Brian McDermottWhile a day out in London is slightly more appealing than a day out in Middlesbrough, Massimo Cellino’s growing influence at Leeds United has been highlighted by his presence at the club’s last two games. Despite still waiting for the Football League to approve his drawn out takeover, Cellino’s influence at the club has increased to more than screaming excitedly into David Haigh’s ear and making hand gestures that can only be classed as ‘Very Italian’.

Despite shocking the Betfair odds by sacking Brian McDermott before even buying an official club scarf, the Italian businessman and the Leeds manager have seemingly kissed and made up from whatever differences they managed to discover during a nonsensical few days before the Huddersfield game.

As well as allowing the Leeds manager to bring in exciting youngsters Jack Butland and Connor Wickham – signings that boosted the club’s outside play-off hopes with Betair – McDermott revealed after the 1-1 draw against QPR that he and his coaching staff had been taken out for drinks and nibbles by Cellino in London before the game.

And with McDermott and Cellino appearing to now be singing from the same hymn-sheet, for the time being at least, the Leeds manager has revealed the Cellino has already begun taking a keen interest. Despite continuing fears among Leeds fans about the colourful Italian’s intentions, the fact that McDermott has been allowed to sign players of Butland and Wickham’s ability can only be classed as a positive.

“It’s fair to say that Massimo is taking a very close interest. David (Haigh) is taking a close interest on GFH’s behalf. But it’s fair to say that he (Cellino) is taking an interest – a close interest,” said McDermott.

“From Leeds United’s point of view, to sign the players we’ve signed and with the calibre of Jack and Connor, it’s got to be exciting looking forward. I’m really happy with that.”

While McDermott is still among the favourites with to be the next Championship manager to be fired, the signs are a little brighter for the current Leeds boss.