Burnley v Leeds United: Howson plays down Whites promotion talk

Leeds United climbed to their highest league position for four-and-a-half years with a sensational victory over Burnley, but captain Jonathan Howson warned that premature focus on a second successive promotion could destabilise the club's season.

Howson converted an 85th-minute winner as Leeds recovered from two goals down to claim a 3-2 victory at Turf Moor, jumping to fourth position in the Championship for the first time since the penultimate weekend of the 2005-06 season.

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United were on the brink of a first defeat in eight league games after conceding twice in the first half, but Howson's sublime 20-yard finish was the crowning moment of a breathless fightback inspired by earlier goals from Max Gradel and Luciano Becchio.

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Leeds have held a play-off position for much of this season, dropping down their division for a brief time during a run of poor form in October, but the club are within two points of the Championship's automatic promotion places following Cardiff City's defeat at Middlesbrough on Saturday.

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Howson admitted that rival clubs were likely to see Leeds as a competitive side in a division they rejoined last summer after three seasons in League One, and United's promotion credentials are increasingly strong with 21 games played.

But the midfielder believes the target of promotion is a distraction

for the club and insisted he was not yet ready to judge Leeds' chances of fighting their way into the Premier League.

"I don't think any of the lads are thinking so far ahead," Howson said. "You only get distracted by that.

"If you get to the point where you're thinking about the end of the season rather than getting a win or a result on a Saturday, it takes away your focus and consistency.

"The lads who were here last season saw what happens when you have a dip in results. We were in great form going into Christmas and perhaps the concentration dropped a bit. It can knock you off your rhythm.

"But the way the league was set up at the start of the season, we knew that no team stood out or was going to walk away with it. We aimed to give it a good go and

Leeds United director of football Victor Orta. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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