18 - Appointed Leeds United manager.
20 - “The chairman was supportive when I spoke to him. He knows I feel we need two or three players, if we can get the right ones, to supplement what we’ve already got. Ideally I’d love to get somebody in before the weekend. There are areas we have to improve if we’re not to write this season off. I don’t want to write this season off, not just yet – even though the bookies aren’t giving us much opportunity.”
24 - “I’m going to give it my best shot and if I feel I can bring the success that Leeds want then I’m prepared to stay and have a go next year. If I don’t feel like that then I’ll tell the chairman and I’m sure we’ll part on good company.”
27 - “There’s quite a few we’re looking at. We’re trying to bring two or three in before the weekend if we can.”
28 - Danny Webber signs. “I know the player well and he’ll be good to have around the place.”
3 - On Snodgrass contract: “Definitely. You always want to keep your best players. But that’s something to talk about nearer the time."
6 - “I think the loan system has got to be used as an icing-on-the-cake job or when you have two or three injuries at short notice and need someone in to help you out. I don’t believe it in otherwise."
6 - Paul Robinson signs on loan from Bolton. “I’ve been looking to see if I can get one or two leaders in. Paul is a player who I have had my eye on for a couple of weeks - since I came in - but for whatever reason we just couldn’t quite get it over the line. Now we’ve been able to do that I’m delighted. This is a great club for him and it gives us a chance to have a look at him with a view to next season.”
8 - “I’d like to (bring new players in) and I was after a centre-half but when I look at the two (Lees & O'Dea) I’ve got at the moment, I don’t think I could get much better than that.”
16 - On Snodgrass, Clayton, McCormack & White contracts: “I haven’t had enough time yet but I will get around to it over the next 10 days. I’d like to get an initial reaction from all of them. Not just the players themselves but the agents or the people who represent them. I don’t like leaving things like that until the summer. Certain things you should try to put to bed as soon as possible.”
17 - On loans: “I’m still on the lookout with the deadline next Thursday but it’s one of those jobs where I don’t want to spend money for the sake of it."
23 - “Without being cruel, I don’t think we’ve got enough tools in the cupboard at the moment. I’d think there would be quite a lot of changes over the next few months. That’s how I see it. The whole club has to do that together – the chairman, the staff, everyone. We all need to pull together. I’ve got three or four players I’d like to bring in in the summer and it’s just a matter of getting a wage bill that’s sustainable and which the chairman agrees with. I’ve told Shaun and the chairman what I think I would need to get promotion next year. They’re quite clear in their minds that they’re going to try and provide that for me. It’s the only chance we’ve got. I don’t want to waste a year of anybody’s time. I haven’t got a year. Everything’s been positive in our talks.”
24 - “There’s players coming out of contract and there’s players who are going to run into their last year so every player is playing for themselves and for the club."
30 - On Snodgrass, Clayton, McCormack, White & O'Dea contracts: “They’re provisional talks and I’m going to put together certain things. When the chairman comes over at Easter I hope to have a meeting with him and tell him my views on all five players, including Darren O’Dea. I’ve talked to them all and explained my situation, about what I feel about their contribution. If we can’t agree anything then I accept that in certain cases they might have to go but at the moment we haven’t talked about that. I just want them all to stay. We’ve got to be positive this year and we’ve got to sign players at the end of the season, not in August. We’ve got to get planning now and this needs to be a massive summer. There’s no way I can put up with inconsistency or mid-table next season. That’s not my scene at my age. It’s a great pull having a club like Leeds United. If you can agree terms I don’t there’s another club in the Championship I’d want to go to if I was a player.”
2 - “We’ll have to invest. The chairman knows what I’m looking at and what I think. I’ll be talking to him about it when he comes over. The job requires major surgery in all departments. That’s what we’ve got to try and do over the next couple of months. We have to invest now in a number of players, without going silly. We have to get the right type of players too. I don’t want to be stood on the touchline watching a performance like that again. I’m desperate to get promoted next year so I’ve got to hopefully get the right support from the chairman and face the challenge as it comes.”
