Peter Reid has denied suggestions that he had “gone stale” at Sunderland after such a long spell in charge – and suggests he had ideas to change things which he wasn’t allowed to implement.
In an interview in today’s The Sun newspaper, Reid says “Maybe seven-and-a-half years is too long at one club yet all the talk about me being stale was never the case. It was simply frustration because I couldn’t change it around like I wanted to.”
Reid, now in charge at Leeds, says that despite it all turning sour towards the end of his spell at the Stadium of Light, says he’ll look back on his seven years there with affection – but acknowledges how many supporters wanted him out.
“I had known for a while that a number of the fans had had enough of me. I could take the hint when a few of them threw cans of lager over me.
“When you don’t carry the total support of your crowd, that builds up pressure on yourself and the players – so there was only one way that it was all going to end.”
“That break between leaving Sunderland and going to Leeds was maybe just what I needed because it gave me the chance to recharge my batteries. But I never ever lost that desire or passion for the game.
“I enjoyed some great times up at Sunderland, none better than when we finished in seventh place in the Premiership. I wouldn’t have chosen the way it all ended but I’m certainly not going to criticise anybody up there over our parting of the ways.”
Much has been made since David O’Leary’s surprise exit from Elland Road of Leeds United’s debts, and it was rumoured during the close season that the finances were so dire that Reid was told only to make loan signings or free transfers. But he says he believes his options at Leeds are much broader than they were at Sunderland.
“Despite all the money problems, I still have the kind of options here that I didn’t have at Sunderland.
“Hopefully, come next summer the finances of this club will be such that I will be able to go out and spend a bit.”