Leeds United head coach Neil Redfearn moved to distance himself from the vacant manager’s job at Barnsley in the wake of the Danny Wilson’s sacking this morning.
Redfearn, who is under contract at Leeds until the end of the season, said he was “enjoying what I’m doing here” and happy in the role amid early speculation about Wilson’s successor at Oakwell.
Barnsley dismissed Wilson today with the club 17th in League One and in danger of succumbing to another relegation.
Redfearn was previously linked with the manager’s post at Oakwell in September, on the back of his four-game spell as Leeds caretaker.
Wilson’s job appeared to be under threat at the time and Redfearn - then United’s academy boss - was touted as a possible replacement. Barnsley’s board, however, kept Wilson in place.
Redfearn subsequently took over as Leeds’ full-time head coach in November, replacing Darko Milanic, but his existing deal ends in the summer.
It includes the option of a second season in charge but United and the club’s disqualified owner, Massimo Cellino, are yet to decide on his long-term future.
Speaking this morning, Redfearn - a former Barnsley midfielder and a popular figure at Oakwell - said: “I really respect the position here and the opportunity I’ve been given.
“This is a massive club, the club I supported as a boy. It’s not the same club I supported as a boy because time obviously changes clubs but it’s still Leeds United and it still stands for being a big club.
“There are lots of people here who’ve put hard work into getting the club into a better position. I respect that and I’m enjoying my time here, I’m enjoying the fact that I’m working with players, kids from the academy, that I spent a lot of time working on and I’m enjoying them being in the first team and progressing as players. I’m enjoying what I’m doing.”
United have been fighting relegation throughout Redfearn’s short reign but the club climbed to 17th in the table after a 2-0 win at Reading on Tuesday and have revived their form since the turn of the year.
His appointment in November made him the third head coach employed by Leeds this season following the short and unsuccessful tenures of Milanic and David Hockaday, both of whom were fired by Cellino after six competitive games in charge.
Asked if he was hopeful of remaining in charge next season, Redfearn said: “I don’t look past Saturday. There’s no point.”