United caretaker Redfearn to stay in charge for next three games

Neil Redfearn.
Neil Redfearn.
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LEEDS United have confirmed that caretaker manager Neil Redfearn is to stay in charge for at least three more games.

With three games in eight days - against Brighton and Doncaster Rovers at home and Coventry away - chairman Ken Bates wants to leave Redfearn at the helm in order to give himself time to work out who the successor to Simon Grayson as manager will be.

“I’m happy to say that Neil will be in charge for at least the next three games,” Bates said on Yorkshire Radio.

“That’s Brighton, Coventry and Doncaster. Those three games are all very winnable.

“After all the maelstrom we’re only two points off the play-offs so we’ve decided that after his impressive start, not just with his win, but his presence around Thorp Arch that he will be given his chance to his demonstrate his abilities while we consider the future.

“It’s a big step up for him, but against that he has a wealth of experience, he has played over 1,000 games and he used to play for Mervyn Day when he was at Charlton so it helps that with the (current) set-up he is being eased in.

“We were delighted last Saturday, particularly since it’s the first clean sheet since December 3.

“Let’s not take away from the victory either which was against nine men, because the game was won even if they’d have kept 11 men on the pitch. McCormack was through and would have scored when he was brought down and the first man went off.

“But the team changed their tactics and played differently and it was very encouraging, particularly for all the fans who went down there in such terrible weather.

“Quite clearly there has been a different attitude in training and in the dressing room and they have been training much harder which should reflect on their fitness.

Bates said there had been big interest in the manager’s job.

He added: “We have been inundated with applications from the cheeky to the outlandish.

“We’ve had one from an 11-year-old boy who obviously has high ambitions in the game, and we have a PlayStation manager of 2010, who fancies his chances, having won a competition.

“We’ve also had Sven Goran Eriksson apply, but he won’t be coming.

“We’re in no hurry, there’ll be no hurried appointment because the next one is a big appointment, not necessarily in name for the future of Leeds United.

“Leeds United is a big club with a big fan-base. It’s a one club city and any manager with ambitions wants to manage a big club. It also brings a wealth of unwanted applications for the wrong reasons and that’s why we have to be careful.

“We don’t want an instant miracle maker, although the fans think it’s a good idea, but you rarely find one. It has to be someone who wants to come here for the right reasons.

“We’re looking very carefully at the options and what baggage do they come with? We’re in no hurry so the speculation will have to continue. Meanwhile, Neil Redfearn is in the seat and has an opportunity to prove he’s the man for the job, and he can do that by winning games. He’s made a good start and he’s got all the players behind him.”