By Alex Stevens
Steve Evans has claimed Leeds need to sign up to four new players in the summer transfer window to compete for a play-off position next season.
The Scot has insisted new blood is needed in the dressing room to beef up the squad and give the Championship’s best supported club a genuine chance of winning promotion.
Evans’ job is hanging by a thread after Leeds owner Massimo Cellino accused him of “talking too much” and cleared the way for another change of boss by saying he “cannot work with English managers.”
Leeds clinched their third straight win with a 2-1 win over Wolves on Tuesday night to climb to 11th place in the Championship table.
It remains to be seen if it strengthens Evans’ position but the 53-year-old is insistent that he wants to stay and build on the foundations that had been laid during his six-month tenure.
“We’re still two or three bodies, maybe four, away from being a top-six side but we’ve got some real quality and these players don’t need anything other than a little bit of help,” Evans told the Yorkshire Evening Post. “How do you help them? You give them more quality players to work with.”
Evans is convinced that Leeds would have been more active in the January market if they had not not to Ipswich and Sheffield Wednesday at a critical juncture in that month.
“I’ve always maintained that if we’d a good week we’d have got some help by signing new players,” he added, as quoted in the Yorkshire Evening Post.
“But after those games we had to look from a strategic point of view and say ‘are we going to spend lots of money to not go anywhere (this season)?’ It wouldn’t have been a wise football decision. But it does frustrate you as a coach, as it always would.”
Evans says Cellino is continuing to support him privately amid reports that the Scot will become the sixth manager of the Italian’s two-year Elland Road tenure to be axed.
The controversial owner has spoken freely of his attempts to persuade an elite manager to take on the task of steering Leeds back to the top flight and a place in the Champions League.
Evans became the sixth first-team boss of Cellino’s reign last October and is currently the longest serving under the Italian but Cellino is yet to make any move towards extending the manager’s short-term contract.
In other Leeds news, ex-Elland Road striker Noel Whelan has given his verdict on Evans’ future.