SIMON GRAYSON wants Leeds United’s players to believe in miracles tomorrow as they look to make a dramatic and improbable bid for the Championship’s last play-off spot.
Grayson is refusing to write off the club’s final-day visit to champions-elect Queens Park Rangers, despite the apparently hopeless scenario facing his club.
Leeds head into their last match of the season trailing sixth-placed Nottingham Forest by three points, and United are reliant on a victory over QPR, a defeat for Forest at Crystal Palace and a six-goal swing to gatecrash the play-offs.
Grayson’s squad took their campaign into the closing weekend with a 1-0 win over Burnley last Saturday, but the result was negated by Forest’s heavy defeat of Scunthorpe United and Grayson admitted that his side would be facing “the best team in the division” at Loftus Road.
But the United manager said: “You never know.
“We only need to get a couple of early goals and for Palace to do the same and then nerves can creep in.
“It’s not going to be easy. We’re going to the best team in the division and that’s been proven over 45 games of the season, but funnier things have happened.
“We’ll be going for it, that’s for sure.”
QPR secured enough points to claim the Championship title last Saturday but the club’s fate remained in doubt today ahead of the outcome of a Football Association hearing into their signing of Argentine player Alejandro Faurlin.
Rangers were accused of breaching rules on third-party ownership and the use of agents during the recruitment of Faurlin in 2009.
They were also alleged to have supplied the FA with false information relating to the midfielder.
QPR have been facing the prospect of a severe points deduction which could alter both the Championship’s automatic promotion and play-off positions.
They were expecting to discover the FA’s verdict today, but Grayson was critical of the decision to begin the hearing five days before the end of the season.
“It seems strange and I’ve seen other managers quoted as saying it would have been better if it had been sorted weeks ago,” Grayson said.
“That way we wouldn’t be going into the last game of the season with doubts or appeals or anything like that.
“It’s something that needs to be addressed.
“If by any quirk of fate we get thrown back into the play-offs then so be it, but nobody knows what will happen. We’ve prepared as if it’s just another normal game that we have to win.
“There are so many different scenarios that they’re not even worth thinking about.”
Meanwhile, Leeds and Burnley have been charged with failing to control their players during last weekend’s Championship game at Elland Road.
Both clubs have been cited by the FA over a brawl sparked by Chris McCann’s foul on United winger Max Gradel. They were given until 6pm this evening to respond.
Leeds received a fine of £7,500 from the FA earlier this season after a similar melee in their clash at Nottingham Forest on August 15.