Sunday, August 10, 2014

Leeds boss Dave Hockaday says owner Massimo Cellino 'is great to work with because he's so passionate about the club'

Mail 9/8/14
Dave Hockaday defended Massimo Cellino ahead of Leeds' opening game of the Championship season at Millwall on Saturday
Cellino has banned the colour purple and number 17 from Elland Road
He has also told players to bring sandwiches to training and to live in Leeds
Hockaday was appointed in June to take charge of the first team
Cellino told Sportsmail about his frequent disagreements with coaches and said on one occasion he has told Hockaday to 'shut the f*** up'
Hockaday insists: 'If there is someone I don't like I will voice my concerns'
Leeds boss David Hockaday has jumped to the defence of club president Massimo Cellino - despite the Italian owner seeming to marginalise his manager in the lead up to their Championship opener away at Millwall.
Cellino’s quirky leadership style has come under close scrutiny since he completed his takeover of the club in April - and this week has seen him quoted in the press with comments that haven't always painted his manager in the best light.
The Leeds owner told Sportsmail about his frequent disagreements with coaches and even said on one occasion he had told Hockaday to 'shut the f*** up', before the season had even begun.
Hockaday, however, believes Cellino will bring the good times back to the club and insists he has enjoyed a healthy relationship with the colourful Italian since being installed in the role in June.
Cellino has made wholesale changes and has delivered financial stability, but his unconventional methods, including superstitions about the colour purple and number 17 - both banned from Elland Road - remain central to the debate over whether he will be successful.
'It’s been great,' Hockaday said. 'I know there will be a bit of conjecture, but we get on fine.
'The superstitions? I don’t wear number 17 on my back or purple! Again, there’s a lot of stuff going out there which I appreciate you media guys have got stories to write and papers to sell or whatever.
'But don’t read into to it too much. Don’t believe everything that you read and hear on the grapevine.
'He’s great to work with because he’s so passionate about the football club.'
Cellino and director of football Nicola Salerno, not the head coach, identify all new signings, but Hockaday insists he has no problem with his limited role in player recruitment - despite having any player requests rejected by the owner because of his previous time at Conference level.
'If there’s somebody I don’t particularly like then I’ll voice my concerns and they’ll go and get the best one they can for Leeds United,' Hockaday said. 'That makes sense to me.
'I think the media have had a bit of fun at Leeds’ expense over the last few weeks and now we’re at the business end, so let’s concentrate on Millwall on Saturday.'
Leeds are fifth favourites to drop into League One under Cellino's unconventional leadership but fans will hope Hockaday can guide them to an opening day win at The Den to give them a good start in the Championship on Saturday.