Neil Redfearn sees no reason why Leeds cannot finish in the Championship play-off places after taking 10 points out of 12 during his spell as caretaker head coach.
Redfearn’s name was repeatedly chanted during the 3-0 West Yorkshire derby victory over Huddersfield, but he looks set to make way for Sturm Graz boss Darko Milanic if the Slovenian’s talks with owner Massimo Cellino prove conclusive.
Goals by Rudi Austin, Mirco Antenucci and Souleymane Doukara gave Leeds the bragging rights over Town, although the victory was soured by the 73rd-minute dismissal of right-back Gaetano Berardi, who collected a second yellow card and his second sending-off of the season.
Yet Redfearn did not let that dampen his mood, and said: “This squad can threaten the top six. I’ve told the players the sky is the limit. We were excellent from first whistle to last.
“Antenucci has been outstanding in our last two games. He has such energy and awareness and his finishing was great. He did really well to keep the ball down when it came to him off the bar from Guiseppe Bellusci’s shot.
“Rudi Austin has power and pace. He is excelling because the football we are playing suits his game.”
Should Milanic arrive at Elland Road, Redfearn is expected to resume his duties as academy manager, although initially he is likely to be closely consulted on first-team matters.
However, the caretaker coach insisted he was none the wiser about events.
“I had a 20-minute chat with Massimo beforehand but it was all about the game,” he said.
“Whatever happens will happen. I have enjoyed myself and done myself no harm. The club is in a better position than it was.”
Huddersfield manager Chris Powell is still awaiting his first win since replacing Mark Robins and he knows the Terriers need to show much more sharpness in front of goal and cut out errors.
To complete Town’s misery, substitute Jon Stead shot over the bar with only Leeds goalkeeper Marco Silvestri to beat six minutes from the end.
“There is no question of them lacking heart,” said Powell. “That will never happen with one of my sides.
“But I need to iron out the basic mistakes we are making and perhaps bring in a couple of new faces.
“There is work I can do with this squad, which needs freshening up a bit. I was happy with certain aspects of our play but we didn’t take our chances. Basic errors are proving costly and the second goal was a real killer.”