By Sam Stone

24th Feb, 2023 | 1:03pm

Javi Gracia refuses to answer one question in debut Leeds United press conference today

Javi Gracia refused to disclose injury news during his first press conference since his appointment as head coach of Leeds United.

The club confirmed (24 February) the 52-year-old would be in the dugout for Saturday’s fixture against Southampton after receiving his work permit.

However, BBC West Yorkshire’s Adam Pope has revealed the former Watford manager avoided discussing Leeds’ injury situation.

“Javi Gracia not giving anything away on injury news. Prefers to keep it under wraps,” he wrote (via Twitter, 24 February).

Season defining

Gracia will be absolutely desperate to get off to a winning start against Southampton. The Saints head to West Yorkshire off the back of an impressive win at big-spending Chelsea and will fancy their chances of getting a result.

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The news of Gracia’s work permit being announced will come as a big boost. Had he not been in the dugout the board would have had plenty of criticism thrown their way.

Michael Skubala has filled in well during the caretaker spell, but a new approach was desperately needed and the board will be hoping for an immediate change of fortunes.

A defeat on Saturday could well be a fatal blow. A number of teams are improving around Leeds United having made changes to their management. Everton look to have come out of the sacking season in the best place with Sean Dyche now at the helm.

Three points is an absolute requirement on what looks set to be a nervy afternoon at Elland Road.

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay has shared an update on the coaching staff Javi Gracia plans to bring to the club.