McDermott named Leeds boss
Leeds United have appointed Brian McDermott as their new manager on a three-year contract.
McDermott, 52, was sacked by Reading just 32 days ago but has made a quick return to management with the Championship side.
He arrives at Elland Road less than two weeks after the departure of Neil Warnock, who walked away after failing to mount a promotion campaign.
Former Arsenal midfielder McDermott inherits a side 17th in the Championship and one which has been dragged into a relegation battle. The 1-0 defeat at Charlton under caretaker Neil Redfearn was their fourth in a row, rendering Saturday's home game with Sheffield Wednesday a crucial one to their hopes of avoiding any late-season drama.
"I was approached about 10 days ago and the conversation was about coming in the summer,'' he said. "But things have escalated, I spoke to Shaun Harvey [chief executive] who wanted to put a manager in place now and that was something I had to think long and hard about for a couple of days, and it feels right. The whole place feels right.
"I wouldn't have taken a job at this stage of the season anywhere else. It's a massive club and I don't need to be told about the history.
"The question about money available will be answered, I don't know the answer and have come here on a lot of goodwill. I want to take this club forward, but no one person can do that on his own. Everyone has to be going in the same direction.
"But I live in the real world. At Reading I lost Gylfi Sigurdsson, a player who scored 20 goals for me and I lost Shane Long. When he left I thought there was no way we could win the league, but we did. And that showed me you can never rely on one player.
"But I don't want to lose anyone. The best place for the young players is here, playing in front of these fans.''
McDermott will get his first taste of the Elland Road supporters on Saturday. He said he will be "right in amongst it'' against Sheffield Wednesday in a game Leeds know they need to win if relegation fears are to be allayed.
"The first thing we have to do is look at the game tomorrow and get a result,'' he added. "I have managed 200 games and have never had an easy one. We have to play with no fear and have an atmosphere. I have been here with Reading and thought to myself 'we'll do well to get a result here'.''
Leeds director David Haigh said in a statement: "We are delighted to have appointed Brian as our manager. He is a man with a proven track record of success and shares our vision of the best way to return long terms and sustainable success to this great football club.
"Obviously the immediate aim is a return as soon as possible to the Premiership. Brian's success in taking Reading to the Premiership last year was a key factor in our decision to hire him."
McDermott, who takes assistant Nigel Gibbs with him to Yorkshire, was a relatively late starter as a manager, taking over at Reading midway through the 2009/10 season. Prior to that he had been in charge of non-league sides Woking and Slough, before becoming Reading`s chief scout in 2000.
While in the post he helped discover the likes of Kevin Doyle and Shane Long and, when Brendan Rodgers left the club in December 2009, McDermott stepped up to the top job. In his first full season in charge he took Reading to the play-off final where they were beaten by Rodgers` Swansea, but they responded by winning the title a year later.
Life in the Premier League was harder and, despite winning the manager of the month award in January, McDermott was sacked in March with an overall win ratio of 46%.
McDermott is the first managerial appointment made by Leeds owners GFH Capital, who bought the club from Ken Bates in December. Board members Haigh and Salem Patel flew in from Dubai on Friday to secure McDermott`s signature, although their futures at the club remain under a cloud as talk of a second takeover inside a year refuses to go away.
Information from the Press Association was used in this report.