Evans excited by chance to sort Leeds ‘shocking’ form

Date published: Thursday 29th October 2015 9:51

Elland Road: Not a happy hunting ground for Leeds United recently

Steve Evans is excited for his first game in charge of Leeds United at Elland Road as he bids to turn around their “shocking” home form.

Leeds have not won on their own patch since March but have the chance to end that run against Blackburn Rovers on Thursday night.

For Evans, the game represents the highlight of his career so far.

“I’m massively excited,” Evans told the Yorkshire Evening Post. “Without a doubt it’s the pinnacle for me.

“I didn’t think I could be any more proud than driving into Wembley for a play-off final and driving out of Wembley having been successful but I have to accept that Leeds United is a completely different animal altogether.

“Hopefully it’ll be remembered for all the right reasons. For any club at any level, you can’t be going over seven months without winning at home. It’s a staggering statistic. It’s right to say it’s a shocking statistic. We need to sort it.

“The players are hurting at that record. Let’s not say any different.

“They sit and look at you in one-on-one chats and they know.

“It’ll come down to a combination of everything but ultimately if you’re good enough as a team then you don’t not win a home game for seven months.”

Leeds have drawn both of their first two games under Evans, at Fulham and Bolton, with the new boss putting their problems down to their approach going forward.

“More quality in the final third is needed. There’s no doubt about that,” Evans said.

“There are probably too many times where the players have been encouraged and coached in the early part of the season to put the ball in an area as opposed to picking someone out.

“We’ve been working on attention to detail but it won’t be sorted in two or three sessions. It’ll be sorted over a period of time.

“I think the players are happier with how we’re playing. Rather than play a containment game, which is what’s been happening since the start of the season, we’re going to play attacking football.

“As a coach you can sit there and say it and then implement something totally different. We’ve sat here and said it and we’re trying to implement it. It’ll give the players a licence to be very creative.”

Cellino appeals against ban

Meamwhile, the Football League confirmed on Wednesday that Leeds owner Massimo Cellino has lodged an appeal against his latest ban.

Earlier this month Cellino was banned for a second time for breaching the Football League’s owners’ and directors’ rules following a conviction for tax evasion this year.

The Italian, who has three further criminal cases against him still outstanding, had until October 28 to contest the punishment and he has submitted the necessary paperwork ahead of Wednesday’s deadline.

A statement from the Football League said: “The Football League can confirm that the legal representatives of Leeds United President Massimo Cellino have lodged an appeal against his recent disqualification under the League’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test.

“The appeal will be heard in due course by an independent League Arbitration Panel.”

Cellino served his previous ban from January until May, having been found guilty of failing to pay VAT on a yacht.

If he is unsuccessful with his appeal, the 59-year-old, who took over at Elland Road in April 2014, will be unable to take part in the day-to-day running of the Sky Bet Championship club, forcing him to pass control to someone else.

However, he is able to continue in his role until the appeal is heard.

The Football League has yet to confirm the length of any ban, but it is thought it would end in June 2016 – 12 months from the date of his conviction when it will be spent under English law.

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