By Alex Stevens
Steve Evans has revealed his hopes that some Leeds directors will back his case to remain as manager next season.
Owner Massimo Cellino has called a meeting of the six-man board for next Tuesday “to plan for next season”.
The top item on the agenda is likely to be the identity of the manager for the 2016-17 campaign.
Cellino claimed on Tuesday that the final decision had not yet been made on whether Evans would remain beyond his contract, which expires at the end of June.
Evans’ hopes of staying at Elland Road appear to be forlorn but the 53-year-old admitted he was clinging to hope that a board meeting next week might keep him in a job.
“I read that the president’s holding a board meeting next week and you would assume that the head coach’s job will be discussed there,” Evans told the Yorkshire Evening Post on Wednesday. “It’s sensible for me to wait for the outcome of that and to see what the decision is. It might be that the president’s undecided or wants to take some opinions from the rest of the board. I’d hope that some of them would make the case for giving me a chance.
“Once that meeting’s done, we’d be at the stage of saying ‘right, let’s have an answer.’ And as I’ve said before, if the answer’s no then I’ll accept that. I’ll be disappointed but I’m big enough to take it.”
Leeds skipper Sol Bamba has gone public with his disappointment that the players have set off on their holidays while completely in the dark about the managerial situation.
Evans has vowed to remain professional until he is given the decision of Cellino and his board.
“In the meantime I’m going to doing my job, looking at analysis, thinking about pre-season and looking about players because if I am going to stay as head coach, I can’t afford to be behind on any of that,” Evans told the Yorkshire Evening Post.
However, Cellino gave a fresh indication on Tuesday that Evans will not be at Elland Road next season.
“Steve did the job he was taken on for,” Cellino said. “He signed a contract until the end of the current season. Now I need to know from the shareholders what programme they want from me for next season. Believe me, I’m not ready at this moment to give any answer. I need one or two weeks to cool down and focus better.”