'I didn't apply for the Leeds United job,' says David Hockaday

Elland Road pitchside

The new Leeds United head coach has revealed that he didn't even apply for the job and that he was head-hunted by the people in charge of the club.

David Hockaday has revealed that he was head-hunted to be the new Leeds United coach and that he did not apply for the position.

Hockaday was controversially appointed as Leeds’ new boss earlier in the summer, but he has revealed that he was not surprised the Championship side came looking for him, even though he has no previous experience of managing in the Football League.

“I wasn’t surprised I got the job because I didn’t apply for it. I was approached,” he said.

“I met the president a few times and I was offered the job. I weighed everything up, but it only took a split second for me to accept because I’m comfortable with what was offered.

“I don’t doubt myself. I’ve been involved in professional football for 40 years, I’ve coached in the Premier League and I believe I’ve got a solid CV.”

To an outsider Hockaday looks inexperienced considering the task he is undertaking by taking over the reins at a club such as Leeds.

There is no question that the Whites have punched below their weight for far too long now and his task will be to return them to the Premier League and end an absence which has lasted for a considerable period of time.

The 56-year-old has only managed Forest Green Rovers, in the Blue Square Premier before, so will be taking a huge step up this season.

He will also have the task of gelling together a cosmopolitan team as new Leeds owner, Massimo Cellino, seeks to add an Italian feel to the squad at Elland Road.

Already a number of arrivals have come in from Italy, with more set to be brought in in the imminent future and it will be a task for them to adapt.

Most of the signings come with a good reputation, but there is no question that it will take some time for them to adapt to the differences between the Italian game and the Championship, which is famed for its fast paced style.

That is largely the worry for Leeds fans this season. Although there has been cautious optimism from some, there is also the trepidation that this experiment could go entirely wrong.

The club feels like it is stepping into the unknown and even Hockaday admits that they are currently some way off being able to return to England’s top flight, but he intends to sort that out and be at the club for a long time yet.

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He said: “Leeds United are one of the biggest clubs in the country, we have fans all over the world, but we are a bottom half of the table Championship team. That’s where we finished and the table doesn’t lie.

“We have more potential than most to play in the Premier League, but we have a million miles to go. That’s the ambition, but we are going to do things step by step and I intend to be here for a long time.”

Can Hockaday make things work at Leeds?

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