I could be gone on Saturday if Leeds don’t beat Bolton, admits Hockaday

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LEEDS head coach Dave Hockaday conceded Saturday’s home clash with Bolton could be a must-win game for the sake of his future at Elland Road.

Fresh doubt surrounded Hockaday’s standing after Wednesday’s 2-1 Capital One Cup second-round defeat to neighbours Bradford.

Dave Hockaday. Picture by Tony Johnson

Dave Hockaday. Picture by Tony Johnson

Hockaday, who was given a reprieve by club president Massimo Cellino on Sunday night after the 4-1 loss at Watford looked like being his last game in charge, was reluctant to be drawn on growing speculation regarding his job.

But having watched Leeds suffer a third straight defeat, their fourth in sixth outings this season, the former Forest Green Rovers boss remained upbeat ahead of what he knows is an important weekend.

He said: “There’s a thing called momentum and we need to get the ball rolling, so it’s a huge game on Saturday.

“Football is like that, you always want to win the next game. Of course the pressure stacks up, so it is a difficult place, not just for me but for the players.

“But with the players I’ve got at my disposal we’ll get them organised, we’ll get them focused, we’ll get them together and we’ll have a go at Bolton - the aim is to get three points.”

The 56-year-old also maintained the Leeds players remain fully behind him, but admitted they have not helped themselves on the pitch recently.

He said: “I’ve got a job to do and I’ll keep on doing that job, the players are giving me everything - in certain instances they’re maybe giving me too much if you know what I mean, we’ve had four red cards this season.

“We’ve got to stop giving ourselves mountains to climb. The sooner we win a game, and then another, and then another, and build some momentum, then the better it will become.

“I’m blessed because I’ve got a great bunch of lads who have got a team spirit which is second to none. I’ve got to focus on the positives and work on the negatives if you like.”

The Bantams were beaten finalists in the same competition two seasons ago and went on to secure promotion from League Two.

Manager Phil Parkinson believes the victory against Leeds can be the platform for another successful season.

He said: “We went up against a very good Leeds side, there’s no doubt about that. I’ve watched their games this season and they have some very good players.

“One or two people made us favourites going into the game but it was always going to be tough against higher opposition, and we handled ourselves very well.

“We’ve got some very good players here and I’m glad that they were able to sample the sort of atmosphere those fans can generate here when we play in the manner that we did. I was delighted for everyone.”