COMMENT By Dominic Toner

Some Leeds fans may already be preparing themselves for the play-offs at the end of the season, but there is still a chance they can sneak into the automatic spots.

Garry Monk’s side are fourth-placed in the Championship table and don’t know whether to look up or down.

The Whites have an eight-point cushion over seventh-placed Fulham and will be desperate to finish in the top six this season.

Meanwhile, they are also eight points adrift of the automatic spots and definitely still have time to catch the top two.

Brighton are second in the league table and have looked like serious promotion candidates all season, while Newcastle are a point further ahead of the summit.

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It would take a fantastic late run from Leeds to put pressure on the top two, but Newcastle’s recent form should have Monk optimistic and make him drive his players forward.

Leeds need to focus on putting together a winning run to try close the gap, with the worse case scenario they enter the play-offs in hot form.

Newcastle have been the firm favourites for promotion since day one and the cracks have begun to appear recently.

The Magpies have just two points from their last three games against Birmingham, Fulham and Reading.

Rafael Benitez’s side should still end up in the automatic spots with just eight games remaining, but are finding it difficult to get over the line.

Newcastle are in for two difficult tests after the international break as they host Wigan and Burton, who are both desperate fighting relegation.

They then face a double header against Yorkshire duo Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds, with the latter surely highlighting that clash as a huge fixture.

In other Leeds news, a Sky Sports pundit has delivered his verdict on the club’s promotion chances.

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