By Richard Parks
Andrea Radrizzani has revealed that Leeds United recruitment chief Victor Orta persuaded him not to axe Thomas Christiansen on a number of occasions before he finally pulled the trigger last Sunday.
In an interview with the Yorkshire Evening Post, the United owner admitted he had made a “mistake” in appointing the Denmark-born Spaniard and had been tempted to sack him earlier.
Christiansen was appointed by Radrizzani last June and he led the club to the top of the Championship in his first seven matches but a recent run of six league games without a win, culminating in Saturday’s 4-1 defeat to Cardiff City, prompted the board to take action.
Paul Heckingbottom was appointed by Leeds 36 hours later after they activated the release clause in his Barnsley contract.
Intriguingly, Radrizzani has confessed that only a series of interventions from director of football Orta prevented him from ending Christiansen’s reign on a series of occasions in January.
“I waited for a long time before taking the decision and gave him many chances,” Radrizzani explained to the Yorkshire Evening Post. “Already at the beginning of January I was really keen to change. Victor (Orta) convinced me to hold on and give him one more, one more, one more; extra chances but at the end, something was missing.”
Christiansen has left Leeds with a 40 per cent win rate and at 10th in the Championship table, where they are seven points adrift of the play-off spots.
Heckingbottom will take charge of his first match when United travel to Sheffield United for Saturday lunchtime’s Yorkshire derby at Bramall Lane.
In other Leeds news, the club have been hit by yet another shattering senior player injury blow.
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By Richard Parks