Showing posts from April, 2015

Leeds United: Steve Thompson return key to my future - Redfearn

Yorkshire Evening Post 30/4/15 Phil Hay Neil Redfearn believes Leeds United are still undecided about his future as head coach and says he will ask the club to reinstate his suspended assistant, Steve Thompson, if they move to renew his contract. Speaking ahead of what could be his last game in charge, the Leeds boss admitted an agreement which brings Thompson back to Elland Road would be a crucial part of any discussions about an extension of his own deal. Redfearn and United’s owner, Massimo Cellino, are expected to meet for talks next week with Cellino’s Football League disqualification almost at an end. The Italian’s short-term ban - imposed on him following his conviction for tax evasion last year - runs out this Sunday, allowing him to retake control of a club with countless pressing issues. Redfearn’s position is up in the air with his contract set to run out after Saturday’s match against Rotherham United and the club yet to inform him if they will take up an option to e

Leeds United: Football League give Cellino permission to attend Rotherham game

Yorkshire Evening Post 28/4/15 The Football League has granted Massimo Cellino permission to attend Saturday’s game against Rotherham United - but Leeds United’s disqualified owner is yet to decide if he will turn up. The governing body confirmed today that it had authorised a request from Leeds for Cellino to be present at the last match of the Championship season, 24 hours before the end of his ownership ban. Cellino was barred from running Leeds or exerting control over the club’s day-to-day affairs in January but his suspension expires this weekend, allowing him to retake control at Elland Road on Monday morning. The 58-year-old told the YEP that he would be back at Leeds next week but admitted he was in two minds about whether to attend the Rotherham game or the club’s annual awards ceremony on Saturday night. The Football League said Cellino would be permitted to be present at both events “on the basis that he is attending as a spectator only.” The League’s regulations have

Hasselbaink link to Leeds casts a shadow over Redfearn

Yorkshire Post 28/4/15 Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s agent has claimed that his former club Leeds United have shown an interest in possibly bringing him back to Elland Road as head coach. The future of Neil Redfearn remains in serious doubt at Leeds, with the 49-year-old having only one more match left in charge before his contract expires. Hasselbaink has helped Burton Albion clinch promotion into League One for the first time in their history and his agent Humphrey Nijman said: ‘They (Leeds) have shown interest, but there is nothing decided yet. “That is all I can say about it.” Redfearn has the support of players, staff and a majority of Whites supporters, who are keen for him to remain as the club’s head coach next season. But last week Redfearn admitted that he had “no god-given right” to be in charge and also insisted that the club was “more important than me”. Redfearn’s position was weakened by the suspension of assistant head coach Steve Thompson earlier this month. Redfear

Leeds United: Redfearn has backing of everyone at the club – Taylor

Yorkshire Evening Post 27/4/15 Phil Hay Charlie Taylor threw his support behind Neil Redfearn after Leeds United’s 2-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday, claiming Redfearn had the backing of “everyone at the club” and saying a decision to keep him next season was a “no-brainer”. The 21-year-old gave United’s head coach a vote of confidence after his goal at Hillsborough helped end a frustrating run of five successive defeats. Leeds fought back from a Chris Maguire penalty to level through Taylor’s 57th-minute tap-in and then win a tight derby with Steve Morison’s second strike in as many games. Redfearn and his players took appreciative applause from an away following of 4,000, many of whom sat through a 6-0 thrashing at Hillsborough last season, and attention afterwards turned again to the future of United’s boss with only one match remaining before his contract expires. Taylor – an academy product who has become a first-team regular during Redfearn’s tenure – said Saturday’s win was

Sheffield Wednesday 1 Leeds United 2: Heartfelt ‘fighting talk’ from Redfearn

Yorkshire Evening Post 26/4/15 Phil Hay Neil Redfearn said he would fight for his “voice to be heard” at Leeds United after Saturday’s 2-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday moved him a step closer to a decision on his future as head coach. Redfearn admitted that his willingness to accept an extension to his contract would rest on the level of authority given to him by the club and their banned owner, Massimo Cellino – and hinted that he would not rush into reclaiming his old job as academy boss. Leeds’ victory at Hillsborough carried them into the final week of a hard Championship season and Redfearn’s squad will complete their campaign at home to Rotherham United this Saturday. United are headed for a mid-table finish after their performance in Sheffield ended a run of five straight defeats and left them in 15th position. The conclusion of the Rotherham game will bring Redfearn’s situation to a head with his existing deal due to expire this summer and Cellino poised to retake control o

