Leeds: Massimo Cellino changed mind over sacking Dave Hockaday

Dave Hockaday
Head coach Dave Hockaday has been in charge of Leeds United for five matches

Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino said he was poised to sack head coach Dave Hockaday after Saturday's defeat at Watford but changed his mind.

The 4-1 loss was Leeds' third defeat in four league matches and left them in 21st in the Championship.

Italian Cellino said he would be a "coward" to sack Hockaday, who is two months into a two-year contract.

"It's too simple to sack him," Cellino told BBC Leeds. "I am more responsible than him now."

Dave Hockaday's results at Leeds
ChampionshipMillwall 2-0 LeedsSat 9 Aug
League Cup - first roundLeeds 2-1 AccringtonTue 12 Aug
ChampionshipLeeds 1-0 MiddlesbroughSat 16 Aug
ChampionshipLeeds 0-2 BrightonTue 19 Aug
ChampionshipWatford 4-1 LeedsSat 23 Aug

The former Cagliari owner, who took control of Leeds in April, appointed Hockaday, 56, in June with the remit of coaching the players bought by the club's hierarchy.

The Italian has added 11 players to the squad but says it would be unfair to judge Hockaday until the rebuilding process is complete.

"I cannot blame him for the results," said Cellino, who employed 19 managers during his 10 years at Cagliari. "I have to finish the team."

Massimo Cellino and Brian McDermott
Cellino (right) parted company with manager Brian McDermott (left) in May

Hockaday was a surprise choice to succeed Brian McDermott at Elland Road, having only managed at non-League side Forest Green Rovers.

However, the former Blackpool and Swindon Town player has worked as a coach with Watford and Southampton.

Cellino, 58. said: "We're not doing well. We'll do better with a little time."

He has not yet lined up a successor should Hockaday continue to struggle for results.

United's next game is at Yorkshire rivals Bradford in the second round of the Capital One Cup on Wednesday.