Neil Redfearn is now settled into his role as Leeds’ head coach and the former Scarborough FC man seems to be the name the fans wanted all along.
During his spell as caretaker following the dismissal of Dave Hockaday, Redfearn (pictured) picked up 10 points from a possible 12 and also inspired the Whites to a shock 3-1 win at Bournemouth in a game many thought United had no chance of winning.
After going 1-0 down in the opening 10 minutes, even I, who had made the 600 mile all-round trip, feared the worst.
After the dismantling of Huddersfield at Elland Road we were shocked by the news Neil hadn’t been given the job permanently and that Darko Milanic would take the hot seat, which has become somewhat of a poisoned chalice.
After some terrible performances under Darko, Leeds were left falling down the table with no wins in six.
The fans were treated to extremely negative tactics during a spell in which United only picked up three points from six games.
Milanic was sacked and Massimo Cellino finally saw sense and gave us Redfearn, and if it doesn’t work out, he will go back to managing the highly-successful academy which has produced first-team stars including, Alex Mowatt, Lewis Cook and Sam Byram.
Of course, with an owner who goes through managers like he goes through clean underwear, it is easy to joke about just how long Neil will be in charge of the club he supported as a boy.
Redfearn has the backing of the supporters as they can relate to him and they know from his time as caretaker manager that he can motivate the side as they look to climb the Championship table.
Neil is a likable, straight-talking character and he is always the first to admit when there is a problem or when a mistake has been made.
Unlike “The Hock” and Darko, Neil calls a spade a spade and that is something the fans need, rather than a yes man.
It is plain to see that he motivates the players like no other manager has been able to this season.
With an influx of foreign stars you would expect it to take time for them to gel, but under Redfearn, the counter-attacking football almost appears to be the norm at Elland Road these days. Who would’ve thought Leeds could actually play football?
Redders has brought some fantastic players through the academy and with Mowatt notching four goals this season, it is clear to see the understanding has carried from the academy to the first team.
Lewis Cook is just 17 and has already become a fans’ favorite, he’s now a regular name on the teamsheet.
This may not have been the case had Redfearn not put his faith in the players during their time in the academy.
Redfearn knows what it means to be Leeds and knows that this club needs to be back where it belongs, in the Barclay’s Premier League.
His first win as permanent head coach came in a 3-1 triumph over Blackpool and some of the football on display was mesmerizing at times.
The Tangerines may have been bottom of the league but United looked like a team full of chemistry and we weren’t treated to performances like that under any other ‘coach’ during the season.
Cellino said he hopes Redfearn can remain in the hot seat for at least 10 years and the fans will be hoping he is true to his word as they search for a new hero in the dug-out.
The former Barnsley captain’s name is regularly heard ringing around Elland Road as the fans display their admiration for the man they want to be in charge of the club for the foreseeable future.