By Alex Stevens
Noel Whelan has advised Leeds to sign a “horrible” centre-back who loves defending this summer.
The Championship club’s recruitment plans are likely to be partly dependent upon the managerial situation, with owner Massimo Cellino strongly hinting Steve Evans will be axed.
But ex-Elland Road striker Whelan has urged his former club to land a player who loves to keep clean sheets.
Leeds are 12th in the Championship table as they prepare to host fellow mid-table club Wolves at Elland Road on Tuesday night.
Evans’ side are looking to build upon consecutive victories against Reading and Birmingham, which has given the club hopes of a top-ten finish.
“In general the midfield was strong on Saturday and the only downfall would be the disappointment of the way they conceded the goals at set-pieces again,” Whelan told the Yorkshire Evening Post.
“Disciplined marking is an art and sometimes people just fall asleep far too easily. For the second one we fell asleep and we were too busy arguing and lost concentration and once again people are not looking to mark men in the box.
“You have got to do that first and foremost. I definitely think we need some centre-backs and I think we need a no nonsense, horrible centre-half who just enjoys defending.
“I’m not so bothered whether he can play football or not to be quiet honest – just somebody that can head, defend, keeps clean sheets, enjoys keeping them and gives the centre-forward an absolutely torrid day and let’s them know they have been in a game.”
Leeds’ current senior centre-backs are skipper Sol Bamba, Liam Cooper and Giuseppe Bellusci, but the position is likely to be reinforced in the summer as the Championship’s best supported club target a genuine promotion push to the Premier League.
Evans has consistently said he wants to remain in charge at Leeds and admitted after the win over Reading that he is waiting for Cellino to invite him to hold contract discussions.
That is looking an increasingly distant prospect as Cellino failed to provide the Scot with any reassurances about his future, with his contract expiring in June.
“He talks too much,” Cellino told the Telegraph. “He has to learn to shut his mouth. I’ve told him so many times to stop, you have no idea. But he doesn’t.”
Brian McDermott, Dave Hockaday, Darko Milanic, Neil Redfearn and Uwe Rosler have already been shown the exit door by Cellino during his controversial two-year reign.
Evans passed Redfearn on Saturday to become Cellino’s longest-serving manager with 34 matches at the helm.
In other Leeds news, a member of Evans’ backroom staff has decided to quit at the end of the season.