sport

Hockaday has tough task - Gray

Former Leeds manager Eddie Gray feels Jose Mourinho could not do a better job at Elland Road than head coach Dave Hockaday with the current players at his disposal.

Hockaday was given a stay of execution on Sunday night after Saturday's 4-1 defeat at Watford had sent Leeds spinning to a third defeat in their first four Sky Bet Championship matches.

President Massimo Cellino reacted to the display at Vicarage Road, where debutant Giuseppe Bellusci and fellow defender Sam Byram were both sent off, by declaring he was going to sack Hockaday before the Italian changed his mind.

Leeds said in a brief statement on Sunday: "In response to recent media speculation the club would like to confirm that David Hockaday remains the head coach of Leeds United Football Club.

"The club will make no further comment on this matter."

Hockaday's future beyond Wednesday's Capital One Cup tie at local rivals Bradford and next Saturday's home game against Bolton remains in question, but Gray has called for the former Forest Green manager to be given more time.

Hockaday has brought in 11 new players since taking over in mid-June and Gray told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "Would someone like Jose Mourinho do any better if he was in charge at Leeds? No I don't think so.

"He might have more motivation but you don't know and you can never say because it's a bit different managing in the Premier League and the Champions League to the Championship.

"When you're talking about Champions League football it's a bit different and what you've got to remember is that even if Mourinho was playing the same midfield system he's got four real quality players there.

"David Hockaday doesn't have that at his disposal.

"At the moment I think we have got four players in the middle of the park who are all central midfield players.

"Nobody can get the ball out wide and go by anybody, so I think you've got to look at that but we've had this problem before though."