Massimo Cellino finally made the right decision on who should be leading Leeds United, appointing the hugely popular Neil Redfearn to the role of Head Coach, a man many would argue should have been appointed ahead of both Darko Milanic and David Hockaday.

Could haves and should haves are irrelevant now, dwelling on the extra points we might have secured had Cellino not broken the momentum Neil Redfearn had built up in his previous spell as caretaker won’t change the past, but there’s an important lesson Cellino needs to take from this and that’s how different Leeds United is from other clubs. Coaching credentials alone simply won’t suffice at Elland Road.

There are myriad reasons Redfearn is the right man for the job, this isn’t simply a case of him performing well in his previous caretaker spell, rather a combination of things including the respect he maintains from players and fans alike, an intimate understanding of the club and his coaching expertise with, and willingness to, properly utilise younger players.

I for one was championing his appointment to the top job before the season began and again when David Hockaday was fired, not because I think he’s the greatest manager to ever walk the earth (I mean, he might be, but one step at a time) but because the job at Leeds doesn’t call for one of those big name managers who look good on paper, nor does it follow that the only alternative is relatively unknown and inexperienced candidates like Hockday and Milanic.

Neil Redfearn

A young Neil Redfearn (image via @lucywardleeds)

Instead, what Leeds United needs – and what Leeds United always needed – is someone who understands Leeds United. Someone who understands the fans, the players admire, someone who loves and will work tirelessly for the club and more importantly than all of that; someone who can continue to thrive in chaos, just as Redfearn has done with the Academy throughout the most turbulent era of a club whose history is littered with turbulent eras.

The timing is right too. This always was and still remains a transitional season for The Whites, one in which a whole host of young players are graduating to regular first team duties, many of whom have already worked and experienced great success under Neil Redfearn. That their graduation to first team duties should coincide with that of Neil Redfearns can only be beneficial.

You only need to look at the performance of Alex Mowatt and Lewis Cook during Redfearn’s previous spell, then consider the added benefit a resurgent Sam Byram and Chris Dawson could have. A team built around a core group of impressive academy graduates is what should have happened ten years ago, but instead we sold and/or ruined them.

Only now, with the financial stability Cellino brings and under the guidance and nurture of Neil Redfearn, will Leeds United’s Thorp Arch graduates have a genuine chance to realise their potential and fulfil their dreams at Elland Road.

And they’ll do it for Redders, because these players – like the fans – have a respect for Neil Redfearn that he’s worked hard to earn and thoroughly deserves.

With a little bit of momentum, this club will quickly unite behind Neil Redfearn, just as it did behind Simon Grayson – the last manager who truly understood the chaos he was walking into – and when that happens, nothing will stand in our way. A united Leeds will be an almighty force few will want to cross paths with.

Cellino made no mistake this time, Neil Redfearn is the right man for the job.