Monday, October 20, 2014

Milanic gives his opinion on Adryan's debut display

Here is the City 20/10/14
John Verrall
Leeds head coach Darko Milanic has praised Adryan after his debut performance.
Leeds United manager Darko Milanic believes that Adryan looked very dangerous when he made his debut against Rotherham United on Friday night.
Adryan came off the bench for the last half-hour of the match and he showed all his quality, despite a brief cameo.
The Brazilian was not able to stop Leeds slipping to a 2-1 defeat to their Yorkshire rivals, but he did show a lot of promise on the pitch and Milanic also felt the 20-year-old was a threat.
"Adryan was very dangerous," he said to the club's official site. "He made good movement in between the lines. He played very well for 30 minutes and did a good job.”
Adryan had three shots during his substitute appearance, but it was his build-up play which really caught the eye.
With twists and turns aplenty, the playmaker looked Leeds' brightest player in the second-half and he surely will be nearing a start.
Leeds have struggled for goals under Milanic so far and the Slovenian is under pressure to start collecting points quickly, after only picking up two out of the 12 available to him in his first four games in charge.
It is a poor run of form, which means Leeds are locked in the bottom-half of the table and this slump needs to be stopped quickly.
The Whites have a chance to get back to winning ways tomorrow evening when they take on high-flying Norwich City at Carrow Road.

It wasn't enough - Darko Milanic gives his Rotherham verdict

leedsunited.com 20/10/14
United head coach Darko Milanič has spoken of his disappointment after losing out to Rotherham on Friday night.
United came away from the New York Stadium with a 2-1 defeat and the head coach says his team tried but in the end it wasn’t enough.
“I am not happy but the team is also not happy with this situation,” said the head coach. “We fought on Friday and tried to play football but it wasn’t enough.
“At the beginning we did very well. We had the game under control and we had good possession. Our opponents were not dangerous, we were.
“We scored our goal and in the last few minutes of the first half they put crosses into our box and used long throws well and they put us under pressure.
“In the second half they started really well and put us under a lot of pressure. There was a lot of challenges in our box. This is a good style of football for them.”
After leading at half time Rotherham came out and dominated proceedings in the second 45 minutes.
“We knew that they would play with a lot of long passes, lots of crosses and play simple football,” said Darko.
“But we made a mistake and lost the ball before their second goal.
“Our midfield players didn’t have enough time to think on Friday night to play quickly. We had problems in midfield.”
Although the head coach is still searching for his first win he praised the effort shown by his side.
“I have to say that the players gave everything on Friday,” added the boss. “The team was 100% in the game.
“At 2-1 we had some good chances and shots. Adryan was very dangerous. He made good movement in between the lines.
“He played very well for 30 minutes and did a good job.”

Milanic was not behind the decision to bench Adryan, Cellino was

Here is the City 19/10/14
Tim Poole
The Leeds owner is said to have made the call directly himself.
Leeds United fans can't be blamed for their frustration that Adryan did not start against Rotherham United on Friday.
The Brazilian showed plenty of promise when he came on in the second half and some Leeds fans feel his inclusion from the start could have made a huge difference during the 2-1 defeat.
After all, supporters of the Yorkshire side had been waiting eagerly for some weeks to see the 20-year-old make his Leeds debut.
He was, even, in the starting line-up to face Rotherham. That was until a late change took him out of the equation and back to the substitutes' bench.
According to the Daily Mirror, however, that was not the decision of boss Darko Milanic.
No, the national newspaper report that owner Massimo Cellino himself was directly responsible for the call.
A 'club insider' is said to have confirmed that the Italian instructed for the Brazilian not to start, despite not even being present at the New York Stadium. His absence was apparently due to the fact that the game was being played on the 17th of October - a number he deems 'unlucky.'

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Partick Thistle new boy Freddy Frans lifts lid on Leeds fiasco

