Neil Redfearn is ready to change Leeds United’s approach to away games in a bid to rectify their poor run of form – but the club’s head coach says he will not give up on his commitment to building a “passing side”.
Redfearn admitted that United’s failure to pick up points away from home this season was demanding a rethink of his strategy and the 49-year-old thinks further additions to his squad are necessary to deliver more consistency.
Leeds suffered their seventh away defeat of the Championship term at Ipswich Town last weekend, losing 4-1 just seven days after a rousing win at home to league leaders Derby County, and Redfearn said the result had highlighted the need to “play a little differently” on the road.
Most of United’s points this season have been collected at Elland Road and United have not been beaten at home during Redfearn’s spell as full-time head coach or his four-game stint as caretaker earlier in the year.
Leeds’ squad has undergone sweeping changes since the end of last season, with 15 new players arriving during the summer transfer window, but Redfearn is looking for more resources to tweak his style away from home.
Any plans for recruitment are being complicated, however, by both the Football League disqualification hanging over owner Massimo Cellino and the expectation that Leeds will be hit with a transfer embargo in the January window, their punishment for breaking Financial Fair Play rules.
Redfearn, whose side were 16th in the league ahead of today’s clash with Fulham, said: “We have to look at things away from home. We might have to play a little bit differently away until we get into a position where we’re a little bit stronger in the league with a bit more about us.
“When you’re changing things round and changing a squad round, although it might be a big squad you’re not necessarily looking to involve all the players you’ve (inherited). Not if you’re looking to take the team in a different direction.
“But the message is clear. I see us as footballers. I see us as a passing side.
“We need to get some strength and steel in our performances, particularly away form home, but as I’ve said before that’s going to be a process.”
Redfearn is believed to be on the verge of finally securing an assistant, with Steve Thompson now expected to join from Huddersfield. United’s boss has been looking to bring Thompson in for the past month-and-a-half and an impasse appears to have broken following fresh talks between Cellino and Redfearn and an admission from Huddersfield that they no longer want compensation.
Redfearn stressed the importance of strong management at Leeds, saying: “It’s up to me and Massimo at the top to be tough.
“We’ve got make sure we send the right message and say the positive things the players need to here, to keep on down the right road.”