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Warnock comes out fighting

13 February 2013

Manager Neil Warnock stuck to his guns as Leeds fans called for him to leave his position after a 1-0 defeat at Middlesbrough.

The north-east club picked up their first points of 2013 thanks to Curtis Main's 81st-minute header, condemning the Whites to another miserable away day this season.

Not for the first time, supporters chanted "Warnock, time to go" at their veteran manager, angry at a failure to take chances as they slipped eight points adrift of the play-offs. Warnock, though, insisted it was a string of open-goal misses and not a fault on his part that was causing the problems, with Ross McCormack the guilty party.

"Unless I run on the pitch and put the chances (away), I don't know what to do," he said. "It's frustrating. The last three open goals (in games against Cardiff, Wolves and Middlesbrough) are not difficult chances. I thought Middlesbrough were there for the beating.

"We had a great opportunity to take the lead and don't know how we didn't take it. We should be talking about three wins and be right in there."

When it was put to Warnock that he last month sanctioned the sale of 19-goal Luciano Becchio he said: "That's a ridiculous statement."

He vowed to fight on despite crowd unrest, though, saying: "Its a natural thing. If we'd have taken that first chance they would have been chanting our names. It disappoints me when I see some of the comments (about him) but you can only do your best as a manager. I think we've had a good season."

It was Boro's first win over Leeds at home since 1992 and their first ever at the Riverside, although the significance of a victory at all dwarfed the gaining of local bragging rights.

"It's nice to get a win, it's been a while for us in the league and we need to keep the points ticking along," manager Tony Mowbray said, no doubt buoyed by Brighton's 1-1 draw with Blackburn which hands his men a four-point buffer over the play-off chasing pack.

"It's nearly 20 years since we won at home against Leeds. It's a good achievement for this team and we deserved to win."

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