TalkSport host Dan Windle believes that Paul Heckingbottom has a huge job to do at Leeds United if he wants to revive their hopes of reaching the play-offs, claiming that they are currently “nowhere near” being able to achieve promotion.
Leeds slumped to a 2-1 Yorkshire derby defeat to Sheffield United on Saturday as former Elland Road striker Billy Sharp came back to haunt his old side with a goal in each half.
The Whites’ defeat at Bramall Lane left them 11th in the standings and eight points adrift of the top six as their winless run in 2018 continues.
Windle, who hosts The 72 on TalkSport 2, believes that Paul Heckingbottom now has a near impossible job of rescuing Leeds’ season and has suggested that the hierarchy may still be wanting him to get the side up into the play-off spots.
“The hard work begins now,” he said, as quoted on the TalkSport website. “Leeds were second best [against Sheffield United] for long periods and if he thought he could sneak into a play-off place… they can’t and if that is the expectation from above, then we’ve got an interesting few months ahead. They’re nowhere near it.”
Thomas Christiansen was sacked by Andrea Radrizzani after the 4-1 home defeat to Cardiff earlier this month, with Heckingbottom coming in to replace him almost immediately.
However in his first game in charge, the ex-Barnsley boss was unable to curb a winless run that has plagued Leeds since Boxing Day.
Heckingbottom will no doubt be looking forward to having a squad that is not littered with injuries and suspensions though, as in the five games before Christiansen was sacked, the Whites had seen four players shown red cards.
In other Leeds United news, Sheffield United star Sharp has aimed a dig at the Whites after their change in management.