Southampton man makes 'extra incentive' admission after watching Leeds United defeat as promotion warning sent

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Southampton gained significant ground on Leeds United, Ipswich Town and Leicester City last week.

Kyle Walker-Peters admits his Southampton side were given an extra boost after seeing Leeds United lose against Blackburn Rovers in a warning that the south-coast side remain in the automatic promotion race.

Southampton gained significant ground on the three teams above them in a week where they won twice and none of Leeds, Leicester City or Ipswich Town picked up three points overall. A 1-0 defeat to Blackburn was particularly disappointing for the Whites, who were unbeaten at home up until that point.

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Russell Martin’s side were starting to be left out of the top-two debate but victory in both their games in hand would see them pull level on points with Daniel Farke’s side. Victory over Watford on Saturday was left late, with Flynn Downes’ 99th-minute effort snatching all three points in a dramatic 3-2 victory, and Walker-Peters admits seeing Leeds drop points in the earlier kick off spurred them on.

“We're delighted,” Walker-Peters told BBC Radio Solent of the late win. “We're well aware of the teams around us so it's a big three points. We are still a bit disappointed with how we let Watford back into the game. I don't think it's anything tactically. It's more down to intensity and running. 

“You take your foot off the gas a bit more when it's 2-0 – we definitely did today, rather than trying to make it three or four. We gave Watford some confidence and got punished. We knew [Leeds had lost]. We were watching it. Regardless, you want to win - but it's an extra incentive. We want to chase the guys ahead of us.”

The upcoming fixture schedule means Southampton can even pull level on points with Leeds by the end of the week, with their first game in hand at home to Southampton on Tuesday before Saturday’s trip to Cardiff City. The Whites do not play Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium until Monday evening.

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Southampton’s second game in hand is a tough trip to Leicester next week and their belief of a top-two spot could see it all to play for on the final day visit to Elland Road. Leeds follow their trip to Middlesbrough with the long journey down to QPR a week on Friday before that final-day clash.