Dave Hockaday insists he has a good relationship with Massimo Cellino, who he feels will be good for the future of Leeds United.
58-year-old Cellino has caused more than the odd controversy since taking over the Elland Road club in April, and has hit the headlines for superstitions such as his dislike for the number 17 and the colour purple. More recently, he has reportedly instructed all his players to live in Leeds, but has also supposedly banned them from staying in a particular city-centre hotel because he doesn’t like its decor.
The Italian also surprised many by appointing the relatively little-known Hockaday as Brian McDermott’s successor, when many fans were hoping for a bigger name replacement. But speaking ahead of their Championship opener against Millwall on Saturday, the former Forest Green Rovers manager has nothing but praise for Cellino, who he feels will ultimately have a positive impact on the club.
“It’s been great,” said the 56-year-old. “I know there will be a bit of conjecture but we get on fine. I think the media have had a bit of fun at Leeds’ expense over the last few weeks. There’s a lot of stuff going out there, and I appreciate you media guys have got stories to write and papers to sell, but don’t read into it too much. He’s great to work with because he’s so passionate about the football club.”
Leeds must this season cope without the top-scorer in the division last term, Ross McCormack, who has joined Fulham for a potential £11million. Hockaday has been able to welcome new arrivals into his squad, though, with Marco Silvestri, Tommaso Bianchi, Gaetano Berardi, Nicky Ajose, Stuart Taylor and Souleymane Doukara all linking up with the Yorkshire giants since the end of the last campaign.