Why Leeds will not win automatic promotion to Premier League - Ashton

Friday, March 29th, 2019 11:32am

By James Gray @jamestingray

Leeds may struggle to recover from the defeat to promotion rivals Sheffield United because of what it has done to their confidence, according to Dean Ashton.

Leeds were beaten 1-0 by Chris Wilder's men at Elland Road before the international break and have had two weeks off in which to ponder the result.

It leaves them outside the automatic promotion places and former striker Ashton is worried that the combined disappointments of the result itself and potentially having to go through the play-offs could derail their bid to return to the Premier League.

"I think it was a big result losing at home to Sheffield United and I wonder how much confidence that is going to give to the Sheffield United players to feel as though they can go on now and get that second spot or even become champions," Ashton told Up Front with James Gray (weekdays 1pm-3pm).

"How much of a knock has that given to Leeds?

"They have definitely missed Kemar Roofe. Norwich and Sheffield United have been able to keep their top-scorers fit and firing and that, at the moment, just gives them the edge in the race for automatic promotion.

"There is an extra bit of pressure on Leeds as a club.

"The fanbase are so desperate to get back to the Premier League.

"You can just tell that there is a real pressure on them.

"But you've got to think that the hard-working, high-pressing style will be to their benefit come the run-in."

Leeds are desperate to make it back to the Premier League in this their 15th season since relegation from the top flight.

They have sunk as low as League One, having spent three seasons in the third tier between 2007 and 2010, but are now on the brink of achieving what seemed impossible at one point in their history.

"There is an extra bit of pressure on Leeds as a club," Ashton added.

"The fanbase are so desperate to get back to the Premier League.

"You can just tell that there is a real pressure on them.

"But you've got to think that the hard-working, high-pressing style will be to their benefit come the run-in."

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