By Dominic Toner
Scott Minto believes that Leeds have left it too late to secure automatic promotion this season.
The Whites are currently fourth-placed in the Championship table and been in great form under manager Garry Monk this campaign.
They are nine points adrift of second-placed Brighton in the automatic spot, with just eight league games remaining.
The Yorkshire club will need a near faultless run if they are to make a late surge to the automatic positions as they look to return to the Premier League.
However, Leeds will also be wary of keeping their status in the play-off spots as seventh-placed Fulham are eight points behind them.
Sky Sports pundit Minto feels that the race for automatic promotion if now between the top three teams of Newcastle, Brighton and Huddersfield, while Monk’s side may have to make do with the play-offs.
“I said it would be between three teams: Newcastle, Brighton and Norwich,” Minto told the Chronicle. “But Norwich fell away and Huddersfield jumped into the gap but it’s still a three-horse race in my opinion. Leeds have left it too late.”
Leeds are unbeaten in their last seven matches and recorded an impressive 2-0 win over Brighton before the international break.
The Whites resume their domestic campaign with a trip to Reading on 1 April and will hope to try put pressure on the teams above them.
They still have to face Championship leaders Newcastle, while third-placed Huddersfield are only two points above Leeds.
Monk’s side still have a mathematical chance of finishing the season on top, but the agony of the play-offs seems like the most likely outcome.
In other Leeds news, Neil Redfearn believes the club should sign these two players in the summer.