Steve Evans - Highs and Lows at Elland Road

Steve Evans tries to get his message across to his players at Burnley in April.
 Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.
Steve Evans tries to get his message across to his players at Burnley in April. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.
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STEVE EVANS’S roller-coaster journey as Leeds United boss has come to an end with Massimo Cellino wielding his managerial axe once again. It follows an inconsistent campaign under the Glaswegian, following his appointment to replace Uwe Rosler back in October.

Although his spell in charge of Leeds wasn’t always positive, with some fans often questioning his suitability for the job, there were occasional glimpses where the team looked to be showing signs of improvement, culminating in a 13th-placed finish at the end of the 2015-16 season.

Steve Evans.
 Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Steve Evans. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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We look at Evans’ highs and lows in his eight-month spell in charge at Elland Road.

Highs

Huddersfield Town 0 LEeds United 3

Following a difficult start to his reign as Leeds manager having just won one of his first four games, Leeds came away from The John Smith’s stadium with a convincing victory against their local rivals thanks to goals from Mirko Antenucci, Chris Wood and Alex Mowatt.

Leeds United 2 Hull City 1

The Tigers’ travelled to Leeds chasing automatic promotion sat among the top four and, with their hosts languishing in the bottom half, a comfortable win for Steve Bruce’s side was expected. However, goals from Chris Wood and Tom Adeyemi were enough to upset the visitors.

Response to losing 4-0 at Brighton

Following the 4-0 humbling at the Amex, pressure was really starting to mount on Evans. His side responded by winning three games in a row with impressive away displays at Blackburn and play-off chasing Cardiff City, following a home win against Bolton. It was the manner of these results which was important with the players looking to have galvanised and beginning to play for Evans.

January recruitment

New players were needed if Leeds wanted to impose themselves on the league table and they managed to secure the services of Toumani Diagouraga from Brentford despite attracting significant interest elsewhere. But it was the loan signing of Liam Bridcutt from Sunderland who impressed the most with a series of solid performances in midfield.

Academy aces

Evans wasn’t afraid to give players from the club’s Academy a chance, with 17-year-old Ronaldo Vieira handed a début against Preston on the final day of the season. This was alongside other Academy graduates such as Lewis Cook, Alex Mowatt and Charlie Taylor, who have all stamped made a mark on the team throughout the season.

Lows

Leeds United 0 Blackburn Rovers 2

Goals from Craig Conway and Jordan Rhodes within the first five minutes of the game left Steve Evans winless after three games in charge following draws away at Fulham and Bolton. However, it was the atrociuous display of his players which was the major concern.

Brighton 4 Leeds United 0

Leeds travelled down south and put in a truly shambolic display with the players seeming to lack any sort of fight or commitment in a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of the Seagulls. This led to Massimo Cellino banning Evans from the post-match press conference, with suggestions that Evans had ‘lost’ the dressing room.

Leeds United 1 Huddersfield Town 4

Losing to local rivals never goes down well with your own fans, yet getting thumped at home by local rivals Huddersfield was particularly difficult result for Whites fans to stomach. This result was even harder to understand given it came on the back of a three-game winning run.

Leeds United 1 Charlton Athletic 2

In what was the last home game of the season it was imperative to give the fans something to shout about, However Evans’ side went out with a whimper losing 2-1 to a club long relegated. Evans’s hopes of ending the season on a high did not go to plan.

Kalvin Phillips

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