Marcelo Bielsa refusing to label Leeds United as 'safe'
MARCELO Bielsa says Leeds United's Premier League safety is still not assured despite being one point short of the magic 40 point marker.
Newly-promoted Leeds put themselves on 39 points for their first season back in the Premier League with Friday night's 2-1 success against Fulham at Craven Cottage.
The 40-point marker is widely seen as the maximum required tally needed to stay up although West Ham United went down with 42 points in 2002-03.
Sunderland were also relegated with 40 points in 1996-97 and the same fate awaited Bolton Wanderers in 1997-98 with the same tally.
Nevertheless, there are no other examples of sides falling through the Premier League's relegation trapdoor since with 40 points or more since the division was made a 20-team competition and Bielsa's Whites are rated 200-1 shots to go down.
With nine games left, Friday night's victory at Fulham has left Leeds 11th in the table and 13 points clear of third-bottom Fulham who have also played a game more.
Thirty five points was even enough to stay up last season but Bielsa is refusing to label his side as safe until it is mathematically impossible to go down.
"These are speculations that will confirm themselves mathematically," said Bielsa, asked if Leeds had now reached the safety point that they needed.
"And with 27 points left to play, the safety is not confirmed."
Reflecting on the achievement of hitting 39 points at this stage of the season as a newly-promoted side, Bielsa reasoned: "Leeds has made an important financial contribution to obtain the players that we have.
"And throughout the campaign the players have adapted and absorbed and gained the level needed to play in this league.
"Like all the teams who are yet to be consolidated, there have been highs and lows.
"With so many points still to play for, there are many things that could be said either way."
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Thank you Laura Collins