Leeds United boss Steve Evans accepts Massimo Cellino’s reasons for asking him not to speak to the media after Monday’s 4-0 defeat at Brighton.
Leeds turned in one of their worst displays of the season at the Amex Stadium, prompting Cellino to walk out at half-time, and fans were left angry at Evans’ failure to speak to the press after the match.
“When I learnt the reasons later that night and the following day then I wholly accept them,” Evans said of Cellino’s request. “People know I’m a very emotional character.
“I had a responsibility to address (the performance) with the playing staff, but I can understand the reasons given. We all learned from the other night.
“I think people, senior to me at this football club, protected me and I respect that.
“I wasn’t given a clear instruction as bold as that, but there was a preference and I want it leave it at that.
“There was a preference and I respect that. When you get a request from your boss you don’t ignore it.
“The following day when I asked the reasons, you can either understand them or not and I understood them.”
Evans apologised for his side’s display, which leaves them 18th in the Championship table, nine points above the relegation zone.
“For 25 minutes in the first half the performance was unacceptable and the first thing I must do is apologise to every Leeds United supporter, who not only made the long journey down to the south coast but also to those at home watching it live on television,” Evans said.
Speculation has mounted over Evans’ future at the club – he is the sixth head coach in less than two years under Cellino – following comments made by the owner, but the former Rotherham boss remains confident he will still be at the club in the summer.
When asked if he felt he was close to getting the sack on Monday night, Evans said: “I never lie in fear of my job because I work too hard at it and people have to make decisions whether they want you or you don’t.
“I think I’ve let myself speak about matters that are not in my remit and the one thing I’ve learned is that I don’t need to be a PR vehicle for Leeds United, who are big and bold enough to speak at the highest level when they need to.
“It’s a fair point. I’ve allowed myself to discuss matters that don’t involve us getting the points in the next game.
“I was down for a day or two but I’m thankful to my bosses at this club who were on the phone to me as early as Monday evening coming back with reassuring words and supportive words and I thank them.”