By Coral Barry

Steve Evans has revealed that Leeds owner Massimo Cellino set him the target of avoiding relegation when he took over.

Leeds were 18th in the Championship after 12 games when Evans replaced the sacked Uwe Rosler in October.

Evans managed to lead a short-lived push for promotion after his appointment, but after a disastrous run in the new year, the Whites were stranded in 18th once again in late February.

But back-to-back wins against Bolton and Cardiff have eased Leeds away from the drop zone and lifted them up to 15th in the table.

“The remit I was given by the club was to make sure we were a Championship club,” Evans told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

“The players were passed that remit, too, because you have to buy into targets together. There’s no point in a coach having a target and then giving the players a different one.”

Evans was given a rolling contract until this summer after being made Cellino’s sixth managerial appointment since the Italian took over in 2014.

Cellino gave a very public dressing down of Evans after the recent 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Brighton, warning the manager to be more reserved in his dealings with the media.

Evans has subsequently guided Leeds to successive league victories for the first time since December.

Massimo Cellini is at war with Sky over their transmission of Leeds matches

Trigger happy: There have been six managers in two seasons under Cellino

Now the Whites boss is adamant that Leeds can climb even higher than 15th with the Yorkshire club just five points behind tenth place and a game in hand over the teams above them.

The 53-year-old said: “Any team in this league aiming for the top 10, and Blackburn will be one of them, if you string some wins together then you bounce up the table.

“You’re suddenly looking at aims which people thought weren’t realistic.

“We’ve set that [a top-10 finish] as a target and the league table clearly demonstrates that we’re much closer.”

Leeds travel to Blackburn this Saturday in the league.

In other Leeds news, a mystery bidder is said to be seriously considering buying the club.