NEIL REDFEARN has verbally agreed a deal to be the new full-time head coach of Leeds United and says he has received the assurances over his future he was seeking from Massimo Cellino.
After three spells in caretaker charge, Redfearn has now been entrusted with a permanent first-team role and will officially sign a contract shortly.
If it does not work out, it is thought there is a proviso that Redfearn will revert to his academy post, but it is hoped that his promotion to the head coach position will be lasting.
Redfearn said: “I had a meeting with Massimo. Nothing has been put down in concrete and I just wanted to see how he saw it and how he viewed me going forward.
“He said: ‘Look, I see you here for the long haul, I want you here with me.’
“I am stepping up taking the first team, but the bottom line is he sees me there for the long haul.’
“The conversation I had with him was whether he sees me as a head coach and that’s it or as a head coach who – if it goes wrong – might go back in the Academy for a bit. But he sees me here for the long haul with him and I have got to take on his word.
“If I am going to be here for the long haul and I don’t mind committing myself for the long term, then the club has got to commit itself to me.
“From the role I am going to take on now, then the contract needs to match the role I am taking on.
“My circumstances will change now because there is a lot more prestige and pressure which comes with getting points for the first team than getting players through the academy and that is not belittling the academy.
“But we had a good conversation. I don’t think anything (contract) will be finalised this week, to be honest and I am very mindful of the Saturday game. I want to get this week done, the training right and the lads upbeat.
“Massimo has said what he is looking to do and sees it as a long-term project and me as part of that.
“I honestly believe him and the stuff he has said before, he has done and been right with me.
“Obviously, from my point of view, things have got to be right for me.
“But I get on really well and work well and understand him and where he is coming from.”
Meanwhile, Redfearn says he has ‘someone in mind’ to bring in as his first-team assistant with a restructuring of academy staff likely to follow after his permanent elevation to first-team matters.”