Steve Evans: Leeds United would be in relegation dogfight without Sunderland loanee

Liam Bridcutt is impressing on loan at Leeds United
Liam Bridcutt is impressing on loan at Leeds United

Steve Evans has passionately defended his position as Leeds United head coach and claims the club would be in a relegation dogfight without his signings.

Sunderland midfielder Liam Bridcutt is one of three signings made by Evans since he joined the club and the 26-year-old has impressed in central midfield.

Evans is under-pressure at Elland Road.

But he points to Bridcutt and his two other signings Toumani Diagouraga and Mustapha Carayol as a key reason why the mid-table Yorkshire outfit aren't currently involved in a battle to stay up.

Bridcutt had failed to feature at all under either Dick Advocaat or Sam Allardyce at Sunderland this season, with both considering him surplus to requirements.

He joined Leeds on loan until the end of the season in January, with a view to a permanent switch in the summer.

"The one thing that I don’t forget is that when I first accepted the job at Leeds United, I had one remit from the owner - to stay up," a passionate Evans told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

"Because everyone, including a lot of Leeds United supporters who I have known for years, thought they were going down.

"This is a question for the Leeds fans, of which I am one, but I am not answering the question myself as I am not that silly.

"But without Digaouraga, without Bridcutt and without Carayol coming in, do they think we would be a in a relegation fight come the end of the season?

"I have only brought three players in and have they improved us? The answer is by some distance.

"Without Bridcutt and Diagouraga alone, would we have been involved in a relegation fight?

"And I think the president’s answer is yes because he moved Uwe [Rosler] out, he allowed me to bring them in so he has identified it as well."

Sunderland spent £2.5million to bring Bridcutt from Gus Poyet’s former club Brighton in January 2014 but the move didn't work out for the midfielder.

Evans has previously said he would be keen to take Bridcutt to Elland Road on a permanent deal.

Speaking back in January, Evans said: "We’ve got him until the end of the season but if he continues the way he has been playing, then it puts us in a good position to speak to Sunderland about keeping him in the summer."