Leeds United: Evans to hold talks over loan signings

Steve Evans.
Steve Evans.
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Steve Evans will hold further talks about potential loan signings this week after a frustrating draw at Bolton Wanderers extended Leeds United’s winless run to five games.

Evans plans to speak with owner Massimo Cellino and United’s head of recruitment Martyn Glover in the next 24 hours – but insisted he would not rush into completing deals despite the club’s current form.

The 52-year-old’s second match in charge ended in a 1-1 draw at the Macron Stadium on Saturday, secured by a second-half penalty from Mirco Antenucci.

Leeds were forced to fight back from Shola Ameobi’s first-half strike but hit a post twice and missed other chances before Antenucci equalised against a Bolton side who are bottom of the Championship and played out the final 20 minutes with 10 men.

United are 17th in the table and separated from the relegation places by a three-point gap but Evans, who replaced Uwe Rosler as head coach last week, admitted his initial assessment of his squad had highlighted the need for changes.

The Elland Road club are in the market for a new goalkeeper following the ankle injury sustained by second-choice Ross Turnbull during the recent international break. The position of first-choice Marco Silvestri is under scrutiny again following an error in the build-up to Bolton’s goal.

Evans also wants to increase his choice of strikers before the emergency loan window closes next month,

The United boss said: “We’re thin in certain areas, not thin all over.

“There are maybe even areas where we’re overloaded. Perhaps some of those players wouldn’t have the quality or ability to be playing in a Leeds United team that should be pushing on up the table.

“I have to continue my education of the players, which is fantastic in games. That’s where you really learn. Some players can look great in training but put them in on matchdays and it’s the opposite.

“Some of my early thoughts from Fulham (United’s 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage last Wednesday) have been endorsed further. I’ll sit down with Martyn Glover and no doubt I’ll be meeting our president at some stage.

“But there’s not going to be any rushing. We have to get the right players who not only have the right ability but can come here and handle playing at Elland Road.”

Cellino is on the verge of being banned from running United for a second time by the Football League but he remains in charge of the club at present ahead of an appeal against his disqualification.

The 59-year-old is set to be barred until next June due to a conviction for tax evasion imposed on him by an Italian court. He has until Wednesday to notify the Football League of his intention to appeal.

Evans, meanwhile, said his side had enough of Saturday’s game to overcome Bolton and blamed missed chances and a lack of precision in attack for denying him a first win as head coach.

His opening two matches have yielded two points and Evans said: “I don’t kid myself – I go away disappointed.

“My assistant manager’s job will be picking me up but we’ll bounce back into Thorp Arch with the right spirit.”