Despite Dave Hockaday’s unheralded background in coaching, Peter Lorimer believes he can still make his mark at Elland Road.
DAVID HOCKADAY is the new head coach of Leeds United and while he is not the biggest name, I don’t think names mean anything in coaching, to be honest with you.
There have been loads of instances of great footballers who have not become great managers and coaches and we have had some big names come to Leeds over the years and they haven’t worked at this club.
It’s about what the individual person does and how he gets his message across and stamps his authority and making sure people are impressed with him to get the right results.
If I was in David’s position, I would just think ‘what a wonderful opportunity it is for me to show people I am a good coach who can do the job at a big club.’
His job is a defined one, like any other job where you have your roles. Footballers are there to play football and similarly, coaches are there to get them fit, organised and train them.
That’s David’s job and he will need to make his mark that way on the players.
From what I know of the group of players we have got at Leeds, they are a decent set of lads and I don’t think there’s anyone who causes trouble down there.
I would imagine that they will respond accordingly to him and give him his chance.
They have to impress him, of course they have, to be firmly in his plans for next season, which kicks off at Millwall on August 9.
The good thing for a lot of the players is that a fair few of them under Brian McDermott seemed to have been dropped out of the pecking order altogether during the course of last season. But they will see this as having another chance now.
This is a big chance for a lot of them who weren’t really involved with Brian’s group and it’s up to them who are still here to impress the new coach and show they are worthy of a place.
This always happens at a football club when you get a new coach or manager in. It can revitalise a lot of players who had maybe got a bit stale or weren’t really part of the situation.
I am sure a lot of players will be wanting to show that while they weren’t part of it last season that they are worthy of a place and that it can work for them at Leeds United.
In terms of David, we all have to give him a chance, the decision has now been made. Let him get on with the job – and he has got a job on his hands before the start of the season and he will have to get to know the players and the aspects of the club quickly.
He’s basically got a month to get things organised and has a big job in front of him.
It’s a major change in his life as well, coming to a club like Leeds United from where he has been will be a major challenge for him.
It’s a big challenge for him, yes, but equally I am sure it is one he will look forward to.
Leeds are a big club and a big job and it can be the making of him if he does well here.
In terms of what he will be doing on the training ground, with pre-season getting underway again today, I think he will be judging the fitness of the players and basically looking at what he’s got once training starts, that will be his priority along with getting some friendly games organised.
I am sure Dave will be seeing if we are potentially weak in certain areas before making his decisions. A few midfielders have already gone such as Paul Green and Michael Brown and that might be a position we need to strengthen for instance and there will be other areas that we may need to strengthen in as well.
I think he will have an idea of how he wants to play in terms of style.
But once again, he will have to look at the players he has got and see if he has those type of players to play the system he wants to.
Every coach has an idea of how they want to play, but do you have the players within the club to do that?
I would imagine Dave will have his mind on one or two positions or players he’d like to bring in, for sure. We’ll just have to wait and see on that count.
Obviously, Lee Peltier has now left the club and joined Huddersfield Town and to be quite honest, it never really happened for him at Leeds, looking at his time here.
He was out on loan at Nottingham Forest at the end of last season and all parties seemed happy for him to go and find another permanent club.
Realistically, the crowd never really took to him and this represents a big chance for him to get away to Huddersfield, where he has played before, and pick his career up again. That is what he will be looking to do.
While some players will be revitalised and become involved again, a move for Lee could do the same for his career as well.