Leeds United: Hockaday vows to win over Whites fans

PIC: Tony Johnson

PIC: Tony Johnson

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DAVID HOCKADAY insists he will cope with the expectations of being head coach at Leeds United - and has promised he will work harder than anyone to make his time at the club a success.

The 56-year-old has signed a two-year deal and he is joined at the club by former Hull City midfielder Junior Lewis and admits he cannot wait to get started.

He said: “Yes, I can deal with the expectations.

“I have come here to work hard, coach and improve. I have been given a great opportunity and will take it with both hands.

“For all the rhetoric, for everything I could say, what systems I am going to say and what I can do, I come here with a great work ethic and am going to work hard and the evidence of that will be seen on the pitch.”

On what his job entails, Hockaday added: “My role is very continental. We met up and talked football and the day we had when we met just flew by and he asked me to be his coach, to coach the players, get them fit and teach them to improve them and to pick the team and manage the team on a match-day.

“Coaching is my passion. I just want to get to work; that’s what I am here to do - I am here to coach and work. I can’t wait to meet the players.

“I wasn’t surprised to get the call as I have talked to lots of people and when I met the president and we talked, it was very obvious he knew what he was talking about. It seemed right, he offered me the job and I accepted.”

Cellino remains sure he has found the right coaching candidate after unveiling former Forest Green manager Hockaday as his new head coach.

The United president and owner revealed that he was wooed by what Hockaday has to say regarding football at a five-hour meeting in London around a month ago.

Cellino said: “I got the impression that he was someone who knows what he is talking about. I was looking for someone who can teach the players how to play better and work on the field.

“Our players need to have serious work to improve themselves every day and I was looking for a coach with that characteristic.”

Meanwhile, Cellino says that Hockaday will have input into signing players and says the club have not already done so because he ‘wanted to choose the coach first.’

Cellino has pledged that star striker Ross McCormack will be staying at the club and says the only way they will sell him is if a top Premier League club come in with a big offer, which ‘wouldn’t be fair to turn down’ for the Scot’s sake.

He said: “There is a lot of talk (of interest), but no money on the table. For once, I can do something big for Leeds, I am not selling McCormack.

“He has promised to stay here and signed a big contract. He’s a beautiful player.

“Why should we sell McCormack? McCormack belongs to Leeds.

“McCormack is a matter of principle, not about money.”

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