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

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.

In other news, Chris Sutton reacts to reported decision on Arsenal player today