As is standard procedure, Steve Evans gave his traditional Thursday press conference before a Saturday game, this weekend the genial Scot taking the Whites to former club Rotherham.
Saturday’s game sees Leeds visit a side rejuvenated under the stewardship of ex-Leeds United manager Neil Warnock, so much so that they have pulled clear of the bottom three courtesy of four wins and draw in an unbeaten five match streak that actually sees them as one of the form teams in the division.
Rotherham currently sit in 20th place in the Championship ourtesy of that good run of form and welcome a Leeds team sat in 13th and hurting after folding to an embarrassing 4-1 defeat at the hands of local rivals Huddersfield Town – with the Whites conceding three time in eight second-half minutes to compound the agony of a big loss at home.
1. Steve Evans is getting quite adept at side-stepping questions about his immediate future as Leeds United head coach.
“You guys have enough O-levels and A-levels not to ask the same question every time you see me.”
After the Huddersfield game, where Leeds showed a lack of intent and purpose, it was obvious that this question would surface at some point. With Steve Evans on a short-term contract to the end of the season, the only thing that will convince the powers that be to extend his deal into a further Championship campaign will be results.
2. Evans realises that results will be paramount to his future at Leeds United and the offering of an extended contract.
“I’m 100 per cent convinced that if we win matches, the president will make the decision I’d like him to make. I have to give him time.”
Steve Evans seems to realise that it is only results that will save him from Cellino’s axe, wins and points being of paramount importance. Win games, show improvement and gain points and Evans seems hopeful that he will be granted an extended stay as head coach at Elland Road.
3. Steve Evans is under no illusions about the Huddersfield game being bad.
“The last game was unacceptable. But the three games before that were very acceptable.”
Evans is right on both counts. The Huddersfield performance was bad beyond bad and then some. Conversely, it was a different Leeds United and a different set of performances in the three successive wins against Bolton, Cardiff and Blackburn. Leeds looked like a team in the three wins and performed with a degree of vigour. All that was missing from the Huddersfield performance where Leeds didn’t perform.
4. Evans has a full complement of players to choose from, barring Ross Turnbull, with Mustapha Carayol coming in late.
“All players have returned from international duty ok except for Mustafa Carayol who lands tomorrow.”
The Leeds United head coach has said that there will be changes at the weekend, with players coming in based on effort and also possibly a change in system for the Rotherham game. Under-21 players are also in his eyeline with the Leeds United head coch admitting that youngster Ronaldo Viera has been training with the 21s
5. Steve Evans is not a man to let the pressure and speculation get the better of him.
“I’m expecting it to be on Eastenders that I’m going to be sacked because it’s on everything else!”
There’s nothing much I can say about tis; I’ve not watched Eastender since Dirty Den was offed by a bunch of daffodils and ended up/didn’t end up in a canal in Walford.