Mind the gap - Leeds United defender Gaetano Berardi's complicated relationship with the Championship table
Leeds United defender Gaetano Berardi’s relationship with the Championship league table is complicated.
On one hand, the centre-half says it makes him happy to see the Whites in the top two and opening up an 11-point gap on third place. But he doesn’t want to look at the table because that gap gives him no comfort.
Injuries to Liam Cooper have given Berardi eight starts this season, including Leeds’ last two fixtures, both 2-0 wins over Huddersfield and Hull respectively.
“Of course I am enjoying it,” he said, of his latest spell in the starting line-up.
“When I play I am enjoying it and even when I am not playing it’s difficult to be out but it’s good to be in this team and to see the lads winning game.
“I am happy because of the table but I don’t want to see it.”
Seven wins on the bounce, with no goals conceded in their last four, have lifted Leeds away from the chasing pack, along with fellow title hopefuls West Brom.
The gulf between the top two and the rest isn’t big enough for Berardi.
“It’s still not comfortable because it’s a long season, we know that anything can happen and it’s not good for us to give up now because it would be better to have a bigger gap,” he said.
“It’s good form but we did it even last year and we know how it ended so there’s no time to think about the the table. The season is too long so it’s difficult to think that 11 points is a big gap.
“Okay it’s a big gap but not in the Championship.
“We just need to see the next game and be focused.”
The next game is at Elland Road on Saturday when Cardiff City will visit.
Neil Harris’ side are on a fine run of form, unbeaten in four with three straight wins going into tonight's clash with Brentford.
The identity of the opponent is secondary to the approach Leeds take.
This season and particularly in their last two outings they have had to bide their time to secure the result.
Winning without playing at your very best can be seen as a good sign, but Berardi insists that while they’re still picking up victories, Leeds are striving to be better
“We will have the same mentality,” said Berardi.
“We will try to win the game and impose our style.
“And to have patience because we could see even in the last game that if we cab be patient we can have big chances.”
“The manager wants to put us under pressure every week and I think the reason is because we still need to improve and I think we are doing a good job.
“This year is really good like I think last year.
“Like the team, the club is still improving.
“They are doing a great job and we just need to wait to the end of the season and see what we do.”