McDermott feels weight taken off his shoulders

Leeds United's Matt Smith goes between Wigan's James McArthur and Ivan Ramis.
Leeds United's Matt Smith goes between Wigan's James McArthur and Ivan Ramis.
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Brian McDermott is looking forward to solely concentrating on being a Leeds manager again after Massimo Cellino’s proposed takeover of the Yorkshire club was given the green light.

The Football League announced shortly after the final whistle of the Whites’ 1-0 loss to Wigan that their decision to block prospective Italian owner Cellino’s buy-out had been dismissed.

The Leeds squad has clearly been disrupted by the murky boardroom situation and this defeat leaves them with just one victory in 11.

“It’s a weight off my shoulders in the fact that I don’t have to front up every press conference and talk about the ownership because that’s all I’ve been doing for three months,” said McDermott, whom Cellino attempted to sack when first arriving in Yorkshire.

“I’ve not ducked any interview, I’ve been involved in every single interview and I’ve tried to answer the questions as best as I possibly can. It will be nice just to talk about the next game, try to get three points and see where we are as a football team. That’s my job, not talking about ownerships.”

Despite the previous threat to his position, McDermott insisted he could work under Cellino and welcomed the possibility of both an injection of funds and stability to a club which has lurched from one disaster to another.

The players, roared on by a partisan support, showed plenty of fight at the DW Stadium where Wigan emerged victorious thanks to Martyn Waghorn’s solitary strike 12 minutes before half-time.

McDermott praised his players for putting off-field matters to one side, adding: “There was no lack of effort, desire, passion.

“We tried to get back into the game after we went 1-0 down – I didn’t think we deserved to be 1-0 down.

“I look at Wigan and their squad and it’s probably the second best (in the Sky Bet Championship) compared to Leicester. When they get into the play-offs they’ll be a real force to be reckoned with. They’ll be in with a really good chance of going up this season.”

The game itself was scrappy with Waghorn ultimately deciding the result on the afternoon after he had agreed to make his loan switch to Latics permanent.

Wigan Athletic: Al Habsi, Perch, Boyce, Ramis, Kiernan, Crainey, McArthur, Gomez, McManaman (McClean 62), Waghorn (Fortune 68), Powell (Collison 55). Unused substitutes: Carson, Maloney, Barnett, Maynard.

Leeds United: Butland, Wootton, Lees, Pearce, Warnock, Byram, Brown, Tonge, Hunt (Poleon 69), Smith, McCormack. Unused substitutes: Murphy, Pugh, Zaliukas, Stewart, Cairns, Mowatt.

Referee: N Swarbrick (Lancashire).

Man of the match: James McArthur.