4 - On Aidy White: “We’re finalising a contract offer to him. He should be getting that in the next seven days or so.”
4 - "We’ve almost agreed to sign one of my main targets on May 1. That would be a great start and I want to get things going as quickly as I can. I think we need quite a few new players. I know in my own mind what I’m looking for in the summer and if I’m being honest I wish it was the end of the season now.”
9 - “There’s nothing to read into it. It’s just that the chairman’s across this week and it’s better to talk across the table. I’ve already had a meeting with (chief executive) Shaun Harvey, discussing what I need. There’s nothing untoward about it but I’d rather we talked when we’re together, not on the telephone. It’s easier that way. We’d always planned to talk after the Derby County game so people shouldn’t surmise anything. We decided to get together at this stage because with four games to go we’ll have a clear idea of what needs to be done. We need a number of players and I think the average fan who’s watched us all season will agree that there’s drastic action needed to some extent. There are quite a few players out of contract and that’s why we’re getting together – to discuss everybody, people under contract and people who aren’t.”
9 - “We had a lot of players playing today that know they won’t be here next season. We’ve not got enough Leeds United-type players. We’ll start at the back and make ourselves solid and strong. We’re not like that at the minute. We need the right players in the right positions and we need to start building. That’s why I’ve been brought in."
13 - “Before I spoke to the chairman I possibly did have doubts about next season. I said when I first came here that I didn’t want to be around mid-table. Next season’s a big season for me. I don’t want to work many more years and if I felt we couldn’t get up there then it would be pointless picking up my money just to put a team out. I’ve never been like that. The chairman knows how desperate I am – and you can use that word because I am desperate – to bring the players in who can give me the success I want. The incentive for me is a record eight promotions. I was very pleased with his reaction and I’ve spoken to him numerous times this week. But how I feel at the moment is irrespective of anything. I just feel like taking the challenge on. If the supporters had been negative towards me or if I thought they didn’t believe in me then it would be easy to walk away at the end of this season. But I’m probably the best man for the job that needs to be done at Leeds. And it’ll be as tough as job as I’ve ever had. I do feel that I want to put a team together for next season and give it a go. I don’t want people to see me as having a team who are playing out games. I want to have a team who have something to play for. The challenge is there, I know what I need and I’ve told the chairman what I need. He’s trying as hard as he can to give me what I require to make us successful. I’ll know more in the next few weeks because things are happening behind the scenes all the time. I was very pleased with the reaction of the chairman,” he said. “He listened to what I said and he’s got his own ideas. But money’s not everything with players. Some of them just want to see the ambition the club’s got. I think Rob (Snodgrass) made that clear in some of his comments this week. It’s also about getting the right players with the right attitude, and players who can play for Leeds. This isn’t a normal club. You need a certain type of mentality to play here.
I’ve already told the chairman of three or four players who I’m looking at and I’m speaking to agents regularly. We need to get cracking as soon as the season ends and that’s why I want to get the first one in almost immediately. I hope that’s almost done. I won’t know for sure until the day it’s agreed but I’m optimistic. We’ve gone through a list of players who are at the club already, giving ticks and minus and the chairman realises where I am. He knows what I’m thinking. I don’t think players are daft. If I’ve got to change things around then I’ll need people to go and make more wages available. It’s not rocket science.”
15 - On Barn Door: “I don’t get carried away, nothing has changed my opinion on what I need. I haven’t got a clue (if Barn Door will stay). I don’t think anyone can tell me who is going to be involved but I think you would be an idiot if you wanted to leave."
