THE clock may be ticking down towards the end of his reign as Leeds United manager but Neil Warnock insists there will be no let-up during the run-in.
United, who travel to Ipswich Town today, seem marooned in mid-table with eight games remaining.
Warnock has vowed to leave if the club do not go up this term and with the 64-year-old having previously said that Elland Road will be the last stop-off in a management career going back three decades, his time in the game appears to be drawing to a close.
He said: “It is a difficult situation for me. No one is more frustrated than me and it is nothing to do with the takeover or anything like that.
“The frustration for me has been chucking two points away at Wolves, Leicester and Palace. That is the frustration – knowing that quite easily, with this squad, without any additions, we could be in the play-offs and in with a chance of promotion.
“But I still want to win as many games as we can and keep the opportunity alive. I’m only concentrating on this weekend. You won’t get two tougher games. I want to get six points and give you guys something else to write about. Another surge of optimism.”
Earlier this week, United missed out on Nigel Adkins as a possible successor to Warnock after the one-time Scunthorpe United and Southampton manager accepted the offer to take charge of Reading.
Former Royals manager Brian McDermott is now strongly fancied to be United’s new manager by the bookmakers, who have slashed his odds in recent days.
Warnock, who has previously said he will step aside if the club want to make an appointment, added: “I have always maintained that the club have got to be careful. Yes, if we can’t mathematically get up then you have to look to the future.
“But you also have to not be in a rush because I think three or four top quality managers will become available in the summer.
“We have missed out on Nigel, or so people have said. But some opportunities will come up. That is why I don’t want Leeds to rush into anyone.
“There is no point in putting in a caretaker for the sake of it. Let’s get as many points as we can. It is a tough job. I don’t think it’s a job for a young manager. It’s a job for someone experienced.
“It is a great job and I wish I was a few years younger. The foundations are excellent and the club is in an excellent position. I believe that whoever comes in will relish the opportunity. It’s in a very healthy situation.”
Last six games: Ipswich Town LDWLDW, Leeds United DWDDDL.
Last time: Ipswich Town 2 Leeds United 1; August 27, 2011; Championship.
Referee: J Adcock (Nottinghamshire).