Marcelo Bielsa not looking beyond Wigan game - but 10 more points will earn Leeds United promotion

Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa, refusing to get carried away by his side's position in the league.
Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa, refusing to get carried away by his side's position in the league.

The path is clear for Leeds United now in their promotion aim.

Win three of their four remaining games and draw the other one and the Whites will be back in the Premier League no matter what results their Sheffield United rivals achieve in their four matches.

Back to back dominating performances, victories and clean sheets against good sides in Preston and Sheffield Wednesday have certainly changed the mood round Elland Road.

Marcelo Bielsa’s men have quickly turned round their fortunes after the disappointment of their defeat to Birmingham and automatic promotion is now very much back in their own hands.

Leeds go into the Easter double-header with a three point lead over the Blades, although their inferior goal difference does not make as big a lead as it sounds.

The points difference does heap pressure onto the South Yorkshire club, though, as if they fail to win one of their two Easter matches and Leeds win both of theirs the race is over.

Of course, being the Championship there is likely to be at least one more twist as the last few weeks have shown with the Whites and the Blades swapping second position so often.

Leeds’ double success over the last week has also raised a few hopes of catching leaders Norwich as the Whites have closed the gap to four points on them, but the West Yorkshire club’s remaining fixtures look much more difficult than the table toppers.

The fact that Norwich could only draw at Wigan last weekend is more of a warning to Bielsa’s men than anything else as they are the next opponents in a Good Friday clash at Elland Road.

Wigan are clearly fighting for their lives as they are locked in a big relegation struggle and need more points to avoid the drop. That makes them dangerous.

In contrast Leeds’ opponents on Monday, Brentford, have less to play for as they are safe from relegation and will not make the play-offs. But they do have history on their side as the Whites have not won at their ground on their last nine visits, going back to 1950!

Head coach Bielsa is certainly not getting carried away by the gap opened up by his team on their rivals.

He said: “Our objective has to be focused on the three points we are playing for in each game.

“We can’t be focused on the games we are playing in the future or the results of the opposition.”

Bielsa is expecting a tough test for his side against a Wigan side he respects.

He explained: “How Wigan are playing at the moment represents a higher position than they are in.

“A lot of times teams at the top are playing teams at the bottom and you don’t see the difference in level between the two teams despite the positions.

“These situations repeat a lot of times in the Sky Bet Championship.”

Leeds looks set to go into their first Easter game without skipper Liam Cooper, who had to pull out of last Saturday’s game with a muscle strain and has not yet fully recovered.

Bielsa did not completely rule him out, but said: “We’re probably going to play with the same team. Cooper needs a chance to come back to the team, it is very difficult for him to play.

“We cannot say he is out 100% but he doesn’t have a big chance.

“It is difficult to make a conclusion. In this case we cannot give a precise answer.”