Leeds United 1, Bolton 5
Brian McDermott witnessed the heaviest home defeat of his Leeds United reign and then brushed aside questioning about his future.
Bolton’s 5-1 victory left Leeds’ Sky Bet Championship play-off hopes hanging by the thinnest of threads, and McDermott was asked if he felt his job was secure.
It was Leeds’ first home game since McDermott thought he had been sacked by potential owner Massimo Cellino on February 1, only to be rapidly reinstated.
He said: “It is pointless thinking about my own position. All I can do is get everyone together, train on Sunday and Monday and put a team out (against Reading) on Tuesday. That is what I want to do.”
Bolton’s win was their third in succession, while Leeds have won only two of their last 14 matches.
McDermott added: “Obviously I am bitterly disappointed. During the first half there was nothing in the game.
“They scored just before half-time, which was a blow. We got done quickly by two set-plays, lost our shape and that was it.
“This is a big badge to play for and you could tell the players were nervous in the first half. It is a bad day for us. We’ve had a couple like that, it’s not acceptable and we have to analyse the reasons.”
Resurgent Bolton have now scored nine goals from their last two games.
Three goals in a 12-minute spell either side of the interval by Joe Mason, Lukas Jutkiewicz and Zat Knight provided the platform, Mark Davies adding the fourth with 18 minutes left and substitute Andre Moritz completing the rout on 89 minutes.
Leeds substitute Matt Smith nodded a consolation goal in stoppage time but it failed to paper over cracks that need repairing rapidly if Leeds are to salvage anything from this season.
Central defender Jason Pearce lost his ever-present record as his wife had given birth to a boy, and Leeds badly missed his calm assurance as they were torn apart in an embarrassingly one-sided second half.
After successive wins over Watford, Blackburn and now Leeds, Bolton are on a roll and the relegation fears that haunted them have surely been confined to history.
Delighted manager Dougie Freedman hailed a thoroughly professional performance but refused to get carried away.
He said: “In difficult moments this season we have tried to stay calm so we are trying to remain calm again, despite a fantastic result against Leeds.
“We were terrific in both boxes and it was a fantastic professional performance from everybody involved.
“We controlled the midfield with our passing, with Neil Danns and Jay Spearing the key. Results are now starting to go with our performances.”
Asked about McDermott, he added: “Brian doesn’t need my sympathy. He is big enough to deal with this.”