Manager-less Leeds travel to Birmingham
Birmingham host Leeds United, as the West Yorkshire side travel to the West Midlands still without a manager. Following the sacking of David Hockaday, the Whites secured three points at home against Bolton Wanderers last time out, with loyal servant Neil Redfearn in the role of caretaker.
Leeds have won three out of the last four meetings against Birmingham, including two out of three at St Andrew’s, and that trend could continue here, with the away side the form team. These are two teams that are currently struggling to string results together, perhaps reflected in the home outfit’s narrow odds of 6/5, with their opponents priced at 5/2.
Redfearn could hand debuts to Brazilian playmaker Adryan Tavares, and Paraguayan forward Brian Montenegro, who are 12/1 and 7/1 to score first respectively. Veteran left back Stephen Warnock handed Leeds the victory over Bolton, and he is 12/1 to find the net anytime.
Asked if he had been offered the permanent manager’s job, Redfearn responded: “As daft as it seems, we haven’t (spoken about it),” Redfearn said. “It might sound a bit crass but all we’ve spoken about is players and the next game coming up. It’s always been short-term, which is fine by me.
“That’s where I’m at and that’s where the club are at. The president’s got a big decision to make so with regards to myself, it’s the status quo, it’s as you were. I’m looking after things for him.
“I’ve spoken to him about half-a-dozen times and all the conversations were based around football. He wants to talk about players, systems and so on,” he continued.
“He’s interested and he’s got good knowledge. I’m not just saying that because he’s my boss. He is my boss but the bottom line is that he really does.”
Speaking about his responsibilities, Redfearn said: “I don’t think I have to manage. At some point there’s a chance I’ll manage somewhere but there’s no pressure on me to do that. If you love football and you’re involved in football then you get enjoyment out of it.
“You don’t have to put pressure on yourself to take on a certain role. If the circumstances are right and that’s the way you want to go then why not? But my role here hasn’t changed.”
Birmingham, meanwhile, lost heavily 4-0 away at Wigan last time out, and previously recorded a 1-1 home draw against Brentford, when Paul Caddis scored a 16th minute penalty. The 26-year-old is 12/1 to net anytime, while other joint leading scorer Clayton Donaldson, is 5/1 to net first.
Boss Lee Clark could call on Stoke City loan signing Brek Shea for the match, and he is delighted with the new recruit. “He’s someone I have kept an eye on for a while,” said Clark.
“I’d asked about him before and in the summer, but Stoke had paid £2.5 million for him and were reluctant at that time. But now I’m delighted he’s here and I have to say I’m also quite excited because he’s settled into the group already,” continued Clark.
“It’s a question now of do I throw him straight in on Saturday?”.