Skubala to take charge of Leeds for Everton and Southampton games


Leeds have announced caretaker manager Michael Skubala will remain in charge of the club’s “upcoming fixtures” – including games against relegation rivals Everton and Southampton.

Skubala will take charge of Leeds’ foreseeable fixtures alongside assistants Paco Gallardo and Chris Armas. All three coaches took charge of the Premier League double-header against Manchester United, which saw Leeds draw 2-2 at Old Trafford, before losing at Elland Road.

In an official statement, Leeds described the two outings as “positive performances”.

After being handed more games in charge of Leeds, Skubala said: “I have really enjoyed the experience and the team and staff have responded well.

“I know I speak for Paco and Chris when I say that it is an honour to be on the touchline at this club.

“We will continue to work tirelessly to help to push on up the table in the short term, whilst the board focus on the long term future of the team.”

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Caretaker manager Michael Skubala felt Leeds needed to score when they were on top and Manchester United made them pay with clinical finishing

Leeds sacked manager Jesse Marsch on February 6 but are yet to name a permanent successor. Marsch is set to be appointed at Premier League bottom club Southampton.

Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani hinted the club were close to naming a successor the day after Marsch was sacked – saying “hopefully white smoke by tonight [February 7] or tomorrow morning.”

Rayo Vallecano manager Andoni Iraola, Feyenoord’s Arne Slot and former Ajax boss Alfred Schreuder were leading contenders for the position – while West Bromwich Albion head coach Carlos Corberan was also strongly linked with the position.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester United’s win against Leeds United in the Premier League

But Sky Sports News revealed earlier this week Schreuder is no longer in the running to become Leeds boss, despite the Dutch coach watching the 2-0 home loss to Manchester United on Super Sunday.

Furthermore, Leeds saw a move for Iraola blocked by Rayo last week and Slot publicly turned down the chance to join the club, calling their interest a “compliment” but adding he wanted to stay with Feyenoord.

Analysis: ‘Short-term clarity takes pressure off Leeds’

Sky Sports News senior reporter Tim Thornton:

“What it means is that Skubala will be leading the team for those crucial relegation games against Everton and Southampton.

“It means that at last there is some clarity – at least some short-term clarity. We’ve been waiting for a development here at Leeds in their pursuit of a new manager for over a week.

“Leeds will continue their search for a long-term solution, the managers they have targeted have not been available. They’ve looked at short-term solutions in terms of interim managers but they’ve decided to go with one of their own.

“It takes a little bit of the pressure from the Leeds board and rewards Skubala for the job that he has done here. The management here have been really impressed with the way he has tweaked tactics, his man-management, his calm authority and the players have responded really well to him.”

Leeds’ next Premier League fixtures

February 18: Everton (A) – kick-off 3pm

February 25: Southampton (H) – kick-off 3pm

March 4: Chelsea (A) – kick-off 3pm

March 11: Brighton (H) – kick-off 3pm

March 18: Wolves (A) – kick-off 3pm

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