Five managers who could take Leeds United back to the big time

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Leeds United are one the great sleeping giants of the footballing world. A rich and successful history preceded their journey down the leagues, before finding themselves in the third tier of English football for the first time in their history.

Since 2010, Leeds have been marooned in the Championship, and they've seen their brightest performers picked off one by one by teams who could match the ambitions of the players.

The stagnation of Leeds United has caused much frustration among fans, and the hope of reaching the top flight turned to apathy after years of limp performances and mid-table finishes. More recently that apathy has turned to bemusement, following the arrival of the trigger happy Massimo Cellino.


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Two years into his tenure as chairman, or 'president' as he is known within the club, Cellino has shown the exit door to five managers, with a sixth, Steve Evans, looking increasingly likely to befall the same fate. As fans cry out for a coach who can stabilise the club, here's a look at five managers who could bring back the good times to Elland Road.

Tim Sherwood

The ever passionate Tim Sherwood has been out of work since his sacking at Aston Villa. What Sherwood lacks in experience he makes up for in spirit and devotion to the cause.

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His tenure at Tottenham Hotspur was cut short after Daniel Levy lined up Mauricio Pochettino as his replacement. Sherwood will tell you himself that he boasted an impressive win percentage (59.1%) during his spell at Spurs.

After reaching the FA Cup Final and saving Aston Villa from the drop in his first season in charge, Sherwood was sacked in October 2015 after losing six games on the spin. Currently out of work, Sherwood could be the man to galvanise players and fans alike and inspire Leeds to promotion after years of mid-table mediocrity.

Quique Sanchez Flores

Having just announced that he will be leaving Watford after the season finishes, Quique Sanchez Flores is a free man. His first season in English football has done no harm to his reputation either. Sanchez took charge at Watford in circumstances previous Leeds managers have found not too unfamiliar.

Watford v Aston Villa - Premier League

Sanchez Flores was the fifth manager to take charge at Watford in little over 12 months. Luckily, the uncertainty surrounding his long-term future didn't deter him from taking on the role. The Spaniard took an unfancied Hornets side, that many had tipped for relegation, and guided them comfortably clear of relegation, with Watford currently in 13th place on a very respectable 44 points with one game to go.

He also took Watford to the semi-finals of the FA Cup, steering them past reigning champions Arsenal along the way. Should Sanchez Flores find himself short of suitors in the summer, Leeds could offer an exciting challenge for the Spaniard, giving him a chance to test his tactics in a notoriously difficult division.

Ronny Deila

The Celtic boss has stepped down after his second title in two years in Scotland. Failure in cup competitions, and more importantly for Celtic fans in Europe, has meant that although Deila sewed up the league in both his seasons with Celtic, his stay was ultimately underwhelming.

East Kilbride v Celtic - William Hill Scottish Cup Fifth Round

Deila could perhaps be tempted to take the reigns at Leeds United thanks to the club's strong Norwegian supporter base, with hundreds of fans based in Scandinavia regularly making trips to Elland Road.

Having shown an aptitude at developing young talent, notably Kieran Tierney and more recently Patrick Roberts, the Norwegian has the credentials to mould a young Leeds side into a hungry, title-chasing team.

Neil Lennon

Former Bolton and Celtic boss Neil Lennon has had mixed fortunes during his managerial career. His first job was at Celtic, where he won three Scottish League titles, two Scottish Cups and qualified for the group stages of the Champions League twice. Lennon even has a 2-1 victory over Barcelona on his CV.

However, Lennon was unable to replicate his early success at his next job. After taking charge of Bolton in October 2014, Lennon's experience seemed to mirror that of Sherwood at Villa. He had a positive impact soon after arriving, and steered Bolton to safety, but his second season proved much more difficult. With Bolton crippled by financial difficulties, the team were rooted to the foot of the table and Lennon parted ways with the club in March.

Cardiff City v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet Championship

As an established Championship team crying out for direction, Leeds could be a good fit for the Northern Irishman. Lennon would have the large fan base he enjoyed at Celtic, and have the chance to put his own imprint on one of England's biggest clubs.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is the only man on this list who is still currently in a job. Relatively new to management, Hasselbaink started his managerial career in Belgium, where he bought John Bostock to Royal Antwerp, before a move to the English leagues saw him preside over the transformation and subsequently meteoric rise of Burton Albion.

Hasselbaink took charge in November 2014, and his leadership saw them promoted to League 1 at the first time of asking. He's currently at Queens Park Rangers after leaving Burton at the top of the table in December 2015.

Bristol City v Queens Park Rangers - Sky Bet Championship

With Burton flourishing, the move to west London raised a few eyebrows. Hasselbaink inherited a fragmented QPR team, with many of the squad's key players on loan elsewhere, following Rangers' relegation from the Premier League.

Hasselbaink has failed to set the world alight at QPR, and his first season saw them finish 12th. With strong Leeds United links, Hasselbaink could be tempted to trade life in London for Yorkshire and he would be welcomed with open arms following his prolific playing days for the whites.

With a proven track record of promotion and motivating a young squad, the former striker could be the man to make the changes that see Leeds on a promotion charge next season.

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