Leeds United aiming for winning home send off
He has made it clear he does not want it to be the case, but Steve Evans could be set to lead his Leeds United side out for the last time at Elland Road on Saturday.
Another week has come and gone with no official word on Evans’ future as head coach, although his case has certainly been strengthened by a terrific attacking performance in a 2-1 win against Wolves that could have been so much bigger and a battling 2-2 draw at Hull City that again could have been better had Chris Wood put away a penalty.
Leeds are certainly finishing the campaign with a flourish and still have a top 10 finish in their sights, which would be remarkable after they have spent so much of the season looking over their shoulder at the relegation places.
But now comes the last home game of the season against already relegated Charlton Athletic and it may be that the Whites recent revival has come too late to save Evans from the chop.
Only owner Massimo Cellino knows and although he has said that Evans “talks too much” he has not indicated publicly yet who he wants in charge next term.
Evans, meanwhile, is still going about his business as if he will be offered a new contract. He has experimented with the team a little in recent weeks and been rewarded by finding a few things out about the fringe players.
With the shackles off his team has played its best attacking football of the year and it would augur well for next season if there is no big summer upheaval.
Evans is publicly staying patient yet and still sounds confident that he will remain in the job, while indicating that other clubs are ready to offer him a job if his time at Leeds comes to an end - Nottingham Forest, Bolton and Peterborough are all being linked with him.
He said: “I am ready and waiting to speak to the president when he is ready, but I have a couple of Saturdays to go and whether I am staying or not I want to go out with six points.
“We agreed many months ago that we would have the conversation when he was ready. He is well aware there is interest in me.
“But when you shake hands as two men and say you’ll focus on the football, I am all right with that.
“I won’t have to chase the president – we have a good relationship, we have a difference of opinion which is normal.
“I have made it clear I want to be here but I won’t stay not wanted. You have to be wanted.”
Evans is expected to make a few changes for the Charlton game, but he will not want to weaken the team as he will clearly want to sign off at home with a victory and one more win will clinch a top half finish for United.
Jordan Botaka is pushing for a starting place, however, probably at the expense of Lee Erwin who has begun the last two matches, while a chance to give young Lewie Coyle a go at right-back has presented itself with Gaetano Berardi out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury he suffered at Hull.
Elsewhere, Luke Murphy could count himself unlucky to be left out at Hull and could return while forward Mirco Antenucci will be hoping to get on the pitch as he looks set to be leaving in the summer and this would be his last chance to say farewell to the home fans.