Evans has done enough to earn an extended crack at Leeds United job - Whelan

Steve Evans
Steve Evans
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SATURDAY’S win against Reading makes Leeds United mathematically safe from relegation and that puts everything to bed now for the season.

Steve Evans will be very happy that he’s maintained the Championship status of the club for next season and now hopefully the club can start looking to rebuild and planning for the start of next season.

I think Leeds deserved all three points on Saturday. Overall, it took Leeds a bit of time to get going and obviously there was a good chance in the first 10 minutes of the game.

Then Reading started getting on top of the game and created a few chances for themselves but you get out of the game what you deserve and on Saturday that’s what Leeds got.

I’ve always defended Chris Wood and I’ve always thought he is going to be a good player for Leeds United when he gets settled.

And playing up front by yourself is not easy. It’s a very difficult job to do.

It takes a lot of energy because you are trying to control two centre-halves and you are also working the full-backs as well and it’s all about the support that comes up to him.

There’s always goals in the young man, we know that, but next year we have got to get somebody who is going to complement his style as well – somebody with a bit of pace, who can get in behind defenders and then I think we can keep playing two up front.

I think that is needed for Wood and it will probably bring the best out of him as well.

Toumani Diagouraga was also on the scoresheet and he is looking like a good buy.

He has shown his worth and he can play without Liam Bridcutt in there. And I think Luke Murphy has been absolutely excellent. He’s brave, he gets on the ball and we know he’s got quality.

Now he is beginning to show that and why he cost Leeds United so much money.

But in general the midfield was strong on Saturday and the only downfall would be the disappointment of the way they conceded the goals at set-pieces again.

Disciplined marking is an art and sometimes people just fall asleep far too easily. For the second one we fell asleep and we were too busy arguing and lost concentration and once again people are not looking to mark men in the box.

You have got to do that first and foremost. I definitely think we need some centre-backs and I think we need a no nonsense, horrible centre-half who just enjoys defending.

I’m not so bothered whether he can play football or not to be quiet honest – just somebody that can head, defend, keeps clean sheets, enjoys keeping them and gives the centre-forward an absolutely torrid day and let’s them know they have been in a game.

I heard about the speculation about Fabio Cannavaro yesterday and maybe he’s just coming to Leeds for some decent shopping because I know there’s not many decent shops in Italy!

But only Massimo Cellino knows what his plans are for the manager and whether that’s Evans, who I think has done an excellent job. He’s done what he was supposed to and probably a little bit more and if he doesn’t get the shot at it then I think he has got a right to be a little bit aggrieved by that.

I think a lot of people would actually now say ‘give him a chance’ because I think he has proven he deserves one.

He’s had to work with players that were brought in by other managers, in difficult circumstances, and he’s done more than expected of him.

Who knows what he could actually achieve next season? Cannavaro won everything as a player but he is not proven as a manager and that’s the thing.

He knows nothing about the Championship and it’s a different league altogether than he’s probably ever been used to.

In that aspect of things, it’s an unknown. Evans has a pedigree – Cannavaro hasn’t as a manager.

There’s no point just having ‘a name’ – you can go out and get bigger names if you wanted. But they know nothing about the Championship, they know nothing about this league and they know nothing about the players they need to bring in or what you need to get out of this league.

Next season it is going to be even more difficult with the teams that are going to be coming down.

I would rather stick with Evans.