Leeds United: Milanic promised “time to improve the squad” by Cellino

Massimo Cellino. PIC: Tony Johnson

Massimo Cellino. PIC: Tony Johnson

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Darko Milanic insisted last night that he was alive to the expectations of Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino - but said the Italian had promised him “time to improve the squad.”

Darko Milanic insisted last night that he was alive to the expectations of Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino - but said the Italian had promised him “time to improve the squad.”

Milanic revealed that he and Cellino held “very constructive” discussions after his first game as United head coach ended in a 2-0 loss at Brentford on Saturday.

The pair met for dinner on Sunday night to dissect a result which broke Leeds’ run of four games without defeat and left Milanic looking for a “better” performance at home to Reading this evening.

Cellino, who bought a majority stake in Leeds in April, was renowned for his impatience during two decades as owner of Cagliari, changing head coach no fewer than 36 times before selling the Sardinian club earlier this year.

Milanic’s predecessor at Elland Road, David Hockaday, survived for just 70 days and six competitive games and the former Sturm Graz coach agreed that an early run of good results would be crucial in cementing his position with Leeds.

Milanic said: “When we met for the first time he said to me that he wanted to give me time to improve the squad. This is my job.

“But if I don’t win the games, that (the pressure) is normal for a coach. I’m prepared.

“I talked to him after the match at Brentford, we had a meeting. Like I said before, he accepts things and he’s very intelligent. It was a very constructive meeting.

“He said to me that I have to improve the squad and that I have to win. I know this. I want to win tonight, I want to win every game. Then we are all happy and you have the energy to do everything. If you win, everything is okay. But I don’t feel pressure. I just want us to be better.”

Leeds have back-to-back home fixtures against Reading and Sheffield Wednesday this week, their final matches before the second international break of the campaign.

Milanic, who took up a two-year deal at Elland Road last week, said: “It’s not easy to make a lot of changes in one moment. I have to do it slowly.

“I’m used to training another way but I have to put a little bit today, a little bit tomorrow. Not everything in one day.”

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