Leeds United manager Paul Heckingbottom has brutally admitted that the Whites are not good enough to be trying to compete with the sides pushing for the top six as he ended their play off hopes after losing to Wolves.
The Whites welcomed the league leaders to Elland Road on Wednesday night looking to take advantage of the three match winless run that Nuno and his men had been on, but they were picked off easily by the midlands club.
Two goals in the first half, both coming from corners, and a Benik Afobe strike in the second half secured a comfortable 3-0 win for Wolves, cementing their place at the top of the pile and leaving Leeds languishing down in 13th, after early season hopes of a play off spot.
However Heckingbottom, who has been in charge for a month, rubbished any hopes of rescuing their season, insisting that the squad were not good enough to be competing at the top end of the table as they sit eight points off the top six.
He told Sky Sports: “This season, now, the gap to the play offs is huge, but we want to be competing against those teams.
“We’re not on their level, that’s what we have to work towards.
“If that (the play offs) has been a weight on their (the Leeds players’) shoulders, then that weight has been lifted.
“We’re short of those teams and that’s where we want to get to.”
Football Insider verdict
Heckingbottom’s task was always going to be a tough one, especially considering the run of fixtures his tenure has kicked off with, but he would have been expecting to see more from his players no matter the quality of the opposition. The Whites have made both Middlesbrough and Wolves look not just a class above, but two or three levels ahead of where those at Elland Road stand. The quality has been there in flashes throughout the season but there is just too much mediocrity sitting in the squad. Heckingbottom has a tough job in his hands turning this lot into top six hopefuls, and the reality is that a handful of the current squad should be shipped off if he wants to turn those hopes into a reality.
In other Leeds United news, Heckingbottom has succeeded where Thomas Christiansen failed with one decision against Wolves.