Sheffield Wednesday 1 Leeds United 2: More reasons for Whites to keep Redfearn

Yorkshire Evening Post 26/4/15 Phil Hay Elland Road is not the only ground where thoughts of the summer weigh heavily. For Sheffield Wednesday the coming close season will count – and count for little unless they get it right. Leeds United got what they wanted at Hillsborough – an overdue win and redemption for their annihilation at the same stadium last year – but they and Wednesday are both gazing ahead; Wednesday with a new owner and Leeds with an incumbent steward who will be retake control of the club a week today. If Massimo Cellino had been in Sheffield, and it is not yet known if the Football League will grant permission for him to attend the last game of the season against Rotherham United, he would have taken comfort from the fact that pound-for-pound, Wednesday have no more to work with than Leeds this summer. And on the evidence of a pleasing second half, arguably less. He would have seen too how the club’s players stood up for their head coach, prising out a win at a

Redfearn - I want to be at Leeds and be successful

Vital Leeds 26/4/15 Leeds United head coach Neil Redfearn says he wants the club to be challenging for promotion and not in a relegation scrap if he remains in charge next season. Redfearn`s future is still unclear at Elland Road under Massimo Cellino and next weekend could be his final game in charge having taken over the job in November until the end of the season. The former academy manager at Elland Road has pulled the side away from the relegation zone and their future in the championship was all but guaranteed by the end of March, as Leeds became one of the form sides in the championship in the second half of the season. Redfearn had brought in former teammate Steve Thompson in as his assistant before the New Year and the pair led Leeds from just a point above the relegation zone at the turn of the year to the top half as Leeds put together a run of just three defeats in fifteen games. Leeds were finally looking like a side on the rise until the club surprisingly sacked Thom

Sheffield Wednesday 1 Leeds United 2: Redfearn happy to see Whites end losing streak

Yorkshire Post 25/4/15 Leeds manager Neil Redfearn was delighted to see his side end a five-match losing run as they came from behind to beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 at Hillsborough. The home side took the lead through a first-half Chris Maguire penalty but two second-half goals from Charlie Taylor and Steve Morison helped secure the three points for the visitors. “This result has been coming in the last two or three games,” said Redfearn. “I’m pleased for the lads because they’ve shown a real spirit. “It was a very good performance. I thought we were the better side despite going 1-0 down. “Credit to the lads because I thought their application and understanding of how to play in this match and on this pitch was spot on. “It looked like the ref got the two penalty shouts wrong but in fact they were both right. I apologised to the ref at half time. I watched the video and he got both spot on.” The match started off in typically fiery fashion, with both Yorkshire teams aiming to

We got it spot on - Redfearn 25/4/15 Neil Redfearn felt his side got it "spot on" after a second-half comeback clinched the Yorkshire derby bragging rights with a 2-1 victory at Sheffield Wednesday. The hosts had opened the scoring at Hillsborough, Chris Maguire converting a 36th-minute penalty in what had been a frustrating half for United. But Redfearn’s men rallied after the break and Charlie Taylor levelled proceedings with a tidy finish on 57 minutes before Steve Morison, on the rebound from his initial effort, clinched the three points following a swift break up-field. "It was a very good performance," said Redfearn. "I thought we were the better side, even at 1-0 down. "I thought the decisions – the penalty for us and the penalty against us – were dubious at first. "But, having seen them, the referee got both spot on. I saw him at half-time and pulled him over to one side and apologised because I had got a bit carried away with myself. "You wa

