Leeds players ‘lacked motivation’ under Gracia as Big Sam starts work Wednesday
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Leeds United players reportedly lacked motivation under Javi Gracia as the Spaniard imminently faces the sack.
Gracia, 53, took over from Jesse Marsch in February but is being axed today (Tuesday) following a dismal run of results that sees the club down in 17th and staring relegation in the face.
His successor will be former England boss Sam Allardyce, who last managed West Bromwich Albion two years ago.
READ NEXT: Leeds to appoint Sam Allardyce for final four games as fans say they've 'sunk so low'
The Daily Mail reports Gracia said his goodbyes to the squad and Leeds staff on Tuesday morning. His 4-1 defeat to Bournemouth was believed to be the final straw in the mind of the Leeds hierarchy.
Allardyce will therefore look to pick up the pieces with just four Premier League games remaining.
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The ex-England manager, who lasted just two months in his Three Lions role, will be in place as early as this Wednesday, working with the players on the training field ahead of the tough match against Manchester City on Saturday.
Yet Big Sam looks set for a bigger challenge than initially thought with the Daily Mail claiming the Leeds dressing room was lacking motivation under Gracia. That, in turn, led to dire recent performances, including the drubbing at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday, despite the threat of relegation looming over them.
Allardyce is best known for his ability to help clubs such as Crystal Palace, Blackburn Rovers and Sunderland avoid the drop. But that’s a huge task with just four games left to go while managing a side that has gained one point from the last five games.
The 68-year-old prides himself on defensive solidity but his new team have conceded 18 in their previous five outings. With Manchester City and Newcastle United up next, Leeds fans will be hoping Allardyce can conjure up something special to keep them afloat.
Sporting director Victor Orta left the club on Tuesday by 'mutual consent'.
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