sport

Cellino: Don't expect big name

Leeds president Massimo Cellino has told the club's fans not to expect a "big name" replacement for sacked head coach David Hockaday.

Cellino fired Hockaday and his assistant Junior Lewis on Thursday following Leeds' Capital One Cup exit at the hands of local rivals Bradford.

The 58-year-old Italian has confirmed he gave the pair a stay of execution as he initially wanted to sack them after last weekend's defeat at Watford.

Academy manager Neil Redfearn will take charge for Saturday's home game against Bolton.

"The decision I made had to be the best one for Leeds United and recent performances and results meant I had no option but to change things," Cellino said in a written statement.

"As I said in the club's media statement on Thursday evening I made the wrong decision last week to retain the services of the head coach and his assistant.

"It is true that I seriously thought about ending their contracts after the defeat at Watford but I wanted to be fair and give them one more chance.

"After the cup game at Bradford I knew that I had to act and I did.

"We have to face our mistakes when we make them and I have done that.

"I want what is best for Leeds United and while I'm at the club I will always do my best.

"I will also select a new head coach that I believe can help the club and the supporters must realise it may not be a 'big name'.

"It will be a coach who I believe is best placed to succeed at Leeds United.

"I may make other mistakes but if I do I will be big enough to own up to them like I have with David and Junior.

"But I promise that I will always have Leeds United at heart and will do my very best to make the club successful no matter how long it takes.

"We have to realise though that it will be a hard job to get the club back to where we want it to be, but together we will do that.

"Now, let us join together and support the team and Neil Redfearn."

Cellino, known in Italy as the "manager eater", sacked 36 coaches during his 20-year spell as Cagliari owner.

He attempted to sack former Leeds manager Brian McDermott during his takeover process at Elland Road in January before the pair parted company at the end of May.

Hockaday, 56, a shock appointment by the Italian on June 19 and who listed Forest Green as his only previous managerial experience, lost four of his six games in charge of Leeds.

Former West Brom manager Steve Clarke is understood to be interested in succeeding Hockaday.

The 51-year-old former Chelsea and Liverpool defender is keen to get back into management after being sacked by West Brom in December last year.