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Evans: I pick the team at Leeds, not Cellino

Steve Evans says he is unconcerned by Leeds United president Massimo Cellino’s disqualification, insisting he will have the final say on team selection as new head coach at Elland Road.

Evans was appointed as Uwe Rosler’s successor on Monday shortly after the German’s five-month tenure was ended.

Owner Cellino was then handed another Football League disqualification for tax offences in Italy, in what proved the latest chaotic chapter in the club’s recent history.

Evans said: “[Cellino is] a very passionate man, he wants to win matches. My biggest question was do I get first and last say.

“The president is clear – I get the first and last say. If I didn’t get the first and last say I wouldn’t be here.

“I’m honoured, humbled, I could use all the phrases but I mean then. I’ll give it everything.

“I’ve just caught up with the president again and I didn’t get into [the ban] with him. That’s not my side. I concentrate on what happens on the grass.

“A famous retired manager told me to focus on what’s happening on the grass. Whatever happens above me at board level – that’s for them to deal with.

“It’s not a concern because he’s still my boss. I’ve not thought about it.

“Just give me an opportunity. I am cautious, nervous, excited, everything. It’s wedding days, kids being born, first dates, all rolled into one.

“They told me there would be around 4,000 supporters at Fulham – I want to send them and me to the pub having won a game.”

Evans’ appointment has not gone down well with certain sections of the Leeds support – the Scot having garnered a reputation as antagonistic on the touchline during his career with Crawley Town and Rotherham United.

The 52-year-old acknowledged he may need to tone down his style to win over certain Leeds fans but stated his confidence in enjoying a lengthy tenure at Elland Road.

He added: “When Leeds ring you up, how can you say no?

“I could have been anywhere in the world and I’d have been travelling here today.

“I walked through the city last night and Leeds fans shook my hand and shouted my name but I have to be more controlled, Mr Cellino told me what comes with Leeds.

“There’s a real focus on the head coach here and so I need to do things differently. Steve Evans doesn’t lie in bed and dream – it’s not the name Leeds fans would say, when polled, ‘he’s the man’.

“But I wasn’t choice at Rotherham or Crawley either. Everywhere I’ve earned the right with results, they dictate your future.”

Tue 20 Oct, 2015
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