Leeds United’s swift move to appoint Brian McDermott as manager will benefit the club next season, according to midfielder Michael Tonge.
The ex-Stoke City player claimed the decision to bring McDermott to Elland Road before the end of the current term had avoided the threat of an uncertain atmosphere around United’s training ground when the senior squad begin pre-season training at the end of next month.
McDermott, who planned to take a short break from management after Reading sacked him on March 12, answered an urgent call from Leeds with five games of the Championship campaign to play and relegation threatening the club.
The 52-year-old ensured United’s Championship survival and was able to set his plans for next season in motion by releasing 10 players – six of them senior professionals – and drawing up a list of transfer targets with “six or seven” names on it.
Tonge said: “I think the timing of him coming in will play a big part for us.
“When you come back after the summer break with a new manager, everyone’s a little bit unsure and pre-season is always a difficult time to get to grips with the situation.
“I think it’s been good for him to see what everyone is like and we’ve obviously met the gaffer.”