NEIL Redfearn has secured a vote of confidence in his performance as Leeds United head coach by making the shortlist for March’s manager-of-the-month award.
Redfearn received a Football League nomination for the second time this season today, featuring in a four-man Championship shortlist having previously missed out on the January trophy.
The 49-year-old faces an uncertain future at Leeds with his contract due to expire in five games’ time and the club still to announce whether they will take up an option to keep him next season.
Further doubt was cast on Redfearn’s position last week by the suspension of his assistant, Steve Thompson, but Redfearn revealed after Monday’s defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers that he was committed to seeing out the rest of the Championship term.
United guaranteed their safety from relegation in March, going five games without defeat and collecting 11 points.
Their run included wins away at Fulham and Wigan Athletic and a 2-1 victory at home to play-off contenders Ipswich Town.
The Football League’s judging panel said Redfearn’s team were “now expressing themselves with confidence, and (they) trust each other.”
Redfearn is up against Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe, Charlton Athletic’s Guy Luzon and Norwich City’s Alex Neil for the March prize.
Leeds’ form has dipped since the end of the international break and a 3-0 defeat to Blackburn Rovers last weekend was following by a dramatic 4-3 loss at Molineux on Easter Monday.
Those matches were played out against the backdrop of confusion at Elland Road amid the suspension of Thompson and pressure on Redfearn from United’s board to limit the involvement of striker Mirco Antenucci due to a clause in the Italian’s contract.
The Leeds boss pleaded for “a fighting chance” after the defeat to Wolves, saying: “You can see the players are with us and the supporters are with us. We just need a fighting chance.
“This great club is starting to get back to its feet and it needs a chance – the same chance that the other 91 league clubs have. If it gets a fair chance then we can get it going. But we do need to get that chance.”