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Switch back mystery at Leeds United
10:01am Tuesday 4th February 2014 in Sport
Brian McDermott revealed the Leeds United team he had prepared on Friday for the match with Huddersfield was changed overnight following his apparent dismissal.
McDermott, who returned to training yesterday and now appears to have been reinstated as manager, tried to shed some light on a bizarre few days at the club.
McDermott ran through the timeline of events, which started with him receiving a phone call from a lawyer acting for prospective new owner Massimo Cellino on Friday night saying he was being sacked.
He then followed Saturday’s 5-1 win over Huddersfield on television before reading about his reinstatement on his iPad.
He said: “The only thing I was thinking on Friday night was to get a result. I set the team up on Friday, it was changed overnight, (assistant) Nigel Gibbs changed the team back.”
It was not immediately clear who made the changes to McDermott’s team. Even more mysterious was the new player at training yesterday, whom McDermott said arrived on transfer deadline day without his knowledge.
“We have an Italian player,” McDermott added. “I’m not sure the deal has been ratified (by the Football League). I don’t know the player, he came on deadline day. If the player has been ratified he will get the utmost respect and opportunity if we feel he can help us.”
McDermott admitted he had found the whole situation “very odd”.
“You have to be the owner of the football club to bring players to that football club and sack the manager,” he said. “I did think it was strange.”
McDermott revealed he had gone against advice from people in the game by returning, saying he could not walk away from the club.
He said: “I am Leeds United manager and I want to be Leeds United manager.
“I have spoken to a lot of really important people in the game who said ‘you shouldn’t go back’. I was never going to walk away from this job. There’s no way I would leave the staff I’ve got here, the players and the supporters.”
McDermott said he had received assurances from current owners Gulf Finance House (GFH) Capital that he would be responsible for all football matters.
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