Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino told manager Steve Evans not to speak to the media following his side’s 4-0 defeat at Brighton on Monday night.
The fourth-placed Seagulls scored four times in the space of 20 minutes before the interval to boost their automatic promotion challenge in front of a crowd of 25,150 at the Amex Stadium – although Italian Cellino did not stay for the second half.
Two efforts from Israel striker Tomer Hemed and other goals from Sam Baldock and Lewis Dunk gave Albion their fourth successive home win, and now only two points cover the top four in the Sky Bet Championship.
Leeds, though, have now won only one of their last 11 league games and head coach Steve Evans joined the team bus afterwards, having been told by Cellino to skip the press conference.
Cellino made an early departure from the stadium after a dismal opening 45 minutes and it was up to assistant Paul Raynor to carry out the club’s post-match television obligation.
He told Sky Sports 1: “The first-half performance was shambolic. Our defending was atrocious and the manager is going to dissect it with the players.
“We only had 15 minutes at half-time to try and put a shape together and to show a bit of pride and commitment and heart out there and I felt we did that in the second half.
“But the first half was absolutely shambolic and it simply was not good enough.”
When asked why Evans did not speak to the media following United’s fifth game without victory, Raynor added: “We know you are going to ask questions and we know you want answers.
“We are trying to give answers to the players on what we think of that first-half performance which, and I don’t want to keep going on about it, was absolutely shambolic, not good enough and certainly not good enough for Leeds United.
“We can’t worry about the chairman. If I was him I would have gone as well to be fair because he doesn’t want to see his football club playing like that and I don’t blame him for that.”