By Saikat Mandal

16th Feb, 2023 | 1:44pm

Michael Skubala will return to previous role if Leeds United face 'worst case scenario'

Michael Skubala will return to his former role if Leeds United face “worst case scenario”, according to Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Graham Smyth.

The Whites are struggling to appoint their next permanent manager, and they have decided to stick with caretaker boss Skubala, but the club haven’t decided yet if he will remain in charge for the rest of the season.

Leeds are fighting for survival at the moment and the next two games are absolutely vital. They face Everton and Southampton in their next two games, and if they lose, the Whites board could be forced to ditch their plans to continue with Skubala.

At the moment, they have taken a massive risk with him. Smyth reports that Skubala wants to go back to his role as 21s boss, and even if the results don’t work in his favour, he can’t be blamed.

“Everton and Southampton are an entirely different story,” wrote Smyth for Yorkshire Evening Post.

“These games have to be won, so the response should they go the wrong way will be predictably thermonuclear. There will be no hiding from it for the board, because Skubala must be considered largely blameless in the circumstances and with the hand he has been dealt.

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“Being thrust into the Premier League limelight, mid-season, with Leeds so close to the drop zone, was never his plan. It was never anyone’s plan, until suddenly it was. And should the worst case scenario present itself against the Toffees and Saints, and Leeds reassess what they need for the first team, Skubala can only find himself back in a job he was thoroughly enjoying and doing well at.

“His willingness to take this on and the manner with which he’s dealt with such a hand, so far, should be credited. However this turns out, he wants to go back to his role as 21s boss, he’s been insistent upon that and this new task should not be allowed to chew him up and spit him out, as it has other caretakers at other clubs.”


The Whites board has taken a big gamble here. They probably couldn’t have anticipated this problem. 

Last time, when they sacked Marcelo Bielsa, they were quick to appoint Jesse Marsch as their next manager. However, this time, they have really struggled to bring in the right candidate. 

The club have made approach to several managers in the past week or so, but they have faced rejections only. Under Skubala, Leeds managed a draw and a defeat against Manchester United. 

He was not even supposed to take charge of the club, but he handled it very well. However, losing to Manchester United is one thing, and suffering defeat against relegation-threatened clubs like Everton and Southampton is a completely different issue. 

There will be no hiding for the Leeds board if the results do not go their way, and they could be forced to make panic appointments, which could prove to be a disaster. 

The club have taken a big gamble here, but no one can blame Skubala for the situation they are in. 

In other Leeds United news, click here to see breaking, around-the-clock updates on Leeds’ search for a new manager in our interactive live blog.

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