NEIL Warnock wants his future as Leeds United manager to be decided by the final 17 games of the season after stressing his belief that the club can still win promotion from the Championship.
The 64-year-old said he and United’s new owners had no intention of reviewing his contractual situation while the squad at Elland Road continued to push for play-off qualification.
Leeds are heading into back-to-back away fixtures which could make or break their season with the club in 12th position and six points behind the Championship’s top six.
Warnock is 10 days away from his first anniversary as United’s manager but his contract at Elland Road expires in the summer and neither he nor representatives of Leeds owner GFH Capital have commented on the likelihood of an extension to that deal.
The former Sheffield United boss came to Elland Road as Simon Grayson’s replacement in February of last year, signing an 18-month deal and indicating that this season could be his last in management.
But asked if he and the club had discussed his future beyond the summer, Warnock, whose side go to Wolverhampton Wanderers tomorrow and Middlesbrough on Tuesday, said: “No, because I just want to concentrate on the season.
“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think we could get promotion and I still think there’s an opportunity for a late spurt. These last few weeks we’ve got more consistent.
“My future will be decided on the football field. All I can do is get promotion and that’s not changed in my eyes.
“It’s a bit more difficult because with the automatic promotion situation we’re really looking at the play-offs. Until it’s mathematically impossible, that’s what I’m going to do.
“The next five or six games will give us a good idea. They’re tough games coming up and we can have another conversation like this in a month’s time.
“They (GFH Capital) know what I want to do. A lot depends on what we do. I want to get promotion and they know that. They’ve been very supportive.”
David Haigh, deputy chief executive at GFH Capital and one of United’s new board members, admitted in December that retaining Warnock as manager had been part of their purchase agreement with Ken Bates.
“He was a very important point of our deal,” Haigh said. “It was actually a term of our contract – that he remained. That’s how much we rate Neil.”
Warnock faced calls for his dismissal from sections of Leeds’ support after a 2-0 defeat to bottom-of-the table Barnsley on January 12 but he fought through the criticism with a run of three wins against Birmingham City, Bristol City and Tottenham Hotspur.
“The fans know they get what they see with me,” Warnock said.
“There’s not any fudging of the situation. When we don’t play so well everyone probably wishes we had a new manager but sometimes you’ve got to be careful what you wish for.”