Brian McDermott insisted he had no intention of quitting his post as Leeds United manager as he faced up to another appalling result away to Bournemouth last night.
McDermott said he would not consider resigning and was committed to continuing in his post, despite an imploding season and a directionless club above him.
The 52-year-old cut a shocked and dejected figure after four goals in 52 minutes consigned Leeds to a 4-1 defeat at Dean Court, a scoreline and performance McDermott described as “bitterly disappointing.”
He refused to use the on-going takeover saga at Elland Road as an excuse for last night’s loss –but said the doubt over his future and the proposed buy-out of United by Italian businessman Massimo Cellino was in part to blame for their decaying campaign.
Cellino’s 75 per cent takeover is on the verge of failure after the Football League barred him from buying Leeds on Monday. The 57-year-old intends to appeal.
McDermott went on to infer that staff and players at Elland Road were concerned about whether their wages would be paid this month, despite United managing director David Haigh recently dismissing talk of serious financial trouble at Leeds.
But pressure on McDermott is intensifying, and braces from Yann Kermorgant and Lewis Grabban at Dean Court weakened his position further.
Asked if he had considered walking away, the former Reading boss said: “No, not at any point. I’ve never felt that.
“I don’t think things feel out of control. I don’t think we’ve got control but I don’t think things are out of control either. There’s a difference. To have control you need the ownership to be clear and clarified.
“It (the takeover) does affect what’s happening. That’s not an excuse for this performance and I’m disappointed with all of us but there’s no doubt it affects what happens on the pitch.
“There’s all the talk of who’s going to be in (as owner), talk of who’s going to be paid. I’m not going to make excuses but it does affect it.”
McDermott also suggested that Cellino’s failed attempt to sack him in January might have affected the attitude of his squad.
“I think there’s an element of truth in that,” he said. “Once that situation happens, there could be some truth in it. But it’s no excuse. I’m stood on the line, I’m still here and I want to be here.
“I don’t think anybody’s given up, I really don’t. But it’s bitterly disappointing to try and explain that performance.”
Meanwhile, Lee Peltier’s future remains unclear with Leeds insistent that the defender has joined Nottingham Forest but Forest attempting to back out of the deal.
Bolton Wanderers are pushing to take Peltier on loan today.
Young winger Gboly Ariyibi has joined Tranmere Rovers on loan until the end of the season.