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26 Oct 2014 10:34am, by Shields53

Darko Milanic equalled Don Revie’s record of no wins in his first six matches against Wolves on Saturday but he will be remembered for a couple of new records set after Nicola Salerno gave him the news that his tenure as Leeds United manager was over.

With only 32 days and 6 matches in the job Milanic becomes the shortest serving permanent Leeds United manager ever. This smashed the previous record, the notorious 44 day spell that Brian Clough spent in charge of the club in 1974*. Clough managed one thing Milanic didn’t manage though, a win, and Milanic becomes the only permanent Leeds manager never to have won a game.

It’s clear what cost Milanic his job, his negative style of play and more importantly results. With three draws and three defeats and a total of only three points results were certainly lacklustre, especially when compared to Neil Redfearn’s temporary spell in charge. Redfearn managed three wins and a draw, ten points, in his four games in charge. Perhaps more telling is the fact that Redfearn converted loosing positions at half time against Birmingham and Bournemouth into a draw and a win. In contrast Milanic never converted a losing position at half time into points in the second half and on two occasions, against Rotherham and Wolves, converted a winning position into a defeat.

Milanic came with a reputation for a negative style of play and that was apparent in recent performances. But Leeds fans buy their football tickets from footballtickettrade.com and they want positive football. Early matches you can forgive him for adapting to a new league but the changes in formation and style at half time against Rotherham and Wolves cost us victories. In the Championship you cannot expect to sit back for 45 minutes and hold onto a lead, its end to end stuff and the opposition will always get chances. What’s more is I don’t think we are good enough at defending to hold a one nil lead. Milanic was Leeds’ first overseas coach and it showed with his naivety to the English game, you can’t blame him for that though, the blame must lay with Cellino for the appointment.

The pressure of having an owner like Cellino can also not be underestimated. With an owner who ‘eats’ managers the pressure is there from the very start to get victories and get them quickly. Perhaps Milanic’s negative style, his propensity to sit back and hold on to leads came from the pressure not to lose? We hold up Redfearn’s record for comparison but he was managing under different circumstances, less pressure. In the first half of the Birmingham game we were playing conservative football and were losing at half time. After the break we threw everything forward, Doukara and Austin changed the game and we drew, in reality we could have taken all three points.

This more positive style of football was evident in Redfearn’s next two games against Huddersfield and Bournemouth. Without the pressure of the job permanently he could afford to play a more positive, adventurous style of football and we won both matches. Many will say that managers need time but what they really need is the confidence to know they can play their style of football, to be adventurous without the prospect of the sack looming over their heads.

Milanic’s appointment was probably a mistake, Cellino has admitted that, and I think it is clear to most people that what we need is someone with experience of the English game and particularly the Championship. Cellino has bought some good players, we have the makings of a decent squad, but he is naïve to this league and the style and tempo of football played. He needs someone with experience to coach the team and Milanic was not that man. He has now backed Redfearn as his man, he certainly had experience of English football and he knows Leeds United inside out but if he is to achieve results similar to the last time he needs assurances that he has the backing to do his job. Clubs who constantly change their managers do not succeed, clubs with consistency and continuity do, look at Don Revie. No more chopping, no more changing, Cellino has picked his man, let’s build something here, stop tearing things down and starting again.

* Jock Stein’s reign as Leeds manager in 1978 also lasted 44 days, though he was not sacked, he resigned to take up the Scotland job.

26 Oct 2014 09:06am, by Shields53

Leeds United 1 (Antenucci 18)
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2
(Henry 66, Clarke 85)

Darko Milanic came into this game looking for his first win as Leeds United manager, he left looking for a new job. Once again it was a match where Leeds had the better of the first half, taking the lead on 18 minutes with Mirco Antenucci’s fourth goal of the season. Credit must go to Steve Morison for the assist who had replaced the suspended Soulemayne Doukara. He’s come in for a lot of stick but had a decent first half before being moved out wide in the second. Truth be told Leeds should have been more than one nil up at the break, Alex Mowatt in particular had a couple of great chances to extend the lead.

