Neil Redfearn has been handed the task of steering Leeds United safely through the next few weeks after being installed as caretaker manager following Monday’s departure of Neil Warnock.
A short-list of candidates has been drawn up to replace Warnock, but the club has said that it will take its time to come up with an appointment and it could be after the end of the current season that a decision is made.
A number of names have been linked to the job, including Gus Poyet, Owen Coyle, Martin O’Neill, former Leeds boss David O’Leary and bookies favourite Brian McDermott, who indicated on national television that he would be interested.
But Redfearn could have first shot if he can revive the Whites’ fortunes following three straight defeats.
The losses have left Leeds out of the play-off race and now even looking over their shoulder nervously at the relegation scrap below them. They will be dragged right into it if they suffer another defeat at Charlton on Saturday when Redfearn looks set to be in charge with under 18s coach Richard Naylor assisting.
With only one win in their last 16 away league games the omens are not good and amazingly United have now failed to score a first half goal in any of their last 16 matches in the Npower Championship.
They have problems at both ends of the pitch with misfiring and out of form strikers and a defence down to just two regular centre-halves for the next two games following the ban for Tom Lees after his sending off at Ipswich last Saturday.
The form of many of the sides down at the bottom of the Npower Championship means that even though they already have 52 points Leeds are still in need of possibly another couple of wins from their remaining six games if they are to ensure their safety.
They go into Saturday’s game just six points ahead of second from bottom Peterborough and five in front of Huddersfield Town.
Caretaker Redfearn has made his first decision by moving quickly to recall striker Dominic Poleon from his loan spell at Sheffield United.
The 19-year-old, who scored his first goal for the club in September, had joined the Blades on loan until the end of the season with a recall clause after the first 28 days.
Poleon has made seven appearances for the League One promotion chasers, but has returned to Elland Road and looks set to be part of the squad at Charlton Athletic.
Poleon figured prominently in the under 21s under Redfearn earlier in the season, scoring six goals in six games. He made his first team debut this season and has made seven senior appearances for Leeds as well as gaining experience on loan with Bury and the Blades.