Andy Ritchie: I’m backing Leeds United to reach the play-offs

Garry Monk.
Garry Monk.
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IT’S certainly squeaky bum time now for Leeds United as the season enters its final furlong this weekend.

There will be a bit of twitching for sure.

Easter Monday’s loss at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers was totally unexpected.

I felt that United would win all four remaining games but that has gone right by the wayside.

I think I’ll just try and keep myself neutral otherwise I will be getting some stick!

It means that today’s trip to Burton Albion is another massive game but if you’re going for promotion every game is a big game.

And it has to remembered the position that Burton are in as they are still not mathematically safe from relegation.

They are four points clear of third-bottom Blackburn Rovers and their goal difference is a couple of goals better, but they are still going to be fighting for their lives.

They will probably be thinking ‘if we can get three points at the weekend then we are safe’ and Leeds need the points for a totally different reason.

The fact that Leeds were eight points clear of the teams outside of the play-offs at one stage and are not even in them now, will be another test for the squad and for the players.

All the way throughout this season, they have shown a true togetherness.

Garry Monk has been absolutely fantastic this season and the players have as well.

And it would be unthinkable that United wouldn’t end up in the play-offs.

Everybody I have spoken to thought they would get in the play-offs and I still believe they will be, definitely.

But you want to build some momentum going into the play-offs.

If you just scrape into the top six then it gives you real momentum.

United need to get some wins under their belt – obviously to make the play-offs – and if they get three wins from their last three games they are definitely in the top six.

After today’s game at Burton, Leeds play Norwich at Elland Road the following Saturday, and then Wigan away on the final day of the season and you could argue that it could have been a much tougher run in. They could be playing a lot more difficult teams.

Norwich are not going to make the top six, so how will they be feeling?

Although they did have a great result the other week against Reading when they won 7-1 at Carrow Road.

You thought where on earth has that come from?

For me, they are the most dangerous of the three teams that Leeds still have to face but I think Burton will be difficult because of the situation they are in.

I don’t think Wigan have got any chance of staying up. I think they are basically down and they are going to have to win three games to have an outside chance.

Leeds just need to go out with a positive attitude again and they know that they can play well away from home.

They have got the system to do it but they need to expect a barrage at Burton because they are fighting for their lives.

Elsewhere, the other big game today sees Fulham travel to Huddersfield.

It would have been nice for Leeds if that had been Huddersfield’s last home game just so they got an extra lift from the fans but Huddersfield also have Cardiff at home on the last day. The fact that Norwich will be the last home game for Leeds plays into United’s hands for sure.

Things could look very different after today as there is every chance that Huddersfield will beat Fulham.

But Fulham are flying and I think it’s basically going to go right down to the wire.