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Aguero doubles up as Leeds United surrender
Manchester City 4, Leeds United 0
Leeds manager Neil Warnock has vowed to quit earlier than planned if asked by the club’s owners as they endured another dismal day out.
Warnock’s contract is up at the end of the season and he has told owners GFH Capital he will not be staying on next term.
The United boss is coming under increasing pressure from the fans to walk away, having failed to mastermind a promotion challenge.
And with Leeds finding themselves the subject of a second confusing takeover bid of the season, a trip to face Premier League champions Manchester City in the FA Cup was always likely to add to the pressure.
United have failed to claim a league point since their fourth-round win over Tottenham three weeks ago and cries of ‘Warnock – time to go’ were the printable catcalls aimed at him from the away end at the Etihad Stadium.
The hosts rarely had to leave second gear to beat their lacklustre Championship opponents, with Sergio Aguero’s double complemented by further goals from Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez.
“I don’t deserve that (abuse) after the year I have had, but I am unlucky to have been at three clubs with three takeovers,” said Warnock, referencing previous spells with Crystal Palace and QPR.
“I understand their feelings and the noise they make shows what sort of club it is.
“If we go up, the owners know I won’t be here and the further away we get (from promotion), the club will be looking to see what they’re going to do. If I can, I will help them.”
Warnock took over at Elland Road a year ago today and after a passionate start where he engaged with the supporters and got them onside, he now accepts the writing is on the wall as far as his pursuit of a record eighth promotion goes.
“I’m living away from home for one last year at promotion,” he said.
“I’m sure the club will be sensible and in a couple of years they will be back in the big time.
“It’s their prerogative (if they want to sack him) and if they think it will help, I’m not against it. Whatever is best for Leeds United.
“But with what’s gone on over the last 12 months, I think I deserve a medal.”
Warnock replaced Paddy Kenny with Jamie Ashdown in goal, and brought back former Liverpool man El-Hadji Diouf, Rodolph Austin and Aidan White, but to no effect.
Yaya Toure began the procession early on before Aguero added a penalty and a fine finish either side of a close-range Carlos Tevez effort.
It was just the fillip manager Roberto Mancini needed, with City 12 points behind Manchester United in the title race and amid fresh speculation over his position.
Leeds offered little and their fans’ disillusionment with Warnock and their predicament, as they struggle to launch a play-off push, was evident.
Mancini said: “I hope Sergio will be like this from now until the end of the season because if he is, and our strikers continue to score a lot of goals, I think the championship is not finished.”