Defeat away to newly promoted Brentford ended the four game unbeaten run Leeds had accomplished under Neil Redfearn and was followed up by a draw against Reading at Elland Road last night as new boss Darko Milanic struggles to match the performances of his predecessor.

While it’s far too early to write Milanic off, Leeds fans will be concerned by what they’ve seen so far. Milanic appears to be suffering the same problems David Hockaday experienced at the start of the season, failing to get much in the way of attacking threat from a team who’ve no shortage of options up front.

In truth, the timing of Milanic’s arrival hasn’t helped matters. In most cases, a new manager arrives following a string of bad results and generally finds it easy to make an immediate impact. However, Milanic’s appointment came at a time when Neil Redfearn was working miracles with Leeds United’s first team and the change seems to have broken our momentum.

As such, questions over Cellino’s decision – the timing mostly – are both valid and inevitable. An increasing number of fans believed Neil Redfearn was the right man for the job as his successful caretaker spell progressed. Bookmakers such as the Coral betting shop had him among the favourites before Milanic’s name had even been touted, but concerns over who’d run the academy convinced Massimo Cellino to look elsewhere.

We’ll never know if that was the right decision, but if a fear of losing a top class academy chief was all that held us back, it’s worth considering the attention Neil Redfearn’s impressive caretaker spell will have drawn from other clubs.

Barnsley are already believed to be interested and it’s an offer Redfearn would struggle to reject. For those unfamiliar with Redfearn’s playing career, Redfearn is to Barnsley fans what Lucas Radebe is to Leeds United fans. He was a key player in the Barnsley side who won promotion to the Premier League in the nineties and continued to impress for them in the top flight. Make no mistake, Redders is a legend at Oakwell.

If not Barnsley, there’ll be plenty of other clubs looking for a new manager before the season is over and Neil Redfearn is bound to feature on many of their wishlists.

But it’s perhaps unfair to consider what might have been when Darko Milanic could yet turn out to be an inspired choice. He’ll need to get to grips with this division quickly if he’s to survive under Cellino, though Cellino himself must accept he made a mistake in the timing of Milanic’s appointment.

Sandwiched between two international breaks, Cellino missed an opportunity to make life easier on his latest hire. Had Milanic been appointed at the start of the first intentional break a few weeks back, there’d be no Redfearn-shaped shadow hanging over him, no momentum to break and less pressure as a result.

Failing that, another international break follows the Sheffield Wednesday game this weekend. Leeds were playing well in the capable hands of Neil Redfearn and while an extra three games may have resulted in an even more impressive run for Milanic to follow, the international break would at least provided him with a decent amount of time to work his new squad.

Instead, Milanic arrived to three fixtures in a week and it’s doubtful he’s had chance to learn the name of Leeds’ thirty-odd first team players yet, let alone their ability and best positions. Considering the circumstances, an underwhelming start was probably to be expected.