'Got to be the message' - Ex-Leeds United boss makes playoff claim as Whites miss out on automatic promotion

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A former Leeds United boss sees the positive as the Whites turn attention to the Championship playoffs.

Former Leeds United boss Simon Grayson has highlighted the positive side of his former side missing out on the playoffs. The Whites lost at home to Southampton on the final day, but the defeat didn’t matter anyway, with Ipswich Town securing promotion to the Premier League by taking care of business at home to Huddersfield Town, as expected.

Daniel Farke’s men have led the automatic promotion chase at times, but they blew a number of opportunities down the final stretch and will have to settle for a place in the playoffs as a result. A two-legged semi-final with Norwich City now stands in the way of Leeds and a Wembley play-off final against one of Southampton or West Brom.

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Playoffs have not been kind to Leeds in the past, but it’s now the only remaining route the Whites have to the Premier League, and they must dust themselves down quickly after missing out on automatic promotion. The first leg is just over a week away, and former Leeds boss Grayson says there is little to moan about, with Farke’s men still having a big opportunity to get themselves back into the top flight.

“You are now finishing third, you've got the opportunity to get into the Premier League,” he told BBC Sport. “Would you have took that at the start of the season? Absolutely.

“Everybody in this stadium will be absolutely devastated how it's ended up because they wanted automatic promotion but, this season has had plenty of highs and it can still finish on one. They've got a second opportunity and that's got to be the message. From Daniel Farke especially.”

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