Sheffield Wednesday 1 Leeds United 2: Morison nets derby winner

Yorkshire Evening Post 25/4/15 Leeds United ran out 2-1 winners against Sheffield Wednesday in a hotly contested Yorkshire derby at Hillsborough. The visitors had to come from behind to win after Chris Maguire’s controversial first half penalty. However, second half goals from Charlie Taylor and Steve Morison ensured Leeds claimed their first win in six matches. The visitors started the game well, with Morison capitalising on a loose ball on the edge of the box, only to drag his shot just short of the near post. The match had all the hallmarks of a typical Yorkshire derby, with an early yellow card for Wednesday’s Jeremy Helan (16) leaving Alex Mowatt to fire his free kick over from the edge of the area. The breakthrough for the home side came in the 36th minute, after a clattering foul by Sam Byram on Lloyd Isgrove left referee Robert Madley with no choice but to award the penalty and Byram a yellow card. Maguire dispatched the spot-kick calmly to the bottom left of Stuart Taylor

Leeds United: Leak was born out of a culture of mistrust – Hay

Yorkshire Evening Post 25/4/15 Phil Hay An email went round Leeds United on Monday warning staff that anyone responsible for leaking news of the ‘injured six’ would be disciplined for gross misconduct (and presumably sacked). It’s standard procedure at football clubs and Leeds have been here before. At the start of 2012 an internal investigation was carried out into reports about Robert Snodgrass undergoing surgery to remove his appendix. The source of the story was never identified but both examples show how defensive clubs can be when sensitive information seeps out. Leeds are more than entitled to conceal the fitness of their players. Wrong-footing the press and other clubs is an age-old tactic. What annoyed them about the Snodgrass leak was that it came 48 hours before a game at Barnsley. The club were out of form at the time and, coincidentally or not, took a heavy beating at Oakwell. But with Snodgrass in hospital after complaining of stomach pains, there was never any argume

Leeds United: What the future might hold for Redfearn and the Whites

Yorkshire Evening Post 24/4/15 Amitai Winehouse 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 o

Redfearn’s future remains shrouded in doubt

Yorkshire Post 24/4/15 Richard Sutcliffe AHEAD of what could be his penultimate game in charge of Leeds United, head coach Neil Redfearn admits to being proud of keeping the Championship club clear of relegation trouble in difficult circumstances. The Elland Road club have slumped to five straight defeats since the, as yet, unexplained removal of assistant manager Steve Thompson. United are desperate to end that run at Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow, but there can be little doubt that this campaign is ending on a flat note, not helped by last week’s withdrawal of six Italian players claiming injury. Redfearn’s own future appears shrouded in doubt with no talks having taken place over extending a contract that expires in June. “I have been asked to do a job and I have done the job to the best of my ability,” said United’s head coach. “My remit was to keep Leeds United in the Championship and I’ve done that. “But I understand that football is not always straight-forward. I have got

Leeds United: Injury row is over – Redders

Yorkshire Evening Post 24/4/15 Neil Redfearn last night attempted to draw a line under the controversy over injuries at Leeds United, saying: “What’s happened has happened.” The club’s head coach stood his ground over comments made by him in the wake of six players withdrawing from last weekend’s defeat to Charlton Athletic but said the club needed to leave the saga behind ahead of tomorrow’s Championship derby with Sheffield Wednesday. Most of the players who pulled out at late notice last Friday, including first-choice goalkeeper Marco Silvestri, look set to miss the match at Hillsborough. The group have faced accusations that they were seeking to undermine Redfearn by feigning injury, claims the club have vehemently denied. Redfearn said: “You’d like to think that it was a freakish one-off event and you try and move on. What’s happened has happened. “What we’ve got to try and do is make the best of the next two games. “We’ve got to try and perform as best we can and pick a si

Redfearn: “I’ve got no God given right to be in charge of Leeds United”

Yorkshire Evening Post 23/4/15 Lee Sobot HEAD coach Neil Redfearn will step aside gracefully if Saturday’s clash at Sheffield Wednesday proves his penultimate game in the Whites dugout, admitting: “I’ve got no God given right to be in charge of Leeds United. The club is far more important than me.” Redfearn has also heaped praise on the club’s loyal fan base, admitting they are entitled to criticise both him or owner Massimo Cellino but beaming: “I’ve been on my own in the dugout but it’s felt like I’ve had 20 thousand in there with me.” Cellino remains banned from being owner at the club until Sunday, May 3 - the day after United’s last Championship game of the season at home to Rotherham United, after which Redfearn’s contract as head coach expires. The 49-year-old still has no idea if he will be here next season - or even if new terms will be discussed next week - but the head coach says it is the future of Leeds United as a whole that matters most. Redfearn admits even he nee

