Enzo Maresca sends Leeds United and Ipswich Town title message as he makes promotion admission

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Leicester City’s 5-0 win over Southampton leaves them on the brink of promotion to the Premier League

Leicester City boss Enzo Maresca doesn't care whether his side finish first or second in the Championship, just as long as they win automatic promotion. The Foxes are now on the brink of an immediate return to the Premier League after thrashing promotion rivals Southampton 5-0 at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday night.

Abdul Fatawu bagged a hat-trick on the night, while Wilfred Ndidi and Jamie Vardy also found the back of the net as Leicester cut loose to assert their dominance on the Championship promotion race. The result means the Foxes are now four points clear at the top of the table with just two games left to play.

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As such, Leicester know just one more win will be enough for them to win promotion back to the Premier League and they'll be looking to make sure of their spot at English football's top table next time out against Preston North End. However, their fate could potentially be sealed before Monday's outing, should Leeds United lose on Friday night at QPR.

Should Ipswich then fail to beat Hull City on Saturday, the Foxes would then have the opportunity to claim the Championship title with a win on Monday at Deepdale, with just one more round of fixtures to play. Of course, Maresca would no doubt love to get his hands on silverware at the end of what has been an extraordinary season, but just finishing in the top two will do for him.

“It has been a long season, 51 official matches,” Maresca said. “Before tonight’s game, we didn’t know how many points we needed. Two, three, four, five, they lose, they win, who knows?

“The good feeling about tonight is now we know that with one win you get promoted. Two days off, recovery, and then we start to prepare for Preston, which is the next one and the most important.

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Follow Farke’s men as they chase Championship promotion with the Yorkshire Evening Post’s free Leeds United emails. “We’re looking just now to get promoted (not at the title). It doesn’t matter where, first or second. But in this moment, the most important thing is to win one more game to get promoted.”

He added: “I don’t think it was our best performance of the season,” he said. “Most of the time we judge the performance on the results. The performance was fantastic on the ball and off the ball. Probably on the ball we could play better because there was space to play and we could keep the ball more. I think we had more games where the team was better on the ball.

“But overall I’m very happy. They (Southampton) are a fantastic team. It’s a team that if you don’t press them higher, you’re going to struggle. Since we started, and until the end, we tried to press them, even in their box."

For Southampton, Tuesday's result all but resigns them to the play-offs. Russell Martin's side are six points behind second placed Leeds with two games to go, but their inferior goal difference effectively rules them out of the top two race.