Leeds United's Joe Gelhardt provides fitness update and hails massive Whites confidence boost

Joe Gelhardt says Leeds United are champing at the bit ahead of the Premier League run-in, victory at Watford having boosted confidence as well as points.

By Lee Sobot
Thursday, 14th April 2022, 4:17 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th April 2022, 4:20 pm

Fifth-bottom Leeds significantly boosted their chances of surviving their second season back in the Premier League with Saturday’s 3-0 win against the Hornets which put Jesse Marsch’s side nine points clear of the drop zone.

United were then handed a further boost the following day when third-bottom Burnley lost 2-0 at Norwich City, blowing one of their games in hand.

Sean Dyche’s Clarets are back in action on Sunday at West Ham United and will complete their games in hand with next Thursday’s hosting of Southampton but Leeds must wait until a week on Monday before returning to the field.

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UPBEAT MESSAGE: From 19-year-old Leeds United forward Joe Gelhardt, right, pictured in December's Elland Road clash against Arsenal who are on the agenda again. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images.

United were due to face Chelsea at Elland Road this weekend but the game has been rescheduled due to the Blues’ involvement in the FA Cup semi-finals against United’s next opponents Palace.

For Leeds, a week on Monday’s trip to Selhurst Park will be followed by consecutive tests against three of the best sides in the division in Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea but Gelhardt says the weekend win at Watford has his side feeling very optimistic about the run in.

“I think it was just a massive confidence boost, 19-year-old striker Gelhardt told the YEP about the victory at Vicarage Road.

“It was an important three points as well but I think now we are thinking it’s a bit annoying that we have got a bit of a break.

“We just want the games to come thick and fast because we are in that run of form.

“But I think we will take all the momentum from that game into Palace and hopefully get points there.

“Then we have got a few tough games but I think we all think that we can get a few points.”

Gelhardt could be in action on Good Friday afternoon as United’s under-23s take in the third last game of their Premier League Two Division One season at Brighton (kick-off 2pm).

Gelhardt has been held back by minor injury problems of late but is now back fit ahead of crucial run-ins for both the first team and United’s under-23s.

United’s under-23s currently sit fourth-bottom in Premier League Two Division One with three games left.

Andy Taylor’s young side are four points clear of the drop zone but have played one game more than second-bottom Chelsea.

Gelhardt featured in the under-23s’ most recent league match at home to Crystal Palace last week but was forced off injured with a dead leg.

The teen missed large parts of training during last week but still made the matchday squad for Saturday’s Premier League clash at Watford in which he was an unused substitute.

“I’ve just been getting a few knocks recently when I have been playing,” said Gelhardt.

“I had a dead leg, I had a dead hamstring.

“I got kicked a few days but I am fine now. I am training full now.”