Leeds United: Redfearn stands by his comments over the “injured six”

Yorkshire Evening Post 23/4/15 Phil Hay Neil Redfearn has defended his claim that Leeds United’s controversial glut of injuries last week “surprised” him - but said the time had come to draw a line under the matter ahead of Saturday’s derby at Sheffield Wednesday. United’s head coach said it would be “wrong of me or a lie” to suggest that he was aware that six of the club’s foreign players were likely to miss last weekend’s 2-1 defeat at Charlton Athletic. The six - goalkeeper Marco Silvestri, centre-backs Giuseppe Bellusci and Dario Del Fabro and strikers Mirco Antenucci, Souleymane Doukara and Edgar Cani - all pulled out of the visit to The Valley shortly before Leeds’ team bus was due to leave Thorp Arch for London. Bellusci, Cani and Antenucci will all be absent from this weekend’s game at Hillsborough while Silvestri is doubtful after being limited to light training with a back problem. Doukara and Del Fabro have both trained with the rest of Redfearn’s first-team squad this

Striker Cani ruled out for season 22/4/15 United striker Edgar Cani is set to miss the final two league games of the season following an MRI scan on the recent knee injury that ruled the frontman out of the trip to Charlton Athletic last weekend. The on-loan Albanian striker is yet to make a start since arriving from Catania during the January transfer window. Cani has made four substitute appearances, with the most recent coming in the 1-0 away win at Wigan Athletic.

Confusion reigns at Leeds United amid Massimo Cellino’s continued absence

Guardian 22/4/15 While the owner takes his enforced break, the club has been embroiled in some chaotic incidents that threaten to undo the progress made under Neil Redfearn Cellino says he had nothing to do with pull-outs Massimo Cellino is unlikely to return to Leeds this season and says he does not know who is deciding things in his absence. James Riach “I’m banned, I’m not talking to anyone,” says Massimo Cellino, the Leeds United owner, following a trip to Portugal while another storm brews around his bereft club. “I wish I could know,” the Italian continues, when asked who is making the decisions without him. “That’s the problem, nobody is making the decisions. That’s the truth.” The thing is, decisions have been made at Leeds, a club whose default position these days seems to be turmoil. The suspension of the assistant manager, Steve Thompson, last month ranks at the top of an unsavoury list of recent developments which have undermined the coach, Neil Redfearn, to a remarka

Leeds United: Giuseppe Bellusci to miss final two games

BBC 22/4/15 Leeds defender Giuseppe Bellusci will miss the rest of the season. He was one of six players to withdraw from their squad for Saturday's game at Charlton the day before the match. The 25-year-old Italian, who has made 30 appearances this term, has been referred to a specialist after having a scan on his leg earlier this week. Leeds released a statement on Sunday to say the six players who pulled out of the game at Charlton were injured, amid questions about the sudden withdrawal.

Leeds United: We have work to do - Umbers

Yorkshire Evening Post 22/4/15 Leeds United chairman Andrew Umbers admitted last night that the club had been left with bridges to build and supporters to appease at the end of the first year of Massimo Cellino’s reign. Cellino, who is nearing the end of a Football League order banning him from running Leeds, faced calls for him to sell the club from an away crowd of 3,000 during last Saturday’s defeat at Charlton Athletic. The Italian bought Leeds last April but has experienced a harsh first season in English football. More controversy developed last Friday when six of United’s foreign players were declared unfit ahead of the visit to Charlton, a spate of withdrawals which prompted accusations that the individuals involved were trying to undermine head coach Neil Redfearn. Umbers, however, said he was “satisfied” that the six players were “genuinely injured.” Asked about the dissent from the crowd at The Valley, Umbers said: “It’s very sad. You set expectations and you manage ex

Transcript of Andrew Umbers interview - ‘the absent six’, Redfearn and Thompson, Cellino’s future

Yorkshire Evening Post 21/4/15 Yorkshire Evening Post chief football writer Phil Hay on Tuesday sat down with Leeds United chairman Andrew Umbers. Here is the full transcript of that interview. PH: The obvious place to start is with the six players who were declared injured towards the end of last week. Do you believe that all six were unfit to play and do you believe that they were unfit to travel? AU: I spent two hours at Thorp Arch this morning, extending the conversations I’d had on Wednesday after the Norwich game, on Thursday and on Saturday. Neil Redfearn and me get an injury list every single day. Harvey Sharman - our head physio who’s extremely good and talks to the players night and day - puts on an email exactly what’s going on. With Cani, when we signed him we knew he had a problem with his knee. He’s got tendinitis. He rang Harvey on Thursday night and said ‘the knee’s not good after training.’ Harvey said ‘come in early before training on Friday and let’s assess it.’