16 - “I honestly haven’t got a clue who’s going to be involved next season. I don’t think anyone can say, not even the lads under contract. We’ll have to see what develops. The ones who’ve got a year left, the one’s who’ve got nothing left – I’m making decisions and I’ll stand by them. There’ll be some people here next year and people who I hope would want to stay – the lads we’re talking to. But if they don’t stay, then that’s their hard luck and I’m not just talking about Snodgrass. I’m talking about others as well. At my age, I don’t worry now about people who want to leave. I look to the future and I think this is a great club and a great place to be. You’d be an idiot to leave at the moment. It’s an exciting time.”
16 - On Snodgrass - “No, we’ve not had time – other than me telling him he’ll be stupid if he doesn’t sign! If I was him, I wouldn’t rush into anything either. He’s got to know where we want to be, and I’m telling him where we want to be. I hope he’s part of it. If not, then he’ll move on, but he might not get a game somewhere else. You never know what’s around the corner. It would be great for him to lead us out next year with a revamped squad, looking forward to the season.”
16 - “I just think we’ve got to move on now. There’s going to be quite a lot of movement in the summer. Over the next few weeks, it’s going to happen. We felt we might as well do things now (with Parker and Vayrynen) when they won’t form part of my plans and it’s going to be the same (with other players) over the next couple of weeks. I want to give everyone an opportunity to get themselves fixed up, if I’m not keeping them. I’ve always tried to do that (as a manager).”
18 - “We’re lacking in certain areas but we can’t do anything about that until the summer. Two games to go then I’ve got no excuses in pre-season. I’m looking forward to bringing players in and the first one should come at the end of the first week in May. I think it’s agreed. I’m optimistic that we’ll bring a number in soon after that and one or two other things are cropping up at the moment. Roll on the summer.”
19 - “I think we’ve made them very good offers. As long as we make a realistic offer and I’m happy with the offer we’ve made, if players say no then that’s their prerogative and we’ve just got to get on with it. I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. If we have to then we’ll move on.”
20 - “I spoke to the chairman about everything last week and he’s promised to support me as much as he possibly can. We’ve agreed that I’ll be here next season. There’s a massive amount of work to do and when I said before that there was drastic action needed, I wasn’t joking. We’re already on with that and it needed to start quickly. I want everything in place as soon as possible. The supporters expect big changes but they’ve been absolutely brilliant with me. They’re the reason I’ll be here next season really. It’s pretty clear that this is the hardest job I’ve ever had and it would probably be easier to be somewhere else but the faith the supporters have shown in me has been unbelievable. I can see a massive opportunity here.”
21 - On O'Dea - “Whilst he’s done well, I’ve spoken to him and told him I’ll be going in a different direction next season. I’ve got people in mind who I want to bring in during the summer and I’m working towards making that happen.”
21 - “One or two other players have come into the reckoning. I’m excited about them and I hope I can get them in the next couple of months.”
23 - “Usually you tinker in the summer, bringing in one or two and trying to improve what you’ve got. We need more than that. We need quite a lot of players. We’ve got targets, players we’re looking at, and we want to move quickly. We don’t want to wait until July just to save a couple of months’ wages. We want to get one or two or four or five in straight away if we can. Then get the rest in before we start training.
We might have to wait for the odd one right up until kick-off but I want most of them in, up and running and familiar with each other. There’s a long summer ahead.”
28 - On Snodgrass, Clayton, McCormack & White contracts: “There are three or four lads to deal with but it’ll probably be the week after next when I get round to finalising that. I’ve really had too much on with recruitment this week. I’ve put that down as my priority. The lads know the offers they’ve got and I need to speak to Ross’ people again. I’ve not been able to formalise an offer to him yet but that will be coming. The other lads have had theirs and I’ll be talking to them soon. Realistically we want to offer the players decent contracts and if I believe they’re decent and they turn them down then we’ll look a different way. At the moment I’m optimistic but football never fails to surprise me.
28 - “I’ve made a lot enquiries and it’s been a busy week, talking to agents. I know the type of player I’m looking for and I know the opportunities I’m going to get. I know other clubs are chasing similar types of players but I’ll be looking to get as many targets as I can.”
