'I'm a fighter' - Wayne Rooney responds to criticism after rough Leeds United ride at Elland Road

Birmingham City head coach Wayne Rooney insists he will continue to fight on as Blues boss despite just two wins in 15 matches after defeat at Elland Road versus Leeds United.

The ex-Manchester United and Everton forward was the target of several chants, largely by the home support, at Elland Road on New Year's Day and cut a solemn figure in the away technical area as his side were beaten 3-0.

Leeds were forced to start rookie goalkeeper Kris Klaesson due to an injury picked up by Karl Darlow and Illan Meslier serving the second match of a three-game ban, but managed to keep a clean sheet against the Midlands club. The Whites' unbeaten run at home this season continues, while questions over Rooney's future begin to mount due to their own winless streak.

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"It was obviously not the result we wanted and we knew it was going to be a tough game," Rooney told reporters at full-time. "I thought we actually started well, until they scored the first goal I thought we were causing them problems in transition which I thought we could hurt them.

"Ultimately you can't leave [Patrick] Bamford in the six-yard box completely free because he'll punish you, that happened. From there they get the second goal and the disappointing thing from then was we didn't really look like getting back in the game because that's what I was most disappointed about."

Rooney was goaded by the home support throughout the contest, due to his association with Leeds' bitter rivals Man United. He was also the target of dissenting chants from the away section as Birmingham fans expressed their discontent.

"I'm a fighter and I get football is about opinions, I completely get that," Rooney said in response. "The only chant I didn't appreciate really was the Jimmy Savile one. I just don't think that's acceptable."

Leeds gained ground on Ipswich Town and Southampton who both drew on New Year's Day, while Birmingham slipped to 20th, just seven points above the relegation zone.

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