Sky Sports 18/10/14
Partick Thistle new boy Freddy Frans has revealed the chaos that surrounded his proposed move to Leeds United, prior to sealing a move to the Scottish Premiership.
The Belgian centre-back was released by Lierse in his homeland in the summer after a change of ownership, and looked set to secure a switch to Elland Road.
Then-Leeds boss David Hockaday was interested in the move, and invited Frans to have talks with new Whites owner Massimo Cellino, and that is when things took a rather strange turn.
“I thought I had seen everything when I left Belgium – but then I arrived at Leeds," Frans told the Daily Record.
"My agent spoke to the owner and he said if Hockaday liked me I’d sign. I played two games and he said he wanted to sign me.
“I had to give him details about my star signs and all this stuff. He doesn’t like the number 17 or the colour purple among other things.
“We heard a few strange stories, like the one about Paddy Kenny not getting a deal because his birthday was on the 17th. Crazy.
“I was so happy to be signing for Leeds as well, it was a big step.
“But then I started to get suspicious as the deal wasn’t done and two Italian centre-backs arrived.
“Still Hockaday said he wanted me but they lost in a cup-tie to Brentford and he got sacked so I was back to Belgium.”
Frans also insisted that despite his recent turmoil, he is happy he put pen-to-paper on a three-month contract at Partick.
“I have only got three months but it’s perfect for me to prove I can win a new contract," Frans added.
“My wife will be coming over. She quit her job when we thought I was going to Leeds as we knew we wanted to go abroad.”

Rotherham United 2 Leeds 1: Rotherham battle back to leave Milanic still awaiting first win

Yorkshire Post 18/10/14
by Leon Wobschall at New York Stadium
THE sun was out, metaphorically speaking at least last night, but for Rotherham United and not Darko Milanic.
Ahead of the game, the Whites’ Slovenian head coach, without a win in his three games in charge, stated that his first victory would be akin to seeing the sun again. Truth is, the nights are drawing in.
Rotherham’s home clashes with Leeds tend to be dramatic and this was no exception with Steve Evans’s side producing a powerhouse second-half display which floored Leeds.
This after Leeds dominated much of the first half in which Mirco Antenucci fired them ahead on the half hour.
Alex Revell’s first goal of the season and first since his magnificent Wembley equaliser in the League Two play-off final against Leyton Orient plus a maiden Millers strike from record signing Jonson-Clarke Harris – just under two minutes after coming on and with his first telling touch – earned another joyous victory for the Millers.
While the Millers rode their luck to triumph on the previous league meeting between the clubs almost a decade ago, this was not a factor last night.
BBC Sports’ recent Price of Football Survey may have identified Rotherham as the most expensive match-day experience in Yorkshire, but it was cheap at half the price for home supporters last night.
For Leeds, who suffered televised derby misery earlier this term at Bradford City, there was again the pain of going ahead but ultimately being swept away.
The main saving grace was the late cameo of Adryan, bizarrely named in the line-up and then appearing on the bench on the official teamsheet.
Evans labelled the game as the biggest league occasion in the history of the Millers’ £20m stadium since its opening in July 2012. And the hosts followed up their victory over another former champion in Blackburn Rovers in their previous home game to draw level on points with Leeds.
It left Milanic still awaiting the sensation of victory as head coach and while upward trajectory was provided in the first half, it was the Millers who ultimately had the answers.
The pre-match mystery surrounded Adryan not starting, with Lewis Cook instead deployed in an advanced attacking role and the teenager was at the hub of a controlled opening half-hour from the visitors. The display was crowned by a sweetly-taken opener when Antenucci latched onto Souleymane’s Doukara’s slide-rule pass before coolly steering the ball home.
While many had been expecting an aggressive opening from the hosts, it was Leeds who set about the Millers, swarming all over them in midfield. Antenucci fired just wide from close in after good work by Alex Mowatt and it proved an early warning.
Enjoying plenty of possession, Leeds enjoyed a semblance of relative calm they probably had not envisaged with a rare moment of home threat coming when Matt Derbyshire saw his low shot held by Silvestri.
A polished Leeds opener then arrived with the Millers provided with more to ponder after a half when things rarely clicked.
Leeds did survive one moment of alarm before the interval when Ben Pringle’s cross was latched onto by Revell, whose precision header was clawed away by Silvestri.
The energetic Rudy Austin then blasted wide before gloss was almost put on a vibrant Leeds half with only last-ditch defending from Joe Skarz denying Doukara.
Leeds’s half it was with Milanic’s tactics working well, and the Millers will have been grateful they were staring at just a one-goal deficit at the interval.
Evans played his first hand at half-time, sending on Paul Taylor for the quiet Hall and it helped provide some badly-needed impetus.
Taylor saw a free-kick beaten away by Silvestri before Revell headed over with the visitors forced to dig in.
Mowatt shot at Collin when well-placed, but soon after the Millers, suddenly resembling their old selves, restored parity on 58 minutes.
Boyhood Leeds fan Frecklington saw his angled shot turned away by Silvestri with Revell converting the rebound.
Scenting hesistancy in the Leeds ranks, the Millers went for the jugular and the increasingly nervy visitors wilted seven minutes later when Clarke-Harris produced his magic moment out of nothing with a fierce long-range shot.
The call then came for Adryan, with the Brazilian soon going close with a low shot which was turned away onto a post by Collin before Clarke-Harris headed at Silvestri.
Adyran hit another effort wide before Revell almost sealed it with a late third. But it was Rotherham’s night. Again.

