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Dublin: 7°C Wednesday 28 October 2020

Pastures new: McDermott named as Leeds boss

The 52-year-old has agreed to a three-year contract with the club.

Leeds United manager Brian McDermott speaks during the press conference at Elland Road.
Leeds United manager Brian McDermott speaks during the press conference at Elland Road.

BRIAN MCDERMOTT WAS appointed as manager of Championship club Leeds on Friday just weeks after being sacked by Premier League strugglers Reading.

McDermott agreed a three-year contract to succeed Neil Warnock, who stepped down two weeks ago, and will take charge of his first match when local rival Sheffield Wednesday visit Elland Road on Saturday.

The 52-year-old had led Reading into the Premier League as Championship winners last season, but he was axed by the Royals after failing to lift the club out of the bottom three.

Former Arsenal midfielder McDermott needs to make an instant impact on his new club as Leeds have slipped into the relegation dogfight in recent weeks.

Last Saturday’s defeat at Charlton under caretaker Neil Redfearn was their fourth in a row, and they sit only five points above the second tier drop zone.

“We are delighted to have appointed Brian as our manager,” Leeds director David Haigh said.

“He is a man with a proven track record of success and shares our vision of the best way to return long terms and sustainable success to this great football club.

“Obviously the immediate aim is a return as soon as possible to the Premiership. Brian’s success in taking Reading to the Premiership last year was a key factor in our decision to hire him.”

McDermott, who has hired his former assistant Nigel Gibbs to work with him at Leeds, didn’t become a professional manager until December 2009 when he replaced Brendan Rodgers at Reading.

In his first full season in charge he took Reading to the Championship play-off final where they were beaten by Rodgers’ Swansea, but they responded by winning the title a year later.

Life in the Premier League was harder and, despite winning the manager of the month award in January, McDermott was sacked in March.

McDermott is the first managerial appointment made by Leeds owners GFH Capital, who bought the club from Ken Bates in December, and Haigh and Salem Patel flew in from Dubai to secure McDermott’s signature.

Bizarrely, the new Leeds manager isn’t the only Brian McDermott in charge of a sports team in the Yorkshire city.

Rugby league club Leeds Rhinos are also led by a Brian McDermott and, in another curious twist, both teams have wingers called Ryan Hall.

McDermott has won two Super League titles and the World Club Challenge during his time with the Rhinos.

© AFP, 2013

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