Malky Mackay insisted he would not bow to Vincent Tan's request to resign as manager of Cardiff City after receiving impassioned support from fans before, during and after a 3-1 defeat at Liverpool.
Cardiff supporters staged a lengthy protest against Tan, the club's controversial owner who was present, following his attempt to force Mackay out of the club. The Malaysian was driven out of the Shankly Gates in a blacked-out van as fans continued to chant Mackay's name an hour after the game, and the Scot later held talks on the Anfield pitch with the chief executive of the League Managers Association, Richard Bevan.
Tan refused to comment on Mackay's position after the game, except to say: "We will do what's best for the interests of Cardiff." The businessman had asked the Scot to resign or be sacked in an email, but Mackay was adamant he will not walk away from a club he took into the Premier League last season.
"I will absolutely not be resigning from the football club. I don't think there is any reason why that should happen," said the Cardiff manager, who did not speak to the club's owner after the match. "That's not something that normally happens. I'll be heading back to Wales on a plane.
"I will be in work if it's got anything do with me. I want to make it crystal clear that I won't be resigning as manager of the football club. I have great respect and a great relationship with the staff, the players and the fans and I'm not going to walk away from them."
Mackay's name was chanted throughout by Cardiff's travelling support and he remained on the pitch to thank their efforts after the defeat, pointing to his head as he did so.
He said: "I am very humbled that our fans have taken to myself, my staff and the team like they have. We have a connection with our fans. They should really be enjoying their football this season. That's why I have apologised to them for what they have had to put up with."
Liverpool fans also applauded Mackay as Luis Suárez inspired a win that took their team to the top of the Premier League, and their manager, Brendan Rodgers, hailed the Scot as the finest manager in Cardiff's history.
Rodgers said: "It is a sad day. Malky is a wonderful professional, he is the best manager in the history of Cardiff City, he got them promoted to the Premier League, which was worth £90m to the club, and they are now in the most competitive league in the world. They will stay up with him at the helm and he finds himself under immense scrutiny for doing an outstanding job.
"It's not everyone at Cardiff, it's one guy who feels he wants to change things, and he'll be losing the best manager in Cardiff's history."