By Richard Parks
Vinnie Jones has urged Leeds United to sign 12 seasoned pros to transform their fortunes – and told them Liverpool fringe player James Milner should be their first pick.
The former United midfielder delivered his verdict on a Leeds team that has slipped to 10th in the Championship after a winless run since Boxing Day that has put a massive dent in their promotion hopes.
The Yorkshire giants sacked Thomas Christiansen as manager on Sunday night and are on the verge of appointing Paul Heckingbottom from Barnsley as their eighth new boss in the last four years.
Hollywood actor Jones delivered his recipe for success for a side that has showed an alarming lack of discipline in the last month, with four players sent off in the last five matches.
“If I actually did get a call to say ‘right, come and help sort us out, come in as gaffer’, you know what I would do?” stated Jones in an interview with The Sun.
“I’d get all the seasoned pros in, pros that have been there and done that. It’s one of the hardest leagues out there, to get out of it is unbelievable.
“You need a dirty dozen, I call them the dirty dozen, some experienced pros in there.”
The retired footballer, who was renowned for his no-nonsense style of football, went on to name Milner, who has started only 10 of Liverpool’s 25 league matches this season, as the type of player the club needed.
“I was thinking last night, listening to the Liverpool game, James Milner,” said Jones.
“People like Milner who could come in, they are still great athletes and the rest of it, I think to really get out of that league you need that.”
The midfielder, 32, is a boyhood Leeds fan and started his career at the club after emerging from their youth ranks before leaving in 2004 to join Newcastle United following a financial crisis.
He has been on the Liverpool fringes this season, starting just 10 of their 26 Premier League fixtures despite being named in the squad for each match and only two of their eight Champions League games.
The Whites are currently without a manager after the club confirmed on Sunday via their official website that Christiansen had left the club after being in charge for only seven-and-a-half months.
It is expected that Heckingbottom will be appointed as the new manager later today.
In other Leeds United news, it can be revealed that Heckingbottom has emerged from a three-man shortlist.
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By Richard Parks