Neil Redfearn described his controversial departure from Leeds United as “water under the bridge” and said he was in “a much better position” for his time as head coach after taking charge as the new manager of Rotherham United.
Redfearn was officially unveiled as Rotherham’s successor to Steve Evans yesterday, three months after quitting Leeds in acrimonious fashion.
The 50-year-old joined United as a youth-team coach in 2009 but stepped into the breach for a fraught seven-month spell as head coach last season as the club dealt with off-field crises and the disqualification of owner Massimo Cellino.
Cellino replaced Redfearn with Uwe Rosler after returning from a Football League ban in May and despite returning to his old job as academy manager, Redfearn resigned from that role in July claiming his position had been made “untenable” by the breakdown of his relationship with the Italian.
Shortly before appointing Rosler, Cellino described Redfearn as “weak” in a national newspaper interview and accused him of “acting like a baby” amid turmoil at Elland Road.
Redfearn said: “Leeds is water under the bridge now. I have to move on. It happened and I’m proud of what I achieved.
“From the position the club was in – looking like it might go down – to now where they are in the Championship with young players in the side, they’re in a better position than the one I inherited.
“I don’t have any regrets about managing Leeds. To do that is fantastic. But I’m more interested in Rotherham United. What I will say is what happened there has definitely helped me (become a better manager).
“Weaker people would have probably gone under but I’m strong as a person. What it did was enhance what I’ve got. I feel in a much better position for the benefit of it.”
He and Cellino will cross paths again when Rotherham visit Elland Road on November 21.