Following Leeds United’s bruising 4-1 defeat to Bournemouth on Sunday, interim head coach Javi Gracia received the dreaded phone call from the club owner Andrea Radrizzani on Monday afternoon.
By Wednesday morning Leeds announced Sam Allardyce as caretaker manager replacing Gracia after less than 12 games in charge.
Speaking to The Athletic, Gracia reflects on his period at the West Yorkshire club: “I can honestly say my time at Leeds has been an enriching experience and the human qualities of Victor Orta have been an authentic pleasure to be around.
“It was one of the places in my career where they have made me feel good and comfortable in myself. Personally, I did not know Victor very well before taking the job. I had never spent time with him previously.
“It’s been a very intense period. It hurt me a lot to lose my job, but I have to say Victor’s exit is just as difficult for me, if not more.”
The Spaniard expressed his desire to continue supporting Leeds despite being sacked by the club.
“I will be with my children, who will have their Leeds jerseys on and chanting ‘Up the Whites’,” he said.
Sam Allardyce’s side travel to the Etihad Stadium this weekend to face the reigning Premier League champions Manchester City before hosting high-flying Newcastle United the following week at Elland Road.
Leeds remain outside of the relegation zone on goal difference with four games left of the campaign.
Mark Marston | Get Football