By Richard Parks
Leeds United are working on a deal to appoint Paul Heckingbottom as their new manager tonight (Monday) – and fans have taken to Twitter to deliver mixed verdicts.
Yorkshire Evening Post correspondent Phil Hay took to his personal Twitter account this afternoon to report that United have identified the Barnsley manager, 40, as their first choice to take on the vacant role.
Hay claims Leeds top brass are keen to get a deal tied up with Heckingbottom within hours in what would represent a quick turnaround following the dismissal of Thomas Christiansen.
Leeds United’s first choice for the head coach’s job – Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom. Looking to get a deal done tonight. #lufc
— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) February 5, 2018
The Denmark-born Spaniard, 44, was dismissed late last night following a wretched run of results in which Leeds had not won since Boxing Day
Former defender Heckingbottom is regarded as one of the brightest young coaches in England after impressing in his three years at Barnsley, steering them to promotion in his first season and a highly creditable 14th place in the Championship in 2016-17.
The Tykes have not fared as well this season and are 21st in the division, 17 points behind Leeds, but the manager has been forced to continually sell his best players.
Leeds fans are split between those who believe Heckingbottom is an ideal appointment who has “done wonders” on a shoestring budget and others who believe he is unproven and does not have a good enough track record.
Here is a selection of the best messages on Twitter:
fans saying heckingbottom would be a sh*t appt need to give their head a shake. hes done wonders to keep barnsley in the champ consistently with a budget a LOT less than ours!Saying barnsley are nr the bottom as the reason! Are you fcukin mad?He’s a good, young, british mgr #lufc
— Adam Errington (@Adam_Errington) February 5, 2018
Isn’t he quite outspoken about how much he dislikes Leeds?
— Jack Lambourne (@JackLambourne) February 5, 2018
Young British manager who looks to get academy lads involved. Not massively proven but wouldn’t be unhappy in the slightest!
— Sam Snaddon (@Sam_Snaddon) February 5, 2018
I like Heckingbottom, hope he gets it. Can pick a player (had nearly all of his players sold at Barnsley too). Makes change to hunt someone in employment rather than look who’s on the dole.
— Wayne Gardiner (@mrwayneg) February 5, 2018
Surely this is a wind up?
— Mark Threlfall (@mistert1966) February 5, 2018
Does AR actually hate us?
— CK (@ephemeraljoy) February 5, 2018
heck of a gamble that.
— Simon O’Rourke (@simon_orourke) February 5, 2018
— Andrew Haigh ⚡️ (@AndrewHaigh) February 5, 2018
Very good coach. Worked wonders at Barnsley with very little £. #lufc
— Lee Thompson (@lufcThommo) February 5, 2018
The man who hates Leeds. You couldn’t make it up but this is #LUFC so you probably could
— David (@BilliardsCue) February 5, 2018
Leeds are next in action on Saturday when they play against Sheffield United in a Yorkshire derby at Bramall Lane in a 12.30pm kic-off.
Leeds are 10th in the league, two points and two places behind Sheffield United.
In other Leeds United news, it can be revealed that Heckingbottom has a significant release clause in his Barnsley contract.
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