Leeds United: I will pick the team, insists Evans

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NEW head coach Steve Evans insists he will pick the team at Leeds United, declaring the day he doesn’t is the day he will pack his bags and leave Elland Road.

Confusion has surrounded past managerial tenures at Elland Road with conflicting views over whether it was the responsibility of the head coach or actually chairman Massimo Cellino to pick the side.

New Leeds United head coach Steve Evans.' PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

New Leeds United head coach Steve Evans.' PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

But ahead of his first game in charge with Leeds at Championship hosts Fulham on Wednesday, Evans insists he will have the final say on team selection.

The Glaswegian also insists he will have the last call on any incoming transfers - and has no concerns over who he will actually be working for and report to in light of Cellino once again being banned by the Football League.

Evans was joined in his first ever Whites press conference by head of recruitment Martyn Glover at Elland Road today and was asked who picks the team at the club to which he replied: “The simplest way I can answer that is the day I don’t pick the team I won’t be the manager of Leeds United.

“I have to pick the team so when I met Mr Cellino that was never in doubt.

“I will have the first say in terms of positional changes that we need and I will have the last say in terms of players coming in.

“When Mr Cellino’s here he’s my boss. On a day to day basis I’ll deal with Martyn (Glover) but I’m here to concentrate on what goes on on the grass.

“Myself and Martyn have identified one or two areas, I have spoken to the president and it’s my decision whether they go ahead.

“It then becomes a decision with Martyn and the board whether they are financially affordable. I’ve identified one or two I’d like to add to the group but there’s some talented boys in the group.”

Asked why he thought Cellino had come calling for his services, Evans reasoned: “I think maybe he wanted me because of my track record of success and I think in five years if you stay up in the Championship with significantly the lowest budget and you have four consecutive promotions then it’s a CV that you think may warrant you a bigger opportunity.

“Does it warrant you at Leeds United? It’s such a massive club and there’s no point me dressing it up in any other way and I’m not an ex-Premier League player who can sit here and say this means nothing to me.

“I walked through the city on Monday night and I had Leeds United supporters shaking my hand and shouting my name. Wow.

“My job is to meet the challenge and I can only affect what happens on the grass but I would say to Leeds United supporters give me an opportunity and I’ll give you a team that plays with passion, that plays with pride. That’s the least I’ll do.

“And hopefully I can bring that ability that wins matches. The Leeds United supporters can get ready for winning football because that’s going to come.”