A THUMBS up got the thumbs down from Wanderers fans at Elland Road as Jermaine Beckford found himself at the centre of a terrace controversy.

The Whites striker was seen to make a signal of appreciation towards fans of his former club Leeds United during the 1-0 defeat on Saturday.

Beckford denied making a gesture when asked by The Bolton News after the final whistle, although he admitted to clapping the home supporters during an earlier warm-up.

Dougie Freedman was also made aware of the incident but his disappointment was focussed on the header Beckford missed late in the game, rather than his interaction with the supporters.

“I didn’t see it but I have been told he waved at some fans,” he said after the final whistle.

“He said there was someone he knew in the crowd, and what am I supposed to say ‘you don’t know them?’

“He should have concentrated more but the disappointment I have got is that Jermaine had a clear-cut chance and he’s missed it.”

Freedman had spoken of his disappointment last week that Beckford had been targeted for abuse by some sections of the Wanderers fan-base, and the 30-year-old looked to have given the perfect riposte to the boo-boys with two superb finishes against Crewe in the Captial One Cup.

That was not enough to earn him a starting place against Leeds, however, with Freedman offering the following explanation.

“Jermaine played 120 minutes in midweek and because of that, we didn’t start him,” he said.

“And I didn’t think there was anything wrong with Craig (Davies) or Joe (Mason)’s contribution.”