By Alex Stevens
Steve Evans has vowed to be “sat here drinking champagne” next season if Leeds decide to retain him as manager.
Evans said he would mimic the hospitality of Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri, who marked his club’s remarkable Premier League title by sharing glasses of champagne with journalists at a press conference on Thursday afternoon.
Evans held talks with Leeds Massimo Cellino last Friday about the squad and his own future at the club, but he has not yet been told whether his contract will be extended beyond June.
Despite anticipating further talks with Cellino this week, Evans admitted today that a final decision was likely to wait until after Leeds’ last game of the season at Preston on Saturday, saying Cellino had been engaged abroad “on other business” in the past few days.
Evans is convinced that the Italian had already made up his mind about whether to change manager for the seventh time in his two-year tenure as owner.
“I went on record last weekend as saying I do believe he knows his decision,” Evans told the Yorkshire Evening Post. “The president’s been on other business but that day’s coming closer for all of us. Certainly it won’t be going much beyond the weekend.
“There will come a day where I have to act in the interests of myself and my family. I’m no different to the majority of supporters. We’ve got mortgages, bills and kids to support. It’s not an imminent situation. I don’t need a decision today or tomorrow but a decision does need to be made.
“I have to believe I’ll be here. I’m still continuing with planning for next season and I’ll do that until someone tells me otherwise. I understand that if I’m the chosen one I have to deliver the play-offs if not promotion next season.
“But if I’m sitting here in year’s time then you’ll be sitting with some champagne, a bit like Leicester were today.”
In spite of the defeat to Charlton last weekend, the 53-year-old has comfortably avoided relegation and taken Leeds into the top half of the Championship table.
Evans has an increasingly strong hand in negotiations as he is drawing interest from elsewhere, with Peterborough joining Nottingham Forest in being strongly linked with the Leeds manager.
In other Leeds news, Evans has admitted he has changed his mind about one Whites outcast.