Caretaker manager Neil Redfearn refused to rule himself out of the running to succeed David Hockaday as head coach as Leeds United ended a run of three defeats with a 1-0 home victory over Bolton.
Hockaday was sacked by owner Massimo Cellino on Thursday after only six games in charge and Redfearn - once again - has been tasked with looking after the first team.
As the only coach left on the club’s books he is an obvious contender and, despite being happy in his post as academy manager, is not saying no to anything.
“I love coaching and working with players,” he said.
“The most important thing is that the appointment is right for the football club. I will have a chat with the president and see what he is thinking. It is his decision but the club needs a settled set of circumstances.”
Marco Silvestri, the former Chievo keeper, repeatedly frustrated Bolton’s attack and pulled off a crucial double save from former Leeds favourite Jermaine Beckford and Lee Chung-Yong in time added on, to leave Dougie Freedman’s men with only one point from their opening five matches.
Stephen Warnock’s 17th-minute goal, driven in from the left corner of the penalty box, was enough to settle an entertaining game in Leeds’ favour but United owed much to Silvestri and tireless young midfielders Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt.
Redfearn added: “Our keeper was out of this world. He made half a dozen saves out of the top drawer and showed bravery coming off his line.”
Cook, Mowatt and left-back Charlie Taylor, who replaced the injured Warnock in the 55th minute, are graduates of Redfearn’s academy and he said: “I was delighted with them. Cook was the best player on the pitch. He is old beyond his years and nothing fazes him.”
Freedman admitted: “I am scratching around to understand how our total domination failed to get us anything from the game. We dominated possession in the last hour and created so many chances.
“It was a mistake for the goal. We didn’t get out quickly enough to close Warnock down and we have to stop making silly errors at the back.
“We came up against a keeper who played his part. Leeds showed a lot of desire to keep the ball out of their net and we didn’t show enough desire to put it in theirs. When we concede a goal we have to work harder to score.”
Cellino heads for a break in America on Monday, but that will not stop his search for a new head coach.
Former West Brom boss Steve Clarke is among the front runners for the job as Cellino looks to appoint another home-based coach who will inherit a strong squad, according to Redfearn.
“The overseas players gelled well with the British lads,” said. “We’ve had upheaval during the week but the lads applied themselves, which is pleasing all round.”