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Media view: Local reporter insight on Leeds United

23 October 2015

Phil Hay of the Yorkshire Evening Post on what Bolton can expect from Leeds on Saturday

Yorkshire Evening Post’s Leeds United reporter Phil Hay speaks to to preview the weekend’s game against Bolton at Macron Stadium. Was it considered a surprise when Uwe Rosler was replaced by Steve Evans?

PH: Yes and no really. It was a surprise in as much as during the summer there had been a change in tact from the owner Massimo Cellino. They’d decided to appoint Uwe Rosler and look more towards a longer-term strategy and the signings were very much his. With that in mind I don’t think this change was ever in the script, but these kind of things tend to happen with Cellino. He has a track record and Leeds have gone through six coaches in 18 months. How has the appointment of Steve Evans been received?

PH: I think there was a bit of scepticism about, but having seen the way they approached the game at Fulham that might change. There was maybe a bit of panic by Cellino after the defeat against Brighton, but now Evans looks like a decent appointment. Leeds need results and points. Evans said in his opening press conference that he didn’t think the club were in any real trouble, but they're by no means comfortable. Generally speaking, how had Leeds started the season?

PH: Rosler was very deliberate in what he was trying to do. He was a 4-3-3 man and his summer signings were very much tailored to suit that system, with Chris Wood coming in as the focal point of the attack. I think Rosler maybe caused himself a bit of a problem early on when he said his side would play ‘heavy metal’ football. It wasn’t ever really like that. He talked a lot about high-pressure and transitional football and it never materialised, though admittedly we’re only talking after 11 league games. They were poor against Birmingham before the international break and have generally lacked intensity in games. In contrast under Evans, they were knocking on the door at Fulham and what we saw was much better. Who’s the dangerman?

PH: The in-form player is Lewis Cook. He played left wing at Fulham, though is a central midfielder by trade. He’s an England U19 international, massively gifted and still has plenty of time to develop and improve. Mirco Antenucci has done well since the word go, but found it difficult to fit into the system under Rosler. And a prediction for the game?

PH: I’m going for a Leeds win. I haven’t said that too often recently. I always seem to be going for draws because it always seems so tight in this league. The first look at how Leeds approached games under Evans suggests that they’ll score goals.

Phil is on Twitter, @PhilHayYEP.


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