Leeds United: Whites boss Milanic unhappy

Yorkshire Evening Post 18/10/14
by Phil Hay
Darko Milanic admitted to a feeling of frustration after his run without a win as Leeds United head coach increased to four games during a 2-1 defeat at Rotherham United.
The Slovenian said he was “not happy with the situation” and aware of the pressure on him to deliver a victory after Rotherham overturned Mirco Antenucci’s first-half goal last night.
Antenucci opened the scoring at the New York Stadium with a 30th-minute strike, his third goal of the Championship season, and Leeds led at the interval after a slick performance in the first half.
But Rotherham dominated the early part of the second half and replied with strikes from Alex Revell and substitute Jonson Clarke-Harris, leaving Milanic to look to Tuesday’s game at Championship leaders Norwich City for his first win as boss.
The 46-year-old has been in charge of Leeds for a month – appointed on a two-year contract last month after quitting his job at Sturm Graz – but his first four fixtures have earned him only two points.
“It’s difficult,” he said. “I’m not happy with a situation where I haven’t won until now with Leeds United.
“But I think the players were 100 per cent in the game, we tried to play and we tried to play with good possession. In the second half it was difficult against a hard and aggressive home team.
“We played well to begin with. It was a good game. We controlled the match, we scored the goal, we had some good counter-attacks.
“But in the last few minutes of the first half they began with long balls from all areas and made a lot of pressure. We were prepared to play against that pressure but we made two mistakes and they scored the goals.
“We had some problems in midfield with pressure from them. But after they scored we had some good movement, we were dangerous.”
Brazilian midfielder Adryan initially appeared in the line-up announced by Leeds but was replaced at short notice by Lewis Cook, taking a seat on the bench.
Adryan appeared for his debut during a lively cameo in the final 27 minutes but failed to force an equaliser. Antenucci was denied by a post in the dying moments.
Asked why Adryan had not started, Milanic said; “You ask me a lot about Adryan.
“He’s part of the team, he has talent and great potential. It was my plan that I bring him on in the second half.”

