Birmingham City 1 Leeds United 1: Redfearn stays patient over job

Neil Redfearn.
Neil Redfearn.
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Neil Redfearn’s prospects of becoming the new full-time boss at Elland Road remain in the balance following a 1-1 Sky Bet Championship draw with Birmingham City at St Andrew’s.

Leeds were heading to a narrow defeat following a 37th minute strike from Birmingham’s front man, Wes Thomas, but a late surge earned Leeds a valuable away point following a 76th minute strike from teenage starlet Alex Mowatt.

Redfearn, who expects to still be in charge for Tuesday’s trip to Bournemouth, said: “The owner (Massimo Cellino) knows I am capable and our respect is mutual.

“He will make his decision when he needs to make a decision. Hopefully, if I can keep nicking points it will put the club in a better position.”

Redfearn was pleased with his side’s battling second-half performance.

“When I made the changes in the second half I thought we needed a little bit of power and pace,” he said.

“We played some good football, although we lacked a little finish. The really pleasing thing was that we were brave enough to get on the ball for the 90 minutes.

“There were a lot of pleasing performances and there is no doubt that the side is going to get better the longer they play together.

“It was a stirring second half. We never looked like scoring in the first half and our play which turned on fans in the Bolton game was missing. The tempo and pressure didn’t come until the second half.

“The changes helped in the second half and it gave us a different dimension and if we had taken the lead Birmingham could not have had any complaints.

“It is a long process but there are a lot of encouraging signs and to be honest there was only one side tried to play football.

“Birmingham are a dangerous side and very direct. But overall we deserved something from the game.

“Mowatt’s goal displayed a great finish. I thought he really came into the game in the second half and showed great awareness.”

Birmingham were well in control of the game in the first half with new on-loan signing Brek Shea from Stoke City making an impressive first appearance.

The American international created the opening goal from Thomas, who earlier in the morning had taken his wife to hospital after she had gone into labour.

Birmingham boss Lee Clark admitted he was frustrated by the failure of his side to win but expressed his disappointment that his young player Demarai Gray had collected a yellow card and been denied a penalty late in the second half following an incident involving Giuseppe Bellusci.

Even Redfearn later admitted that he thought it was a penalty but added his side should have been leading 3-1 at the time.

Clark said: “It has been unfortunate because we should have won all three home games.

“We certainly deserved to be one up at half time. Leeds came more into the game as an attacking force in the second half.

“But the controversial incident near the end was frustrating because I know Phil Caddis would have scored as he ruthless from the spot.

“I’ve seen it again. It was a penalty. The defender didn’t touch the ball.

“The only way Gray could not connect with the player is if he was to jump 10 feet.”

Clark added: “Do we encourage young players to take on players or pass the ball.

“I know the lad well. He gets from pillar to post by the senior players when he is running at them because he is unstoppable. He doesn’t go to ground easily. He is a tough little cookie.

“He was outstanding when he came on but it frustrates me he got a yellow card because it could take away his natural game of taking on people.”

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