Neil Redfearn pleaded with Leeds United to give him and his players “a fighting chance” after a 4-3 defeat to Wolves – and revealed that the club are under pressure to resolve his future before the end of the season.
Redfearn vowed to remain as head coach for the final five games of the Championship term, saying he would continue in his job “unless I’m told any different” despite the recent chaos at Elland Road.
Leeds’ head coach lost the services of assistant boss Steve Thompson last week – suspended for reasons which United have not revealed and informed that his contract will not be renewed in the summer – and a 3-0 loss at home to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday was followed by a late defeat at Molineux yesterday.
United fought back from 3-1 down to level yesterday game in the second half but an 88th-minute header from substitute Dave Edwards carried Wolves into the Championship’s top six.
A defiant Redfearn said Leeds’ display was proof that “the players are still with us” and then admitted that the terms of his deal will force United to make a decision on his own position ahead of their last game of the season on May 2.
Redfearn is out of contract after the last of the club’s 46 matches, at home to Rotherham United, but Leeds have the option to retain him for the 2015-16 term.
Speaking after the defeat to Wolves, Redfearn – who admitted to being “isolated” at the weekend – said: “My position’s got to be resolved one way or the other legally before the Rotherham game. It’s in my contract. They’ve got to let me know if they’re going to take up the option of a second year.
“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it and at this moment in time it’s wrong to think about me. The club’s far more important. I just want to do the best for this club.
“You can see the players are with us and the supporters are with us. We just need a fighting chance. This great club
is starting to get back to its feet and it needs a chance - the same chance that the other 91 league clubs have.
“If it gets a fair chance then we can get it going. But we do need to get that chance.”
Redfearn claimed last week that he was considering his future following the suspension of Thompson but asked if he would remain in charge for the last five games, the 49-year-old said: “Unless I’m told any different, yes.
“There’s five games to go and it’s important that we finish the season well. I want the players to win as many games as they can - for them - because they’ve earned it.
“Five games to go is a matter of maybe three, four weeks. I’ve got to do the right thing for the club.”
An early Charlie Taylor goal gave United the perfect start at Molineux but Wolves looked to have set up an easy win by fighting back to establish a 3-1 lead early in the second half.
Redfearn, who gave 19-year-old midfielder Kalvin Phillips a full debut, watched Leeds restore parity through an own goal from Danny Batth and a brilliant strike by Alex Mowatt but Edwards’ late header settled a gripping game.
“We deserved something and I don’t think Wolves could argue with that,” Redfearn said.
“The goal we conceded before half-time was disappointing and the goal after half-time came when we were trying to stay in the game but after that we totally dominated. We passed them to death. But if you don’t stop balls into your box then you’ll come unstuck.
“Take nothing away from Wolves, they’re a good side, but they know they’ve been in a game.”