Sky Sports pundit delivers Leeds promotion verdict
By Harvey Byrne
Sky Sports pundit and former West Ham defender Tony Gale believes Leeds will be the team no one will want to face in the play-offs this season.
The Yorkshire giants are entering the final stages of the Championship campaign in fourth place, eight points higher than Fulham in seventh.
Summer appointment Garry Monk has been a huge success at the club and has helped get the best out of the Championship’s current top scorer Chris Wood.
Now, Gale has predicted a top six placing for Leeds with eight matches of the season left and believes fellow play-off finishers will be in fear of the Yorkshire club.
“They’re going to be in the play-offs, without a doubt for me,” started Gale speaking on Wednesday morning’s Premier League Daily show on Sky Sports News.
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“They’re the one team I think you don’t want to face. I saw them recently against Fulham when they played without Wood and they didn’t look the same side, but they still managed to carve out a draw against Fulham when Fulham probably had 75 per cent of the possession and were the better team.
“But, Leeds got the draw. Met Garry Monk afterwards, done the interview with Garry Monk, like Gerry (Francis) said, I don’t think he should have got the sack at Swansea. He was doing a good job there.
“But, he’s taken over a club where it’s just nothing but problems with the owners and things like that. At the start of the season I saw them against Fleetwood and if they’d had lost that game he would have probably been looking at the sack at Leeds.
“Since then they’ve just kicked on and they are the runaway train team of the Championship at the moment and you won’t be wanting to play against them in the play-offs.
“Chris Wood is probably the most improved striker I’ve seen in all the league’s. He’s just brought out the best in him and he’s looking top class. Lost a bit of weight mind, which has helped him and Monk has got him fit and firing.”
Leeds have entered the international break unbeaten in their last seven league matches with four victories and three draws.
They will face close competitors Reading at the Madejski stadium on 1 April and they will be looking for a similar result as to the 2-0 victory over second placed Brighton on Saturday.
The Yorkshire giants have not finished in the top six of the Championship since 2006 where they suffered a 3-0 defeat against Watford in the final at the Millennium Stadium.
They will be hoping for a much improved outcome this time around and Monk will become a hero if he ends the famous club’s 13-year wait for top-flight football.