Andy Ritchie: Leeds United can still gatecrash the top six

East Stand at Elland Road.
East Stand at Elland Road.
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THERE’S still a chance that Leeds United can make the play-offs.

Fulham play Sheffield Wednesday on the final day so someone has got to slip up there or they share a point.

Pablo Hernandez shows his frustration at Burton.

Pablo Hernandez shows his frustration at Burton.

But Leeds have just got to win their last two games and just have a bit of hope.

I’m just really gutted and surprised that they have slipped out of the play-off places because I didn’t see this scenario happening.

I don’t know why it’s happened.

Pressure is a strange thing and maybe it’s because some of the lads have never been there with that pressure before.

You just can’t put your finger on it because from what they have done throughout the season you just never thought this was going to happen.

I really would have expected them to have won those games.

But Fulham have got Brentford at home today and that is a tough one I think.

I know they have not got a chance of getting into the play-offs now but Brentford are a very, very good side who can give anybody problems.

And they have got this duty-bound thing where you have got to give it your best, no doubt about it.

Everybody would expect that and the players have got to do that. I have been in that situation and the biggest one I can remember for myself was when Oldham had to beat Southampton on the last day of the season at Boundary Park to stay up in the Premier League in 1993.

We were cruising to a 3-0 victory but they came back and we ended up beating them 4-3.

You thought, crikey, where has that come from, and you have got to have that commitment as a player and as a manager to keep going right to the bitter end.

You owe it to everybody and you can’t just go out and say it’s the end of the season.

So Fulham have got a really tough game there.

Sheffield Wednesday go to Ipswich and that’s a difficult one because Ipswich are a very, very up and down side this season.

They have been very indifferent in that they can be fantastic and a really good side and then the next week they can be absolutely hopeless.

But it’s their last home game and you want to give your fans something to come back for. That’s what I was always taught and what I used to say to my players for the last game of the season.

You might have had an indifferent season or have been there or thereabouts or whatever, but you’ve got to give the fans something to remember.

Reading need just a point to make sure of their play-off spot and they welcome Wigan before going to Burton.

And I think they will get that straight away.

I can’t see them not getting it against Wigan who have had a very, very poor season.

But of Fulham and Sheffield Wednesday you could see them both slipping up but you just don’t know in football and nothing is a given.

We have seen that with Leeds because I totally thought that they were going to be in the play-offs and that was it.

But I do think Leeds will beat Norwich and to be honest I thought they would win all of their last four games.

As players, you have got to believe. I know they will have been disappointed last week and you could see that with their demeanour.

But you have got to get that out of your minds now and they have to think that if they win their last two games then they are in with a shout.

But if Leeds do miss out on a play-off place I don’t think it’s a failure. It’s a disappointment, of course, and you can’t say it’s not because you thought you were going to be there and you have fluffed your lines. It’s a big disappointment, but – from where they have come – I definitely don’t think it’s a failure. I agree with Garry Monk’s comments on that.

STRONG: Leeds United's Ronaldo Vieira excelled on his return to the Whites midfield. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

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