Andy Ritchie: Leeds United can’t afford to take Wolves lightly

Chris Wood and Issac Hayden challenge for a high ball on Good Friday. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
Chris Wood and Issac Hayden challenge for a high ball on Good Friday. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
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LEEDS United have got to win at home to Wolves on Easter Monday.

There isn’t any other scenario really as they need to win and they should beat Wolves at home – on form and the way they are playing. That suggests that a Leeds win would be the outcome.

Leeds United's Pontus Jansson (right) and Newcastle United's Matt Ritchie (left) battle for the ball during the Sky Bet Championship match at St James' Park. PIC: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Leeds United's Pontus Jansson (right) and Newcastle United's Matt Ritchie (left) battle for the ball during the Sky Bet Championship match at St James' Park. PIC: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

We are coming to parts of the season where maybe Wolves haven’t really got anything to play for. But Wolves have still got a duty to the other teams that are involved in the promotion and relegation spots as well.

This is a promotion one and they have got a duty to everybody else to try and win, and it would be the same if the boot was on the other foot if Leeds were coming to Wolves who were going for promotion.

Leeds would be expected to put the best team out they could to try and get points off them and so it’s by no means an easy game. Wolves are a good side, even though they probably haven’t been hitting the heights that they should.

But Leeds can’t take it lightly and I’m sure that the players won’t and we saw the team’s fight and resolve in Friday’s draw at Newcastle.

They didn’t give up, even until the fifth minute of injury time and that’s what you will get with this Leeds side. They have got a massive togetherness as a squad and that probably came out at Newcastle.

Getting that point could end up putting Leeds in the play-offs, definitely. But while there’s only four games remaining, there’s still a long way to go in terms of getting over that line and they have got to back up that point against Wolves.

I don’t think they can afford to slip up and if they do then that could be a perilous situation.

I think the Wolves game is probably the biggest game they might have until the end of the season as there is more on this, just to back that point up.

They have done that all the way through the season and now they have got to keep it going.

Pontus Jansson obviously got booked again against Newcastle and one more yellow card would mean a three-game ban.

But I don’t think you can tell him to do anything in terms of avoiding a yellow card or getting one. I wouldn’t even talk to him about it because he’s got to be himself, it’s got to be from himself and if somebody is going through and they are going to score then you have to do what you have got to do.

It’s not something that you should have in your head that you can’t tackle, because, as a defender, you know that you are going to have to do that.

It’s a bit of a sticky situation but it would be a big blow.

And it might even be better if he got his 15th booking against Wolves and he missed the last three games because then he would be okay for the play-offs. It would be better if he didn’t get booked at all, but in an ideal world he would get booked on Monday and then miss the last three games.

But you might say, with the scenario as it is, that you will need him for those last three games.

We talked about it a long time ago, about how tight they are at the back in terms of centre-halves.

Let’s just hope it doesn’t come back and bite them on the bum in that respect.

They had a transfer window to try and bring somebody in and I just hope it won’t prove a problem in a bigger scenario.

But I’m pretty confident that Leeds will finish in the play-offs and the biggest thing that makes me feel like that is the way they got that point the other night at Newcastle.

They have done that a few times this season where they haven’t played particularly well but they have still got something and they didn’t particularly click the other night.

But they were organised, they worked very well in terms of the way they were around the pitch and the way they blocked people off and I thought they deserved a point in the end.

I know a lot of people didn’t think that but I just thought that they were very well organised, with a great team spirit and what a brilliant finish by Chris Wood.

He wasn’t in the game much and he didn’t have much to feed off but that one chance he did get he put it way absolutely brilliantly.

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