The international break provides an excellent opportunity for Leeds to take stock of where they currently stand in the Championship table and prepare for the remaining seven games. Although the Whites may have nothing to play for as they are smack bang in the middle of the table, finishing the campaign on a high would be the ideal way to end what has been a turbulent season on and off the pitch. Sadly, fans have become all too accustomed to adversity at Elland Road in recent years, but under a manager who understands what it means to represent the club and wear the shirt should stand Leeds in good stead for the future.

The players have already responded well to Neil Redfearn and look much more united than at any stage of the season under previous incumbents, but the manager will demand a marked improvement in performance following the hugely disappointing draw at Blackpool. It may spur Leeds on in front of the Elland Road faithful in the upcoming fixture against Blackburn who have blown any hope of reaching the play-offs following consecutive defeats against Brentford and Brighton. It could be too close to call with Bookies between two teams who are separated in the table by just two points, but a strong performance and victory would set Leeds up nicely for a good end to make everyone feel better about the future.

Strong finish

Although Leeds may want to put a season of turmoil, on and off the pitch, behind them, Redfearn has been instrumental in guiding the team to three victories and two draws in the last five Championship fixtures. Beating Ipswich, Wigan and Fulham shows how far the Whites have come since the forgettable short-lived eras under Dave Hockaday and Darko Milanic, but there is plenty more work still to do if Leeds want to end the campaign on a high. Although many local Sunday League teams would have turned their nose up at the appalling state of the pitch at Blackpool, Leeds may consider themselves fortunate to come away from Bloomfield Road with a point as they struggled to adapt to unplayable conditions. Marco Silvestri did his chances of becoming Leeds’ Player of the Year no harm at all following yet another excellent performance from the goalkeeper, and he may need to be at his very best again to keep out Blackburn.

Play-off hopes over?

Blackburn were one of a number of a teams who were still in contention to reach the play-offs in what could turn out to be the most dramatic finale to a Championship season in history, but consecutive defeats at Ewood Park may have ended any realistic chance they once had. It could be argued that Gary Bowyer’s side will end up under-achieving this season, particularly with one of the best attacking pairings in Jordan Rhodes and Rudy Gestede banging goals in on a regular basis. Both will undoubtedly have to be kept quiet by Sol Bamba and company if Leeds are to nullify their threat and make it nine wins at Elland Road this season.

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