Evans wants Elland Road bouncing for his first home game

Jordan Botaka.
Jordan Botaka.
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New Leeds United boss Steve Evans is targeting an improvement in the home record, beginning against Blackburn Rovers tomorrow night.

The Whites have set a much talked about record in going 11 games without a win at Elland Road – the final five matches of last season and first six this – and Evans has already made it clear he wants the ground to become the fortress it once was seen as.

He has seen improved performances from United in his two games in charge, but has still to taste victory as Leeds have had to settle for come from behind 1-1 draws at Fulham and Bolton and is keen to make sure it is third time lucky when they take on Blackburn in a game brought forward because of Sky TV coverage.

“It’s an absolute disgrace that we haven’t won at home for seven-and-a-half months, he said.

“I want to see Elland Road bouncing – not just before the game but also at full-time, as that will mean we’ve got the right result.”

Evans has also wasted no time in changing the tactics back to a more basic 4-4-2 and a simpler way of playing.

Whether he can get the current men in the squad to all buy into his philosophy will be they key to whether he has a long term future with Leeds, but despite misgivings of fans when his appointment was announced he has made a good impression so far with performances on the pitch offering hope that the Whites can climb from their lowly 17th position in the Championship.

After hurriedly coming up with his first team selection at Fulham, Evans rewarded the players by making no changes to the starting 11 at Bolton, although he admitted afterwards that winger Jordan Botaka would have played if he had not been taken ill. And after another decent display it is unlikely he will want to make many alterations for the visit of a Blackburn side also struggling to get positive results.

Botaka can expect to come back in if declared fit this week with possibly Lewis Cook switching from the left wing role he has been given in Evans’ two games to central midfield, probably in place of Luke Murphy as Tom Adeyemi has probably enjoyed his best two games in a Leeds shirt in the away games in the past week, already seeming to have a new lease of life under the new boss.

Evans has indicated he will have largely the same group at his disposal as for last weekend’s trip to Bolton, with Botaka being assessed today.

He said: “There are no real surprises. Those that are with us have been with us since the weekend.

“There’s also young (Casper) Sloth who’ll be with us – he came through the Under-21s’ fixture fine.

“We’re hoping that Chris Wood will be alright – he felt a little bit sore after Bolton, but should be okay. The rest are in good shape.”