UWE ROSLER is backing himself to buck the trend of short-lived head coach appointments at Leeds United – and insists he is not put off by the revolving-door policy of owner Massimo Cellino.
The former Wigan and Brentford chief is Cellino’s fifth full-time head coach/manager since he purchased the club in April 2014 and he has immediately set his sights on securing a top-10 finish for Leeds next season.
Despite Cellino’s reputation for regularly dispensing with coaches, with Rosler being his 40th appointment in 23 years of involvement in football, the 46-year-old says that the lure of coming to Leeds represented a ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ which he could not turn down.
Rosler, back in the game after being sacked by Wigan last November, will be joined shortly by a new assistant and first-team coach, with announcements likely to be made within the next week.
Meanwhile, Leeds executive director Adam Pearson has confirmed that former head coach Neil Redfearn has been offered his old job running United’s academy after the club decided not to activate a clause to keep him on as head coach.
Redfearn is considering his position, although it is highly likely he will leave the club with Pearson expecting him to have ‘other offers to consider.’
On his own appointment, Rosler – who beat off lung cancer back in 2003 – said: “Life is a challenge and I know what I’m getting myself into.
“But I have thrived on pressure and challenges all my life. The way I deal with personal problems and the way I manage. You need those qualities to make it count here.
“I’ve been out of work and used the last six months to educate myself, study the game and players and I was always keen to come back in the summer.
“I had one or two opportunities but then this one came at very short notice. It can’t get bigger than this for me. it was a no brainer.
“To be head coach of Leeds United is the chance of a lifetime.”
Rosler confirmed that United’s interest came as a surprise, but after meeting Cellino, the German is confident he can form a successful working relationship with the Italian.
Rosler added: “I’m not suicidal. If I didn’t see a chance to be successful with this club, I would not have taken that chance.
“I had other opportunities, but I chose this one because it was Leeds United and because of the players.
“The owner Mr Cellino is very passionate. I have passion and we all want to do best for this club.
“For me, that glass is half full and not half empty. That is my philosophy in life, I always try to get the positive things in any situation.
“Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it’s easier. But this is a great football club with great potential. If we all together can keep this going, we can be a force.”
Paying tribute to his predecessor Redfearn and confident he can build on his work at the club, Rosler added: “I have a proven track record to bring players up and produce results.
“For me, Neil did a solid good job for me to push on and I wish him all the best. But in the end, that was not a decision of Uwe Rosler. It was a decision of the football club.”
Rosler stressed that picking the team and deciding upon tactics will be completely his responsibility, with the former Manchester City striker to also have a “heavy influence” in the club’s recruitment policy, with a head of recruitment also likely to be named within the next seven days.
A new football secretary will also be appointed in the same time-scale, according to Pearson, who says that the club will not be hanging around regarding the announcement of a number of key appointments.
Pearson said: “We have three key pieces of the jigsaw to fit in place. Uwe’s two choices of assistant manager and first-team coach and a head of recruitment.
“Then we have got an extremely strong and capable football secretary coming in place.
“The (appointments) will all be made in the next week and we will move forward very strongly now into pre-season.
“I think then we have got a management team and football team who can make decisions in an orderly and structured manner for the benefit of the club in the medium to long-term.”
On the appointment of Rosler, Pearson added: “I am really excited to have Uwe here and think he is a top coach and a strong character and personality.
“I think he will inspire this club and crowd and get the ball rolling and momentum into the club.”
Pearson said the club are awaiting an answer from Redfearn after he was offered his previous position prior to being the full-time head coach at the start of November.
The United executive director says the discussions were conducted in a ‘very mature and professional manner’ and the club’s offer a realistic one.
He said: “It is definitely a realistic offer because I made it. It was said with all credibility and it’s been given to him.
“With Neil’s track record over the last year I would imagine that he has other offers to consider. I’m sure that’s what he’s doing now. The conversation was held in a very mature and professional manner. I am sure he’ll go forward to have a good career.”