Paul Heckingbottom confident he will remain Leeds boss

Paul Heckingbottom says he has “got no reason” to believe his position as Leeds manager is at risk.

Heckingbottom left Barnsley to take over at Leeds in February and, despite winning just two games, said he was “surprised” by speculation linking him with an exit.

The 40-year-old’s contract at Elland Road expires at the end of next season.

“Everything has carried on as normal,” Heckingbottom said. “In terms of meetings, planning, and discussions for next season, nothing has changed.

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“The speculation yesterday surprised everyone at the club, not just me. As far as we’re concerned, it’s business as usual.”

Speaking in a news conference ahead of the trip to Villa Park on Friday, live on Sky Sports Football, Heckingbottom admitted he was concerned about the club’s recent form.

Leeds have slipped to 14th in the Sky Bet Championship and are currently 14 points from the play-offs. Heckingbottom described recent results as “frustrating”.

Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Preston and Leeds

“At the minute we’re just putting halves of football together,” Heckingbottom added. “That’s a problem. We’ve seen big moments in games become catalysts for us losing games, which is another problem.

“We need to put poor decisions by officials or injuries we might sustain to the back of our minds. We can’t let those kinds of situations affect us.”

Heckingbottom admitted he was not happy with the current squad and plans to make changes in the summer.

“We’re not where we want to be, so things have to change,” Heckingbottom added. “We have to do a lot of good work to improve the squad. We want it slimmer, less in numbers and higher in quality.”

Heckingbottom confirmed Pontus Jansson will miss Friday’s game with Aston Villa due to a head injury sustained against Preston on Tuesday.

Heckingbottom said Jansson is likely to recover in time for the game with Barnsley on April 21.

Friday’s game between Aston and Villa and Leeds is live on Sky Sports Football.