Phil Hay: Leeds United will gain more if Redfearn can focus solely on Academy

Yorkshire Evening Post 18/10/14
Neil Redfearn to York City was finished before it began.
York thought about him but never interviewed him and Redfearn didn’t want the job. At no stage was Massimo Cellino in his ear, reminding Redfearn that the proverbial grass is greener and plusher round here, my friend.
It may come to that in due course and if Leeds United’s academy boss ever decides that the world is bigger than Thorp Arch, the club cannot say they were caught on the hop. He likes his job – adores it, really – but Redfearn wants to manage. In the end most coaches catch that bug.
His next move depends on time, place and luck. Well-regarded or not, Redfearn is in a busy, changeable market. York weren’t his bag and he, seemingly, wasn’t theirs. He was touted as Barnsley’s next manager last month with his stock rising and Danny Wilson trudging through mud but Wilson has taken Barnsley in hand again. Prospects are not the same as promises.
Jobs on offer one day vanish the next and no-one can say where Redfearn will be this time next year, least of all him. In terms of kudos, his chance of a managerial post elsewhere is at its peak while thoughts of his four games as caretaker of Leeds are fresh. It is also the period when Leeds are most at risk of losing him.
Cellino is resistant to the idea of Redfearn moving on but it would be prudent on his part to prepare for that end-game. The only upside of speculation about United’s academy manager is that the club won’t be ambushed by approaches for him. York have seen to that and so to a lesser degree have Barnsley. The interest is there, plain and unambiguous.
Reading fought their corner and fought it successfully when Cellino had a nibble Eamonn Dolan, their own head of youth development, in June but they were not anticipating a phone call from Leeds. They dealt with it by setting a high price for Dolan, warding Cellino off and keeping their coaching structure intact but only Reading and the board there know what contingency plan was in place, if any.
On Dolan’s watch, Reading’s academy has become a genuine centre of excellence and an example to many. In the lower leagues the same can be said of the output at Thorp Arch. Academy work is skilled and complex – more complex now that the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) sets specific targets for grading and funding – and handling the flow between multiple age groups is specialist’s job. Redfearn is one and Dolan is another. Reading were so set on keeping Dolan that they told Cellino to either pay more than £500,000 or leave them in peace. Skilled youth-team coaches are worth that much.
Cellino has seen the supply from United’s academy and he will realise that it is too good and too consistent for the club to neglect it. Redfearn thinks the age categories below the development squad and the Under-18s are more intriguing and promising than even those two groups, and on the basis of players pushed into the senior squad by him, you can take him at his word. So if Redfearn goes – and people do – then Leeds need another version of him. In the circumstances it would do no harm to have a shortlist in place already.
In the meantime he has a job to do and a job that ought not to be complicated by vague or token involvement with the first team. Darko Milanic’s request to Redfearn to join him in the dug-out at Rotherham last night – made on Tuesday, a day after York’s interest in Redfearn became public – could be seen as a concession to a man who United are worried about losing or undervaluing but Cellino asked the two men to work closely from the start. It wasn’t his intention to isolate Redfearn; merely to appoint someone else as head coach.
Redfearn wanted that post last month and Milanic got it. He might regret or resent Cellino’s decision but he has to accept it. Milanic is a qualified coach with enough weight behind him to merit his appointment. What Redfearn had over him was results on the job at Elland Road but that was true of almost everyone, with the exception of Simon Grayson. The club is Cellino’s and Cellino pays for the right to have his way.
Redfearn declined to attend United’s game at Rotherham last night, just as he distanced himself from the touchline for Milanic’s first three fixtures in charge. He was wary of being a hinderance to Milanic; of creating a presence which bothered the Slovenian and denied him the space to do as he pleased.
Milanic has an assistant, Novica Nikcevic, and three in the technical area can be a crowd. It comes down to the attitude of the man in charge. At Leeds, Neil Warnock was a manager who left much of the coaching to Mick Jones and Ronnie Jepson. Redfearn, like Jepson, worked as first-team coach under Brian McDermott but McDermott was a coach at heart and liked to live on the training field. Between him and his assistant, Nigel Gibbs, the sessions and the drills were covered. Redfearn contributed without exerting real influence game-to-game. Milanic and Nikcevic are similarly hands-on.
What Leeds want between Milanic and Redfearn is dialogue, trust, co-operation and support. They rub along well but Redfearn has no input in first-team training during the week so his presence on matchdays is moot. Milanic doesn’t need him in the dug-out. He knows it and Redfearn knows it. Agreeing on that should help them both. Academy manager, Redfearn’s job title says, and Leeds will gain more from leaving him to it than flattering him with contrived offers of promotion.

