By Mike Courtney
So the inevitable happened. We all knew it was coming, I even wrote about it Wednesday before the Bradford match. I thought then that Hocks would get until after the Bolton game tomorrow but Cellino finally lost patience with the man he appointed 70 days ago and who many had not heard of prior to that.
In fairness to Mr Hockaday he tried his best but it just wasn't good enough. He will cite mitigating circumstances; a host of new signings, a host of red cards, injury to key players, but at the end of the day he just wasn't up to the task. I would have some sympathy with him in the defeat at Bradford. Murphy's red card was a game changer, we were all at sea for the 15 minutes after leading up to half time, but in the second half I thought that tactically we got it spot on pushing Sharp closer to Smith and defending with passion and determination. It was when we took the lead that Hock's tactical know how was again exposed. While the players were celebrating Smith's, who had one of his best games for us, excellent goal he should have had two defensive minded subs ready to come on before Bradford kicked off. Instead within three minutes we had conceded twice and Cellino's mind was made up. Smith's late late miss could have forced extra time and given Hockaday a temporary stay of execution but it wasn't to be and the search for a new manager/coach is on.
There are plenty of top notch managers available at the moment; Pulis, Sherwood, Clarke, Lennon and Mackay if you want to go down the home grown route. The big questions is though, could they work under Cellino? The most likely scenario would be a foreign coach. A few names are in the frame like Ronaldo Maran, Paolo Di Canio, Roberto Di Matteo and bookies favourite ex Brighton boss Oscar Garcia. Garcia would be my choice, he came within a whisker of getting Brighton promoted and overall has a good managerial CV and won't be phased by the challenge. Cellino has a big decision to make and needs a manager that he can work with for the long haul if he wants his vision for Leeds to be a success.
On the transfer front it seems that the long protracted signing of Adryan is finally going to be completed and it also looks like Montenegro could sign. There might even be a few more drafted in before the window closes. The new manager won't have any input into theses signings, but neither did Hockaday so what's new?
For us fans it's back to basics at home to Bolton. The last time we were managerless the players upped their game and we trounced Huddersfield. Wouldn't it be great if this set of players could do the same. Redfearn will have to make changes due to the suspension of Murphy and Byram and maybe he will have the balls to include some of the youngsters. Who knows, if he impresses Cellino he might even get the gig full time and that would be an appointment that would appease the fans. Ever the optimist I am going for a 2-1 win for Leeds.
Whatever happens it will be another interesting few weeks at Leeds. The new man should be in place before our visit to Birmingham. Whoever he is will get the backing of the fans, temporarily anyway. Let's hope it's the last such appointment for a few years.
MOT Leeds Leeds Leeds.