Leeds United: Whites need look no further than Evans – Ritchie

Steve Evans
Steve Evans
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MASSIMO Cellino’s hunt for the next Leeds United coach continues but I think you’ve got to think first about Steve Evans.

I think he has done a great job.

I keep banging on about this and we keep talking about this continuity and stability at a football club and it seems like it is out of the window again and I think it’s wrong.

I think we need to have that stability and if we have a new head coach there will be people that he won’t want at the football club, he’ll want to bring new people in and there will be uncertainty again with the players.

There will be a new regime, it will be a new way of training with most probably a new system in place of how he wants to play.

I just feel it’s too much change every three or four months and the players must be getting sick of it, I would have thought.

Speaking to other head coaches whilst Steve is still in charge is not very classy is it? Well. I don’t think it is.

And how does Steve put up with it? For me, it seems as though they are trying to force him out and make him quit. It looks like they are trying to force his hand if you like.

I know he went away on holiday but he has come back to work and I think he is totally correct in what he is doing.

He is making sure that everybody sees him in the light of ‘I am working here, I am still manager and if you are going to sack me, then sack me.’

It’s a case of ‘I’m still here, I’m still doing the job’ and I think that he is right to do that but he’s got some willpower, I know that.

I think Steve has done a great job to be fair and I think he gained the most points in a league season since United last got in the play-offs.

You have got to say that is an achievement as he wasn’t even there for the full season so I think he has done a great job.

I do feel for him, I really do, but we keep saying this as I thought that Neil Redfearn had done a fantastic job and he was nowhere near to keeping his job either.

I just feel like it’s too much change, too many times.

Could it ever work under Massimo Cellino here?

I think when he comes out with statements like ‘I wish I had never bought the club’ like the other week when he said if he was asked again he would go nowhere near it, I don’t think that endears him to the fans either does it? And if you really pushed me for an answer on whether it could ever work here under Cellino I would say no, I don’t think it will.

Newcastle United have obviously signed up Rafa Benitez as their head coach for the next three years but from an outsider looking in, would you think that Rafa Benitez would be anywhere near Leeds United as it stands at the minute? I think we all know that the owner has a big say in who plays and what the team is, that’s how I feel anyway and that’s how it looks on the outside looking in.

And do you think Benitez would have anything to do with that?

I think that’s why they are having to look for these people in the lower divisions and that’s no disrespect to anyone else linked with the job.

I think Steve has done fantastically well and he should have been given time to get the players in that he wanted this season – give him at least another season and the start of another campaign to have another go.

I can’t see what the problem is with that.

I got on with Steve very well and when I was manager at Barnsley he was at Boston United. We played a pre-season friendly against them and I got on with him.

And he was great with me when he was at Crawley and we went down there and trained on the way down to play Southampton. We got on great and I know his credentials.

Darrell Clarke was heavily linked with the United job before he signed a three-year deal with Bristol Rovers yesterday. With two promotions behind him, he would have been a strong candidate because anybody who gets a promotion, I feel as though they have got something about them, you’ve got to have, and I know that because I enjoyed a promotion at Barnsley.

You have got to get everybody on board to what you are thinking and what you want to do. The players have got to buy into it and to do that is a tough job.

Steve has done that before and Darrell has obviously done that the last two seasons. It’s a tough task to do. It’s a magnificent feeling to get a promotion – it’s a tough ask and you’ve got to be on your mettle.

If Cellino was to go for a Serie B manager it’s a massive culture shock isn’t it? How much do they know about the league over here? Probably nothing or very little. I think that would be massive gamble, for me.

I just don’t think that would work.