Two games before the end of the season, Neil Redfearn’s Leeds United future could not be in much more doubt.
At his press conference yesterday, Redfearn admitted that he needs to have a “sit down and think” about his future at the club.
The former Academy coach’s record is difficult to judge in charge of the first team. While he has a win ratio of 33.34 per cent since his appointment as permanent coach on November 1, 2014, a large segment of that reign has come without even basic coaching help. Steve Morison referred to Redfearn doing the “BBC” work at Leeds, the laying out of balls, bibs and cones that a head coach would never usually involve himself in. The period when Redfearn had the suspended Steve Thompson as his assistant saw Leeds put a long winning run together, at one point becoming the form side in the division.
In comparison with Dave Hockaday and Darko Milanic, Redfearn’s record looks impressive - Hockaday managed only one win in four league games and also lost against League One Bradford City in the Capital One Cup. Milanic failed to win a single game during his time in the dugout.
In fact, Simon Grayson is the most recent Leeds manager with a significantly better record than Redfearn, and his 49.7 per cent win ratio is somewhat improved by the fact that Leeds spent the first season and a half of his time at the club in League One.
Redfearn has been given no assurances over his future at Leeds, and the sudden suspension of Thompson a month ago suggests that his time might be coming to an end. If Massimo Cellino wishes to retain his services for the optional second season written into his deal, he is supposed to tell Redfearn prior to the last game of the season.
This will interest the likes of Yorkshire rivals Rotherham, who may turn to Redfearn should current manager Steve Evans leave the club in the summer.
Current candidates to replace Redfearn at Leeds include Burton Albion manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who expressed his interest in an Elland Road return earlier this season.
However, there are no guarantees that the former hitman would be Cellino’s first choice. Graham Bean, who was the suspended Italian’s right hand man before being dismissed from the club, took to Twitter to reveal that in the hour following Hockaday’s sacking, a wide range of names were of interest to Cellino. These included Steve Clarke and current Real Madrid assistant manager Paul Clement.
Given Cellino’s habit of rehiring former coaches at Cagliari, Milanic, who is on gardening leave, might be called into action again. At the time of his dismissal, Milanic said: “My contract was not terminated, I’m on paid leave. During this time I must be ready all the time to once again take over the team, if requested by the owner.
“My contract continues to run and I’m on vacation. I signed for two years and I will not terminate my contract.”