Since Garry Monk took over Leeds United on June 2nd, 2016, they have enjoyed one of their most successful seasons for a long time. They are currently 7th in the table and look set to finish the season very strongly. Monk has reinvigorated Leeds United and had kept them in a playoff position for 25 consecutive games. However, a run of bad results meant they dropped out of the play-off positions on Monday when they lost 1-0 to Wolves. With just three games left to play and the fight for a play-off place so close, there are several things Leeds need to do if they wish to secure a play-off place for the first time since 2006.
This Is What Monk Needs To Do To Ensure Leeds United Finishes In The Play Off Spots
Change their mentality
After been in a play-off position for so long this season, Leeds United have become complacent. They have dipped in form and their top stars are not performing. Also, they have developed a mentality that has led them to believe that they are certain to get a play-off spot. Largely because they have been in there for most of the season. Thus, if they want to secure a play-off position, they must shake this comfortable mentality they have gained.
This view is even echoed by Garry Monk himself. After Leeds’ poor performance against Wolves which knocked them out of the play-offs for the first time in 25 games, Monk stated, ‘We didn’t want that to happen at this stage of the season but we’ve had the mentality for so long where we’ve been in the play-offs quite comfortably and have kind of been in that protective mode of trying to stay in there. Now we have to change that mentality to be a team that goes on the hunt and lets it all go’.
This shows Leeds do have a mentality problem. They now need to now adopt a more aggressive fighting mentality if they wish to secure a play-off place.
Win all their remaining fixtures
While this seems fairly obvious it’s also the most important as Leeds United are still in full control of where they finish. Leeds are only outside the play-offs on goal difference. They are also only two points behind 5th place Sheffield Wednesday.
Furthermore, Fulham (6th place) and Sheffield Wednesday (5th place), play each other on the final day of the season. This means that as long as Leeds United wins their remaining three games, they will secure a play-off space no matter the result of the Shef Wed-Fulham game.
Leeds United’s remaining games are against Burton (19th), Norwich (8th) and Wigan (23rd). Though this seems like a relatively good set of games for Leeds to have, it must be noted that Leeds United have won just one of their last five. Therefore, if Leeds are to secure a play-off place, they need to start winning games again.
Get Chris Wood scoring again
Chris Wood joined Leeds United in 2015 from Leicester for a fee in the region of £2.5-3 million. In his first season for Leeds, Wood finished on 13 goals for the season, making him their top scorer.
Wood has also been the stand-out performer for the Whites this season. Wood has made 45 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring 28 goals. He is also the Championship top scorer with 25 goals. Unfortunately for Leeds, Wood has taken a significant dip in form in recent weeks. The striker has scored just once in his last five games. His last goal coming in Leeds 1-1 draw with Newcastle. Coincidently (or not) Leeds United themselves have won just one game out of their last five.
This shows that Wood is Leeds’ most important player. Because as soon as he stopped scoring, Leeds United have also struggled to win games. Moreover, as the Whites have scored 56 in the league with Wood scoring 25 of those, it is clear Wood is their only real goal scorer. This is further evidenced by the fact that Leeds’ next highest scorer is on just six goals for the season.
Therefore, if Leeds United wants to secure a play-off place this season they must get Chris Wood back in goal scoring form. Because he is responsible for scoring nearly 50% of their goals this season. Also he is their only real goal scorer. The next being Souleymane Doukaraon on six goals.
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