Steve Evans believes Leeds United’s players saw a corner turned by the club when he was appointed as their new manager.
Chris Wood’s penalty secured Leeds a 1-1 draw at Fulham in Evans’ first game in charge on Wednesday night, but it would have been all three but for some fine late saves from home keeper Joe Lewis.
Evans was on Monday appointed United’s sixth manager in 18 months under their controversial owner Massimo Cellino.
And Wood’s 64th-minute spot-kick ended a run of three straight defeats after they fell behind to Moussa Dembele’s first-half strike.
Evans said: “I think the players see a corner turned when they see Steve Evans walk in.
“You have to be straight with players. It’s how they apply themselves which will decide whether they have a future, just as how I apply myself will dictate my future.”
The average reign of a manager under Cellino has been just shy of three-and-a-half months, so it was little wonder Fulham fans sang ‘you’re getting sacked in the morning’ when Dembele ran through unchallenged to score the opener.
But Evans added: “The impression I get from the president is that he doesn’t want to keep changing managers. He wants stability.
“You stay as Leeds manager if you win matches – no team in the league can go seven months without a home win and still have the manager. Results get you longevity in football.”
Leeds could consider themselves unlucky to have two decent penalty appeals turned down. The ball appeared to hit Dan Burn’s arm in the area in the first half, and Tom Adeyemi was unceremoniously brought down by Lewis in the second.
But referee Keith Hill did spot a handball by Ben Pringle in the 64th minute and Wood tucked in the spot-kick.
Lewis then preserved a point for Fulham with stunning saves to keep out efforts from Stuart Dallas and Mirco Antenucci.
“Their goalkeeper was the difference,” added Evans. “And I’m not going to say we should have had two other penalties – but we should have had two other penalties.”
Fulham chairman Shahid Khan made a rare visit to Craven Cottage but is unlikely to have been too impressed – the hosts were booed off with some fans calling for boss Kit Symons to be sacked.
Symons admitted: “It was a poor night. In the end we have got to be thankful for a point.
“Joe Lewis had a great performance which I am thankful for, but there were not too many other good performances.
“I haven’t spoken to the chairman but I will in the next few days. He wants us to kick on and push the club up to where we want to be, which is up near the play-offs.
“But he has been very supportive and I am sure that will continue.”