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cellino confirms darko milanic has two years at leeds united

cellino confirms darko milanic has two years at leeds united


In a live press conference on their club TV channel on Sunday, the on-screen captions had Sturm Graz’s now ex-manager already installed at his new club: “Darko Milanic – Leeds United.”

Massimo Cellino has confirmed to Simon Austin this morning that a deal has been signed – Darko Milanic is now contracted to be Leeds United’s head coach for the next two years.

It might be worth mentioning that Dave Hockaday also signed for two years, but we don’t have to dwell on that right now.

Milanic is not following Hockaday into the job, anyway, but Neil Redfearn, who on a non-contract caretaker basis has worked wonders with the team in recent weeks, culminating in a win over Huddersfield on Saturday that was the feelgood moment of the season so far.

Milanic’s first challenge, then, will be to find a way of making his mark on the club without upsetting the good work Redders has done. The best thing might be for him to leave all his own ideas at the door and just ask Redfearn how it works – but no manager, or head coach as he is now, would want to work like that for long.

It puts Milanic in an awkward position, where because things can’t really get any better right now we will only truly be able to say his management has started for real if things start to go wrong.

Fabian Zerche, a journalist in Vienna who has covered Milanic’s time in charge at Sturm Graz, has provided a handy FAQ guide to the new Leeds coach here. The main takeaways are that he is a “top man,” but that his Sturm Graz side have been ultra-conservative, with ne’er a change from a “flat 4–4–2, many long balls, stable defense but no spectacular football and very inconsistent results.”

The players at his disposal seem to have influenced that approach, though, and a theme of Zerche’s comments is that with the right players he could do a better job. Redders in recent weeks has proved that Leeds have capable players, so the invitation is there for Darko Milanic to show what he can do – and now so is the contract.