Poll: Leeds United boss Milanic breaking down barriers at Elland Road

New Leeds United head coach Darko Milanic
New Leeds United head coach Darko Milanic
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STEVE MORISON admits Darko Milanic will need time to get things right at Leeds United after revealing that some of the English players in the squad are finding it difficult to adapt to some of the new head coach’s ideas.

The Slovenian is still waiting for his first win at the helm of the Elland Road club after his third game ended in a 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday.

Giuseppe Bellusci netted a late equaliser to break United’s goal-scoring duck under Milanic and Morison, brought off the bench against the Owls, is hoping that can help kick-start the new man’s reign.

He said: “Every manager needs time. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Look at Alex Ferguson; when he first went to Manchester United he had a horrendous record at the start.

“The new coach here is still finding his feet and finding the right way to manage us.

“There are different nationalities in the changing room, lots of different people and personalities. There are young players, experienced players.

“Every manager is different. I have worked under loads and they were all different. They all have their own ways and this is all about getting used to each other.”

Milanic arrived at Leeds a little under a fortnight ago and inherited a squad that had seen an influx of new players from abroad during the summer.

The 46-year-old, who speaks five languages, has quickly tried to stamp his authority on the 
Elland Road set-up and Morison admits there have been teething troubles as the new head coach gets his philosophy across.

“It can be tough with the language sometimes,” said the 31-year-old Wales international when lifting the lid on Milanic’s methods to The Yorkshire Post.

“You will get, for example, the manager talking in Italian to the Italian boys and explaining something.

“But we are stood there after a couple of minutes and saying, ‘We don’t understand what you just said. What are we doing?’

“They say, ‘Sorry, sorry’ and explain it. That is fine, and to be fair to the Italian lads, they are trying really, really hard to speak English. They are doing lessons.

“But the language barrier causes a little bit of frustration to creep in because you want someone to speak to and maybe go and knock on their door to ask, ‘How can I be better to get in your team?’

“It is difficult because he (Milanic) doesn’t understand what you are saying to him and you don’t overly get what he is saying.

“Things are different abroad. Their man-management is not as great as that of the British managers.”

As if to underline the different nationalities that make up the Leeds squad this season, the starting XI against Wednesday included four Italians plus others from Switzerland, Denmark, Jamaica and France. Adryan, a Brazilian who is yet to feature for the first team, was also an unused substitute.

Training is another area where the Leeds players have had to get their heads around new ideas since Milanic arrived, according to Morison.

He said: “Training is different. It isn’t as intense and hard as what we are used to. It has been really hard to adjust to.

“As a British player, every time you walk off the training ground you want to feel knackered.

“We worked very hard under Dave Hockaday in the summer and that continued early in the season, even though results were not going our way.

“Neil Redfearn came in then (as interim manager) and we worked extremely hard. But this manager has come in and it has been a lot more tactical rather than about running around.

“You know what our game (in England) is born and bred on. And it is running around, working hard. We train and smash each other, it is as physical as on a match day.

“We want to win a five-a-side on a Friday as much as we want to win on a Saturday. So, it has been hard for us to adjust, whereas the other lads from abroad it is what they are used to.

“We ask them, ‘Is this what you normally do?’ They reply, ‘Yes’.

“It is just different and is going to take time for everyone to get used to.”

Milanic is, if Redfearn’s four games as interim manager are taken into account, the fourth man to take charge of United since Cellino bought the club in April this year.

It is a mind-boggling number and one that smacks of a club totally lacking in stability. Morison, however, believes things are finally starting to calm down.

He added: “Anything can happen, we have seen that so far this season. That keeps us on our toes as much as anyone else because we don’t know what will happen.

“The flipside of that is the president has got this club stable financially. That has been one of the main issues here. Hopefully, he is going to take over this place (Elland Road) again. He has put a lot of things in place that will be good for the club in the future.

“A successful club has to have stability on the pitch. You need a stable staff and a stable team.

“As it was always going to, things have settled down now. Fans have expectations and sometimes they are unrealistic, considering where we were not long ago.

“Compare then to where we are now, that is a massive stride. No one is talking about relegation or looking over our shoulders, which is a good place to be in.”

Match report: Page 3.