In a story which echoes recent matches Milanic changed the system in the second half, we went more defensive, more conservative in an effort to hold the lead. When you sit back for so long in the Championship it’s only a matter of time before the opposition gets a change. As it turns out Wolves equaliser was fortuitous, a sliced attempt at an interception from Cook hit the knee of Bellusci straight into the path of James Henry who has no trouble firing the ball past Silvestri to level the scores on 66 minutes. The nail in the coffin came on 85 minutes when an unmarked Leon Clarke sealed the three points for Wolves and Milanic’s fate. Here are the views of some of our members;

The views of rich_leeds64;

Darko is to blame for this defeat, we were very comfortable in the first half and Wolves didn't look to be much of a threat, then at half time Milanic decided to change things and put Morison, who was having a decent game, out wide right! Why? Don't change things that aren't broken. We fell apart and we got what we deserved in the second half. Not very happy as a similar capitulation occurred against Rotherham. He needs to realise this is the championship and you can't sit on a 1-0 lead for an entire half.

The views of 1964white;

That was very hard to accept. I was saying at half time that it was as good as I have seen us play all season - yes including v Huddersfield, who were awful. But second half... I've left many matches in the past with a variation of emotions after defeat, but I've never left one feeling as angry towards my clubs manager as I did today.

He managed to change a performance that was energetic, creative and controlled into one that was flat footed, dis-organised and completely lacking any end product. The most glaring difference was how he changed Morison's role for the second half. First half he was playing centrally, running wide into space, winning headers and holding the ball, probably the best game he has ever had for us. In the second half his position was practically the opposite, positioned wide, more static, but totally ineffective, Antenucci had nobody to work off, and the two Wolves centre halves had no competition for the high balls.

Then the substitutions, Mowatt I'll admit looked knackered, but to bring on Murphy who once again was slow & sluggish with & without the ball, totally ineffective.Then Darko brings on Montenegro with 2 minutes to go which was asking alot of a player who has never played in the championship. Sloth or Tonge should have been the first change NOT the inept Murphy.

Sorry, but for me, Darko lost us that game by changing our shape. If you're going to hang onto a winning position you do it with 10 minutes left, you don't start the half like that. We gave Wolves the opportunity to come at us when they should have been worrying about us adding to our lead. To be fair we should have had 2 or 3 goal lead at half-time had Mowatt shown more composure in front of goal. Another smart finish from Antenucci to add to his impressive start at Leeds

The views of Twiggster;

Two players stood out for me. Firstly Warnock; when his fellow defenders were falling apart, HE got the crunch in to save the day, 8 times out of ten Oldest payer on the team today. My man of the match. Second Antenucci; he just never stopped running and trying. The more I see this lad. the more he reminds me of Mick Jones. His workrate and goals....

I was very disappointed with the overall performances from the rest of the players though. Even in a first half when we dominated, nobody seemed to want it, except for the players I mentioned above.

Mowatt hang your head in shame for those three missed sitters! At least he was trying first half though, with some solid midfield runs. Cook and Adryan were pretty much invisible all game - tho Adryan's "keepy uppy" trick and flick on in their box was good to see, when surrounded by defenders. I have high hopes for him.

Morison; ace in the first half playing central attack, best I've seen him in our shirt but like Mowatt, guilty of screwing up a couple of open goals. When he was moved to the right, he was like a fish out of water!

Bellusci was well off his game today, possibly with the issues hanging over his head? Nearly scored the perfect own goal and created Wolves 2nd goal with a miss kick. We definitely missed Doukara and Austin, especially going forward.

There was no excuse possible for losing, Darko's fault 100%, though some players need to hold their hands up, Bellusci and for once Pearce!

Join the discussion on the Wolves game on the forums.

Leeds United Line-up:
Silvestri, Berardi, Bellusci, Pearce, Warnock, Bianchi (Montenegro 88), Cook, Mowatt (Murphy 63), Adryan (Sloth 74), Antenucci, Morison
Unused Subs: S Taylor, Byram, Cooper, Tonge

Wolves Line-up:
Ikeme, Doherty, Batth, Ebanks-Landell, Rowe, McDonald, Evans, Henry, Edwards (Clarke 45), Jacobs (van La Parra 63), Dicko (Stearman 87)
Unused Subs: Flatt, Golbourne, Saville, Sagbo

Attendance: 27,883

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