Leeds United players not distracted by anti-Cellino protests, insists Steve Evans

Mirco Antenucci celebrates his two goals at full time.
 (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

Mirco Antenucci celebrates his two goals at full time. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

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Leeds head coach Steve Evans insists his players were not distracted by off-field protests against owner Massimo Cellino before his side’s 2-1 Sky Bet Championship win against Bolton at Elland Road

Two goals from Mirco Antenucci helped ease the pressure on Evans following Monday night’s 4-0 thrashing at Brighton, but the game was overshadowed by the latest stunts of fans’ group Time To Go Massimo.

An advertising van displaying anti-Cellino protest messages was driven round Leeds city centre and outside the ground before the group held a mock funeral by the East Stand’s Billy Bremner statue to mark what they termed “the death of the club”.

The group, calling for Cellino to sell, also funded a fly-over ahead of kick-off which saw a plane carrying a ‘Time To Go Massimo’ banner circling the stadium.

When asked if the protests had proved a distraction, Evans said: “No, none of it. We have to keep our focus on the grass.

“At the team meeting at the hotel I said to the players whatever happens we can’t affect it. It’s not our business.

“Our business is to turn up as professional footballers, professional coaching staff and medical staff and support the team on the pitch and get three points.

“We know if we get the three points we send the Leeds United family home ready to enjoy their Saturday night.

“For me there’s been too many Saturday’s when they’ve gone home a little bit p***** off with us.”

Antenucci struck in the 39th and 62nd minutes before Bolton substitute Kaiyne Woolery ensured a nervous finale by reducing the deficit in the 74th minute.

“I’m really proud of my players and staff, it’s been a tough week,” said Evans, whose future was in doubt after Monday’s defeat following comments made by Cellino.

“It was the most amount of pressure I’ve ever experienced at Elland Road in the build up to the game and we’ve dealt with it.”

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