Charlie Taylor threw his support behind Neil Redfearn after Leeds United’s 2-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday, claiming Redfearn had the backing of “everyone at the club” and saying a decision to keep him next season was a “no-brainer”.
The 21-year-old gave United’s head coach a vote of confidence after his goal at Hillsborough helped end a frustrating run of five successive defeats.
Leeds fought back from a Chris Maguire penalty to level through Taylor’s 57th-minute tap-in and then win a tight derby with Steve Morison’s second strike in as many games.
Redfearn and his players took appreciative applause from an away following of 4,000, many of whom sat through a 6-0 thrashing at Hillsborough last season, and attention afterwards turned again to the future of United’s boss with only one match remaining before his contract expires.
Taylor – an academy product who has become a first-team regular during Redfearn’s tenure – said Saturday’s win was “for Neil and the fans” and insisted that the squad at Leeds wanted the 49-year-old to remain in charge next season.
Tensions at Elland Road have been evident in the past fortnight, heightened by the controversy surrounding the withdrawal of six players before Leeds’ 2-1 defeat at Charlton Athletic on April 18.
None of those players featured in Redfearn’s squad at Hillsborough, though one of them – defender Giuseppe Bellusci – tweeted later saying he was “happy we made this victory.”
Asked if he wanted Redfearn to remain in charge, Taylor said: “Yes, 100 per cent. I don’t think there’s any player at the club who doesn’t want him to stay. Everyone’s right behind him. It’s a no-brainer for me really.
“I think everyone at the club (wants him to stay on). All the players do. Hopefully he’s here next year and we can give it a real good crack. He’s handled it all brilliantly. Nothing seems to faze him and he’s out on the training ground every day. He’s on his own but he’s doing a great job.
“Obviously you can see that the fans are behind him and every one of the players is behind him. That win’s for Neil and the fans as well.”
United have been plagued by off-field issues since the end of the last international break and they went into Saturday’s derby on the back of six matches without a win.
Maguire’s 35th-minute penalty gave Wednesday a half-time lead but Taylor turned the game when he latched onto Luke Murphy’s deflected free-kick and stabbed the ball home from close range in front of the Leppings Lane end.
“It was a bit scrappy but a goal’s a goal and it’s one I’ll definitely take,” he said. “It was a great feeling to get the win for the fans. To get one over Yorkshire rivals in a derby game is brilliant.
“There’s no hiding that things have been going on behind the scenes here but the players have just got to focus on going out each Saturday and getting a result. You’ve just got to try and forget about it and do your best. I don’t see why we can’t make a big challenge next season, with a few good signings. We’ve just got to try and look forward.”
United, who are 15th in the Championship, will finish their season at home to Rotherham United this weekend.