COMMENT By Richard Parks
Eunan O’Kane is losing the battle to save his Leeds United career.
The midfielder epitomises the mediocrity of the first team regulars who have secured just two wins since Boxing Day as Leeds’ play-off hopes have been left in tatters.
Handed a new four-year contract that was announced by the official Leeds website on 11 August last year, it has been a mostly wretched campaign for the Republic of Ireland international.
O’Kane, 27, began the season well but has subsequently struggled to do even the basics with a series of horrible performances that have left supporters tearing their hair out.
Given his pedigree and status as an international and former Premier League player who made 118 appearances for Bournemouth as they surged up the Football League to establish themselves in the top flight, the central midfielder has been one of the biggest disappointments of the season for Leeds.
The Irishman has the comfort and security of another three years on his contract. Even if he is frozen out, Leeds have to pay him up until 2021.
But that does not change the fact that his career is on thin ice.
Andrea Radrizzani’s public attack on the Leeds players a month ago was a thinly-veiled attempt to cajole improved performances from O’Kane and company.
It has failed to have the desired effect, and you can be sure the owner will be steaming.
Seven-times international O’Kane has failed to make the Leeds team for the last three matches and was an unused substitute for Friday night’s defeat at Aston Villa, the third in fourth matches.
He is fighting to save his United career.
In other Leeds United news, a 24-year-old is unlikely to play for the club ever again after recent events.