A PROTEST march planned for your first home game in charge is hardly ideal.
For Neil Redfearn, however, the prospect of hundreds of supporters voting with their feet by walking from the city centre to Elland Road to call for a change in how United are run is something he refuses to worry about.
Not with three points at stake and the chance to further strengthen his hold on a job that, Ken Bates confirmed earlier this week, will remain in the 46-year-old’s grasp for at least another three games.
“You have to cut yourself off from it,” insists the Leeds caretaker manager when asked about a march that was arranged before the sacking of Simon Grayson a little over a week ago.
“There is no other way. The thing for me that matters is the game against Brighton, nothing else. A lot of people will have paid good money to watch their club and want us to put on a performance for them.
“That can’t change. The lads are focused and switched on about what they need to do so that is how we move forward.”
Redfearn’s determination to ignore everything but what happens on the field is understandable. This is, after all, his big chance to land a job that, judging by the quality of applications that have flooded in since Grayson’s sacking, is coveted by a host of managers.
The 46-year-old has been in charge of the Under-18s at Elland Road, combining the role with that of reserve team manager. His previous experience of managing in the senior game is, therefore, restricted to a couple of stints in temporary charge of Halifax Town and a year at the helm of Scarborough in the Conference.
Both jobs were tough, the perilous state of their finances perhaps being best illustrated by both the Shaymen and the Seadogs having since folded under the burden of eye-watering debts.
Redfearn admits the contrast between taking temporary charge of Leeds and his time at both The Shay and the McCain Stadium could not be more marked.
He said: “I am an experienced guy and I have had good experiences and bad experiences. All sorts of things can benefit you and not just the good experiences. You learn from bad experiences and it shapes the way you are.”
Since stepping in following the departure of Grayson, Redfearn has been publicly backed by several first-team players. In Monday’s Yorkshire Post, for instance, Ross McCormack advocated giving the job full-time to the reserve team chief, a call Andy Lonergan repeated later in the week.
Redfearn added: “It has been nice to hear the players backing me because it means you have made an impression on people. The chairman has (also) been great.”