30 - “It’s bigger than I thought and it might be even bigger again. I don’t know yet whether certain lads will re-sign or not. I’m going to have to play it by ear and be a bit of a magician but I’ll give it my best shot, without a doubt. I know the players I want and I’ve already got one in line who I’m pleased with. I believe it can be done but I’m going to need a bit of luck with the signings. Shaun Harvey (United’s chief executive) and the chairman (Ken Bates), we’re all going to have to pull in the same direction. But I’m optimistic. You’ve got to be. You don’t carry on managing at my age if you’re not optimistic.”
30 - “I go away at the end of May for a couple of weeks and in my own mind I want to have at least three or four lads lined up by that stage. You’ll see my intentions on Wednesday when we put out the retained list, but the sooner the better with new players after that.”
4 - “I’ll be very pleased to get my first one done. How many times over the years have you thought you’ve got a signing and then something happens? I’m down the line with another three or four and when I’ve got one over the line, we try to move the next one forward. I’m into talks with quite a few targets at the moment. Usually you don’t rush things until July when the lads are back in training but it showed at QPR last year that (signing players late in the transfer window) is a disaster policy. We weren’t allowed to sign anybody until the season had started and that was a complete waste of time and opportunity. We suffered the consequences and I don’t want to be in that situation again. You’ve got to be doing business early.”
4 - On Clayton being transfer-listed: "If we can’t agree what I think is a decent offer, we have to move on quickly. If there are casualties then so be it. We don’t have time to dwell on that and you’ve got to make decisions. I want to be doing things yesterday. Like a few other players he only had a year left and it’s up to the club to make a realistic offer. I felt that the offer from the club was realistic. I have to look at it and say that I’ll be signing a player for £400,000 or £500,000 and I don’t feel Adam’s worth more than the player I’ll be signing. With what I’m looking for, I’ve got to generate something to get me what I want. That’s how I looked at it and I’m trying to be a realist. We weren’t going to throw money at it just because we made a big contract offer to (Robert) Snodgrass. Robert’s a special player at Leeds. He’s been here a long time and he’s seen a lot of his team-mates depart. That’s why I felt we had to offer him the top rate.”
4- On Michael Brown: “I’ve offered him quite a reduced wage from what he’s been on but it’s an offer that will stop him going down a level. The offer’s on a par with what I think he’ll get offered elsewhere and somebody like Michael is always good to have around, if you use him in the right way. I trust him totally.”
15 - “I’ll be glad this week if we get a couple of lads in. If we haven’t, I’ll be disappointed if I’m honest. I go away on the 25th and I want to try and get two or three in by then, if I can. There’s loads of speculation, but fortunately two or three of my targets haven’t been mentioned yet. I’d like to keep them all under wraps, ideally. I’ve spoken to quite a lot of agents over the last seven days. It’s just a matter of trying to seal deals really.”
24 - On Snodgrass: “He knows what I think about him and I don’t blame him. I know he’s saying ‘let’s see how ambitious the club are.’ When I spoke to him he said to me ‘12 months ago it was (Max) Gradel, (Bradley) Johnson, Howson and me’ and now he’s the only one left. I understand where he’s coming from. I see both sides and I also understand the club having to get the money they could for Howson because his contract was up six months later but it doesn’t help the fans. They want to see a top team and, quite honestly, you’ve seen with my retained list that I don’t think we’re anywhere near as good as we should be with the size of this club. He (Snodgrass) is going to wait and see who we sign and how the situation develops. I’ve seen some of his comments and he’s come out and said he’s heard it all before at the club. Snods has been here longer than me so he probably knows more about the politics than I do.”
29 - On Tom Lees contract: “Tom’s a great lad, he’s Leeds through and through and I see him having a great career here.”
14 - “The main thing I’m concentrating on is the squad and what we can do to strengthen. I know what I’m looking to achieve before the start of the season to give us the best opportunity of finishing as high as we can, and that process is ongoing.”