Leeds United: Shoddy second half costs Whites dear

Yorkshire Evening Post 17/10/14
The noise all week emanated from Rotherham and when the night came it belonged to them.
This was Rotherham’s occasion, the fixture Steve Evans craved, and two goals in the second half left him grinning at the end of a match which slipped through the hands of Darko Milanic.
They cast Leeds United as noisy neighbours in parts of Yorkshire but the club did not live up to that reputation before last night’s derby. It was Evans who dominated the agenda, talking endlessly of stature, history, his respect for Leeds. For the best part of an hour, the enormity of it all seemed too much for his players.
Leeds and Milanic kept their counsel, as Milanic likes to do, and a Mirco Antenucci goal on 30 minutes proved that silence has its virtues. A sharp goal in the midst of a sharp performance drew the steam from Evans temporarily, giving Milanic the scent of a precious first win.
The Slovenian barely flinched as Antenucci’s shot flew in but he was pacing anxiously by the end, praying for a point.
Victory when it materialises will feel a long time coming for United’s coach but as others said before last night’s match, Rotherham was the first of his four fixtures in charge which offered him a fair test.
Swamped by three games in eight days before the international break, the chance came to think and take a breath to help smooth out some flaws.
Away from home and in Evans’ back yard, Leeds handled the first half perfectly. To Milanic’s dismay, they disintegrated badly in the second.
Antenucci opened the scoring on the half-hour, holding his nerve to bury a good chance, and the game was dictated until the interval by Milanic’s midfield and his choice of team. The diamond remained but the personnel changed, and the use of Lewis Cook at number 10 was Rotherham’s undoing until Evans’ side changed gear at half-time and replied with goals from Alex Revell and substitute Jonson Clarke-Harris.
The second, scored on 65 minutes, was buried with virtually the forward’s first touch and was all the advantage Rotherham needed. A late appearance by Adryan, lively though it was, did not alter United’s evening.
Evans had questioned beforehand whether Milanic might deal an unexpected hand by starting Adryan, the Brazilian midfielder whose debut has eluded him for a month-and-a-half.
Milanic almost used his wildcard but having named Adryan in United’s original line-up, the 20-year-old was omitted without explanation from the official teamsheet.
Adryan had a spring in his step when he arrived at the ground, unmissable with fluorescent green headphones around his neck. Photos showed his shirt hanging with the rest of the starting team in the dressing room, and precisely when he learned of his demotion to the bench was difficult to know. Milanic might conceivably have played a canny game with Evans.
His place went to Cook, a teenager who was worth a start regardless of form or reputations around him, and for all the clamour about Adryan, the midfield which Milanic eventually settled on looked more schooled for an outbreak of blood and thunder.
Cook took up the baton behind United’s striker, the position Adryan is waiting to fill.
There were other tweaks too: Stephen Warnock in at left-back – proof that Massimo Cellino has not black-balled the 32-year-old – and Gaetano Berardi preferred to Sam Byram on the other side of United’s defence.
In spite of that, the spine of the team remained intact as one Yorkshire derby at home toSheffield Wednesday led into another at Rotherham.
Last night’s game drew a sell-out crowd – all of those present resistant to televised coverage – and the attempts to draw blood came quickly. Rodolph Austin’s shot on six minutes struck a leg and caused Adam Collin no problem but Antenucci’s strike from the resulting corner – a low volley at the end of Alex Mowatt’s pass – was close enough for the Italian to think he should have scored. Collin would not have reached a neater finish.
Rapidly, the structure of Milanic’s team fell into place nicely. Mowatt’s footwork and Austin’s drive in behind the pace and touch of Cook gave the midfield a grip of the game. Rotherham were kept at arm’s length, limited to a rising free-kick from Ryan Hall – the derided ex-Leeds player who amused the away end with a couple of mis-controls in the opening minutes – and little else until the 22nd minute.
In that moment, Leeds were distracted by a head injury to Jason Peace as Rotherham came at them, and Revell’s pass squeezed Matt Derbyshire in between Berardi and Giuseppe Bellusci. Silvestri was vulnerable but dropped down to gather a weak and wasteful finish which rolled straight at him.
Souleymane Doukara had caused similar problems at the other end seconds earlier, bullying Kari Arnason and scuffing a long ball across goal, and Revell tried and failed to stab home a Ben Pringle corner which caused bedlam in front of Silvestri.
A break in parity was always likely to come without warning and from nowhere. There are goalscoring issues in both camps, as Evans and Milanic freely admit. Rotherham tallied nine in the league before last night and Milanic’s first three games produced a modest number of chances.
But Evans’ side blinked first on the half-hour as Antenucci picked Rotherham off in a flash.
Doukara received the ball at his feet inside the home half and saw gaping space in front of him, enough to advance on Evans’ defence and feed Antenucci. The striker was alone, onside and helped by all of the time he needed to draw Collin from his line and stab the ball into the far corner of the net. His capacity to be deadly is ever more obvious.
Rotherham retaliated before half-time but Silvestri saw off the best of their chances by diving to reach out and claw Revell’s header wide, and the bite in United’s players carried the game to the interval. Hall – as feeble as he was in his bitter days at Leeds – did not make the second half.
Rotherham thrived without him and equalised in the 57th minute having pressed United without response from the previous 12 minutes.
Lee Frecklington forced his way in behind Berardi and smashed the ball at Silvestri from close range. The goalkeeper’s parry bounced down to Revell who kept his balance under pressure and hooked the rebound into an empty net.
Doukara had the ball in Rotherham’s soon after but his scrambled finish was two yards offside and the balance of the game had turned conclusively. Adryan came off the bench in the 63rd minute, taking to the field at the same time as Clarke-Harris, but while the former waited for a meaningful touch, Clarke-Harris reacted to his first on 65 minutes by charging over 30 yards and lashing a shot past a helpless Silvestri.
Tetchy and fraught with bookings in the closing stages, Adryan produced one stab at a point with a 20-yard hit which Collin scrambled behind and Antenucci conjured another when his effort from the edge of the box forced its way under Collin’s body but clipped a post and rolled behind.
It was one of those nights. Leeds know them well.