Bamba wants better for Leeds

Date published: Sunday 3rd May 2015 10:30

The Ivory Coast international joined Leeds on loan from Palermo in January and played a starring role as they put together eight wins out of 13 under the management of Neil Redfearn and assistant Steve Thompson, moving out of relegation trouble in the process.

But Thompson’s surprise departure – effectively sacked on April 3 – gave way to a run of five straight defeats, amid speculation that absent and banned owner Massimo Cellino was trying to undermine Redfearn.

An apparent split in the camp between Redfearn’s men and Cellino’s appeared all the more obvious when six of the Italian’s signings withdrew from the April 18 clash at Charlton citing injury with less than 24 hour’s notice.

Such incidents of chaos have been commonplace at Elland Road and in offering forthright views after what could be his final Leeds appearance, Bamba gave further insight into the inner workings of one of England’s most turbulent clubs.

“I don’t know what is going to happen with me. But it doesn’t matter if I am staying or not. The club deserves better and I think the person in charge has to do better for our club and the supporters because they deserve better,” the 30-year-old said.

“It doesn’t matter. I want to stay at the club but not for the wrong reasons. If he (Cellino) decides not to keep me because of what I am saying, that’s up to him, but I can’t just hide my feelings, and when I think someone deserves something, I say it. If he thinks I shouldn’t say it, that’s up to him, I speak the truth.”

Bamba’s truth centres largely around the departure of Thompson – his former coach at Leicester – who it is understood was told in a letter that he had ‘underperformed’.

It was speculated at the time that some of Leeds’ Italian players had celebrated the news at the club’s training ground, and that Bamba had been moved to physically challenge them over their conduct. When asked, he did little to correct that theory.

“I think, even the manager, some of the players are not happy with him, that’s football, you can’t keep everyone happy, but I think everyone recognised what he (Thompson) was doing at the club and I was affected more than the other ones because I knew him from my time in Leicester, and I can’t hide my feelings,” he said.

“When some things are bad, I say. We had (Bamba and some other players) a few chats when he left, some of the players think it was the right decision and fine, and I think it wasn’t.”

And Bamba has also told Cellino to treat Redfearn and the club better. The 49-year-old was constantly serenaded by 30,000 fans throughout Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Rotherham, but despite his record must now wait and see what his future holds.

“Everyone can see he (Redfearn) knows the club from bottom and he has brought some good young players into the first team and is a Leeds fan. I think there is no other man better for the job,” Bamba said.

“We know what he is doing every day and I think he deserves better. He’s a Leeds fan, doing well and I don’t see a reason to change.

“It’s a shame, the club deserves better, we can’t give this image to other clubs and the football world, because Leeds have a great history and what we have shown the last few years is wrong. I have embraced being here, it’s a great club. It’s ridiculous when you know the club. It deserves better.”

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