Ex-Manchester United star takes legal action against Leeds United

Football League World 21/4/15 BY SAM ROURKE Former Manchester United winger Cameron Stewart has taken legal action against Leeds United over £800,000 of unpaid wages, according to the Daily Star. The 24-year-old midfielder was on loan at the Yorkshire club for three months in 2014, where he went on to make 11 appearances for the club. Stewart agreed a deal to sign for Leeds on a permanent deal after his loan spell was up, and an agreement was made – but issues occurred and Leeds subsequently lodged the contract with the Football League. Stewart, who is currently at Ipswich Town, has claimed that the Elland Road outfit owe him £800,000 in unpaid wages. An FA arbitration hearing will take place tomorrow where Stewart and his legal team will fight to win back the money they are apparently owed. The Manchester-born midfielder has had experience of plying his trade with a plethora of different clubs, including Manchester United, Yeovil Town, Hull City, Burnley, Blackburn Rovers, Char

Aidy eyeing first team action - Academy product back involved following injury nightmare 21/4/15 Aidy White is hoping to force his way back into the first-team reckoning before the end of the season after making his long-awaited comeback from injury for United’s Under-21s. As pre-planned, Aidy completed the first half of Monday’s 4-1 thrashing of Huddersfield Town at Thorp Arch, occupying roles on either flank and seeing plenty of the ball as he helped his side to victory. It was the 23-year-old’s first appearance in a United shirt since the pre-season draw at Chesterfield last July, a game which saw him stretchered off with a second-half ankle injury. The Thorp Arch graduate’s long road to recovery has been a frustrating one, with numerous setbacks putting his return on hold prior to last week’s long-awaited resumption of full training. After featuring for the U21s, Aidy said: "It felt great. I just wanted to get back playing as quick as I could. "It’s been a while, I think July was my last game but I’m finally back and looking forward to t

Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino refuses to back Neil Redfearn and says he must make a decision

Here is the City 21/4/15 Dan Coombs Leeds United owner has admitted he is undecided on next season. Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino continues to refuse to give his backing to current head coach Neil Redfearn, admitting he is undecided. In a fascinating interview with Simon Austin fully recounted on his blog and reported by InsideFutbol, Cellino explained his decision on Redfearn's future is not yet made. The former academy boss is the third head coach at Leeds this season, and his contract is currently only set to run until the end of this season. The two key lines from Cellino regarding Redfearn are as follows: "(He) helped me a lot, of course. And I appreciate that. And I thank god that we stayed in the Championship. "But when I come back, I have to make a choice. I have to decide what is best for the club." Cellino is clearly ambitious, and desperate to meet his own self-imposed timescale to achieve promotion to the Premier League next season. Yet it

Leeds fans are the ones who are suffering most, laments Giles

Yorkshire Post 21/4/15 FORMER Leeds player Johnny Giles has expressed his sympathy for United’s supporters who are enduring yet more anguish over the club’s sorry plight. On Friday six of United’s foreign contingent declared themselves unfit ahead of Saturday’s game with Charlton. The last month has also seen head coach Neil Redfearn lose his assistant Steve Thompson to suspension while the club’s board attempted to stop Mirco Antenucci playing to avoid triggering a contractual clause. Fans voiced their anger towards banned owner Massimo Cellino at The Valley, with chants of “Massimo, time to go”. The six absent players – Marco Silvestri, Mirco Antenucci, Giuseppe Bellusci, Souleymane Doukara, Edgar Cani and Dario Del Fabro – also earned disparaging name checks. Giles said: “I am really sorry for the supporters. “They are the ones who are suffering more than anyone else. “Leeds are a great club with great supporters and they don’t deserve what they are getting. It is very sad.