(Reuters) - Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay refused to throw in the towel on Saturday after a 3-1 defeat at Premier League leaders Liverpool followed reports he had been told to resign or be sacked.
Controversial owner Vincent Tan was booed and heckled by Cardiff fans with shouts of “get lost” as he arrived at Anfield and his reception during the game and afterwards was even worse with banners saying “Tan out” and “We want our club back”.
Supporters hung around after the defeat to chant their support for Mackay, who led them to promotion to the Premier League for the first time last season.
“The crowd were our 12th man. I reiterate 100 percent that I absolutely will not be resigning from the football club. I am a proud man to lead this team. Why would I want to leave? That is something you will have to ask other people,” Mackay told reporters.
“I told the players how proud I was of them. We were excellent until Luis Suarez showed why he is about the best player in the world right now. I told them not to go under and we stayed in the game. Liverpool will be challenging for the league this year.”
Two goals for Suarez helped seal an easy win for Liverpool with Cardiff struggling in the first half amid all the background chaos but they did improve after the break.
Tan’s unorthodox running of the club has bemused fans of the Welsh side, not least his decision to change the “Bluebirds” home shirts from blue to red.
Cardiff are just above the drop zone after a decent start but the Malaysian tycoon complained this week that Mackay had overspent in the transfer window and would not receive “a single penny” in January despite requests for three signings.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, a friend of Mackay, said that Tan knows “nothing about football”.
Pundits have long bemoaned the actions of several new owners in English football, with Hull City fans at loggerheads over a move to change their name to Hull Tigers and Blackburn Rovers supporters aghast at the running of their club by Indian chicken processing firm Venky’s.
Reporting by Mark Meadows, editing by Pritha Sarkar