24,...

The ex-Leeds United boss is back in football management.

Thomas Christiansen manager of Leeds United looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leeds United at Molineux on November 22, 2017 in...

In just two words, Luke Ayling managed to encapsulate the respect that he and Leeds United players have for their ex-manager Thomas Christiansen.

Christiansen is back in football management for the first time since being sacked by Leeds in February of 2018.

The 46-year-old has been appointed as head coach of Belgian side Royale Union Saint-Gilloise.

The former Spain international lasted less than a year in West Yorkshire after the wheels came off United's season midway through the 2017-18 campaign, though Christiansen's side had enjoyed a rip-roaring first few months.

 

The Leeds players didn't respond to Paul Heckingbottom, his successor, who only won four of his 16 Championship games in charge at Elland Road.

And Ayling has given an insight into the affection that the Denmark-born coach still commands among his former players by referring to him as 'gaffer'.

Many Leeds fans were sad to see Christiansen depart - and even sadder when Heckingbottom failed to prove himself an upgrade.

But the supporters are chuffed with Marcelo Bielsa these days, and the Argentine is preparing to mastermind a promotion-winning season, having come so close last term.

United were 10th in the Championship at the time of sacking the former APOEL boss.

Leeds United's Danish manager Thomas Christiansen gestures on the touchline during the English League Cup fourth round football match between Leicester City and Leeds United at King Power...

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