Leeds 0 Blackburn 3: Redfearn taking time to consider his future

LEEDS United head coach Beil Redfearn has accused the club of isolating him by suspending assistant Steve Thompson.

Neil Redfearn ponders his options as Mirco Antenucci, the striker the Leeds board did not want to feature, waits to enter the fray against Blackburn Rovers (Picture: Bruce Rollinson).

Redfearn has put all thoughts about his own future aside until after tonight’s match at Wolves following a 3-0 defeat at home to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.

But he was left to run things alone at Elland Road after the decision to remove Thompson from his post on Thursday morning without official explanantion.

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Redfearn fielded Mirco Antenucci as a substitute on Saturday, defying pressure from the board to leave the striker out due to a goal-related clause in the contract which is set to earn him a 12-month extension.

Though backed by the fans, Redfearn’s frustration was compounded by the 40th minute red card for midfielder Rodolph Austin for an off-the-ball challenge.

Redfearn said: “Whether I feel that (isolated) or not, I definitely am. I had a number two and now I haven’t. It’s happened. It’s not great.

“But in the short term, this game (Blackburn) and the game on Monday – I’m putting all that first. I’ve tried to get on with the job.”

Of the crowd’s support, Redfearn said: “They were brilliant. They’ve been outstanding with us all season.

“To be fair to them, they can see what we’re trying to do. We’ve had a really good run in the new year and we’ve got ourselves safe. They’ve seen Thommo go and it’s not good. They know what we’ve done and what we’ve achieved.”

Redfearn claimed Austin’s dismissal for an off-the-ball shove on Ben Marshall was a “poor decision” but the Jamaican will start a three-match ban tonight unless Leeds choose to appeal his red card.

It was an often ill-tempered affair with five yellow cards to go along with the red that was awarded to Austin.

Redfearn was not happy about the dismissal, which was awarded by referee Gary Sutton after consulting his assistant.

“The red card changed the game,” he said. “I didn’t see it at the time but I have watched it back several times. We should appeal because it was a poor decision.

“Rudi pushed the lad in the chest with his forearm and the referee deemed it a red card. It was a big call on a linesman’s say-so and it was wrong.”

United are already without the injured Lewis Cook, leaving Redfearn with holes to fill in midfield.

Rovers made their numerical advantage count through second-half strikes from Tom Cairney, Jordan Rhodes and Jay Spearing.

Leeds United: Silvestri, Wootton (Antenucci 66), Bellusci, Bamba, Berardi (Cooper 66), Austin, Murphy, Byram, Mowatt, Charlie Taylor, Morison (Sharp 86). Unused substitutes: Stuart Taylor, Dawson, Doukara, Philips.

Blackburn Rovers: Raya, Henley (Paul Taylor 59), Baptiste, Kilgallon, Olsson, Cairney, Spearing, Williamson, Marshall, Rhodes, Gestede (Brown 64), Brown (O’Sullivan 81). Unused substitutes: Spurr, Lenihan, Steele, Evans.

Referee: G Sutton (Lincolnshire).

Man of the match: Jordan Rhodes.