WHITES legend Eddie Gray says Leeds United can still reach this season’s Championship play-offs - if they can successfully navigate a dicey December.c
Despite last Saturday’s much-needed 3-1 win against Blackpool, United remain closer to the drop zone than the play-offs and a much shorter price to be relegated than to reach the top six.
The 15th-placed Whites are four points off the bottom three and 9-2 to go down but eight points behind sixth-placed Brentford and 16-1 to reach the play-offs.
But Gray knows it was a similar story at around this time last year with Wigan who went on to finish fifth after a fantastic second half to the campaign.
That gives Gray hope for Neil Redfearn’s seemingly improving side, if they can navigate a tricky upcoming fixture list beginning with next Saturday’s trip to seventh-placed Blackburn Rovers and including two clashes with leaders Derby County in the space of a month.
Gray told the YEP: “When you actually look at it, you can go back to last season and look at the position Wigan were in at this stage of the season.
“And they ended up getting in the play-offs.
“Anything can happen and all you need to do in this league is win four or five games on the trot and you are going to be up there.
“It’s possible but I wouldn’t say we were good enough for the play-offs just because we beat Blackpool.
“Speak to me in three weeks’ time when we have played some of the top sides in the league - Blackburn away, Ipswich away and the Derby games, then you will have a better idea of how we are going to go
“Beating Blackpool is not the be all and end all.
“We’ve got to go out and play against the top sides now as we have got a few of them coming up and there will be tougher challenges ahead but the Blackpool win won’t have done confidence any harm whatsoever. It was pleasing for Neil.
“We’ve got two tough away games coming up and we’ve got Derby County twice so it’s not going to be easy but there’s nothing better for confidence than winning matches.”
Gray also feels the best is to come from United’s Brazilian attacking midfielder Adryan, a player the former Leeds winger believes will benefit massively from the international break.
Gray added: “I think Adryan has got to get fitter and he has got to get involved in a game more, like Neil says.
“But when he is involved in a game he’s a big threat and that’s something that Neil will have been working on in this international break; working on the boy’s fitness and his awareness of having people around him.”