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“White flag” – Phil Hay outlines surprise ideal scenario for Leeds United in managerial search

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Leeds United would “ideally” like Michael Skubala to remain in charge for the remainder of the season, according to Phil Hay of The Athletic.

The Whites have yet to appoint a permanent successor for Jesse Marsch after they made the decision to dismiss the American two weeks ago now after a 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest at the City Ground. He left the club sat in 17th place and only a few points off the bottom of the Premier League.

Marsch spent 11 months with Leeds but found himself sacked after he went on a run of games which collected just 11 points from a possible 51 available in the Premier League.

Leeds have given Skubala the reins as caretaker boss for now, and his side put in two decent performances against Manchester United before a hammer blow defeat to Everton at Goodison Park, bringing into question the decision to keep him on for key games against sides around Leeds.

Quiz: How much do you know about Leeds United’s go-to caretaker Michael Skubala? Find out here…

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When did Skubala join Leeds?

Will Leeds keep Skubala?

Hay believes that, despite the defeat to Everton, the club would like to keep Skubala until the end of the campaign, he said: “Ideally, the club would like Skubala to push them through to the end of the season; to limit the damage, keep the squad up and let the board — however it looks at that stage — attack the managerial market at a riper time of year.”

This is due to the issues Leeds have had in securing a long-term successor for Marsch mid-season, Hay added: “The odds of landing a preferred candidate would be better in the summer, minus the double-pronged problem of Leeds’ own lack of control and the reluctance of other clubs.”

Hay hinted that the possibility of Skubala remaining is diminishing with every game, with Southampton at home next up for the Whites seen as a key game, he said: “But Skubala’s tenure can only have legs if this weekend’s game against Southampton breathes fresh air through Elland Road, assuming the board do not blink before then.”

He thinks that Skubala’s position would be untenable if Leeds fail to win, and the club would have to appoint someone more experienced, he added: “Anything else and Leeds, without a permanent manager, would look like they were raising the white flag.”

It’s hard to fathom why Leeds are so keen to keep someone as inexperienced as Skubala in charge in the short-term this season.

It’s a huge ask for him if it is the decision Leeds take, and one which is with the future of the club hinges on as well. Relegation would be a disaster.

Regardless of the result against Southampton, Leeds need a manager in place to give them the best chance of survival. Skubala has done well with the Under-21 side but it’s hard to imagine he is the answer.

It’s not what most Leeds fans want to hear at this moment in time. The managerial hunt has been fruitless so far but needs to continue, and not just in the summer.

Are Leeds going down?





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