Eddie Gray
EDDIE
GRAY

Eddie Gray was placed in temporary charge of team affairs at Elland Road following the sacking of Peter Reid in November 2003.

Gray had left the club that summer shortly after Reid's permanent appointment but returned to take the reins, with Leeds bottom of the Barclaycard Premiership, as the club saw their third manager in 18 months depart.

Eddie Gray is Leeds United through and through. Although born in Glasgow, the winger, capped 12 times by Scotland, joined Leeds as an apprentice and made over 550 appearances for them between 1965 and 1983.

He had a three-year spell as manager, beginning as a player-manager, from 1982 when Leeds were in the old Division Two.

Although the vast majority of his career has been spent at Elland Road, in one capacity or another, Gray also managed Rotherham and Hull and coached at Middlesbrough.

After some time away from the Yorkshire club, Gray returned to work with the youth teams alongside current Nottingham Forest manager Paul Hart. He was promoted to first-team coach and worked very closely with David O'Leary and Terry Venables before being told his services were no longer required by Reid.

However, he returned to Thorp Arch, Leeds' training ground, on Monday November 11th 2003, less than eight months after being told he had no future at the club and given a year's notice.

After reported problems at the club between the outgoing boss and two players, Mark Viduka and Danny Mills – on loan at Middlesbrough – Gray insisted he would be looking to get them back on board.

"I think we are going to be okay with Mark," said Gray on his return to Elland Road.

"I have no problems handling Mark. He is definitely an important member of the first-team squad. I don't know how long the loan is with Danny, I will look at it."

As for the task of trying to lift the club out of the relegation zone, he added: "I'll do my best to try and pick points up, but it's up to the people at the top who they choose to be the next manager.

"I don't think it is a lost cause, but it is a difficult task. People only have to look at the league table and the finances of the club to realise that, it was not an easy job for Peter Reid.

"But it is a big club with a big fan base and there is potential, especially with the crowds the club can attract. I will try to instil a lot of confidence in the players and I hope they will respond to that. If you start to win a few games it begins to pick people up.

"If you are in there fighting you always have a chance, and we will look to move up the league."

Leeds have not announced who they have in mind to become their next manager, but several names have been touted in the press, including Gray's former colleague Paul Hart and other ex-Leeds players such as Gordon Strachan and Nigel Worthington.

However the Leeds caretaker-boss suffered a blow when John Barnwell, chief executive of the League Managers' Association, confirmed that Gray should not be acting as a temporary replacement for Peter Reid as he's ineligible under a new legislation.

Gray had expressed his desire to secure the job on a permanent basis, but his hopes of doing so have been dealt a fatal blow by the regulation that was introduced by fellow managers this season.

Beleaguered Leeds appealed for special dispensation, which was granted. It allows Gray to take the reins for no more than three months, or until a permanent successor to Reid can be found within that time.

 

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