By Pete Hanson

28th May, 2023 | 9:10am

Dominic Matteo makes Leeds United survival assessment, 'I'm not sure there are enough of them who do understand'

Dominic Matteo fears the worst for Leeds United in their fight against the drop as he feels not enough of the squad understand what it means to play for the club.

Matteo was a part of the last Leeds side to be relegated from the Premier League back in the 2003-04 season.

The Whites head into this campaign’s final day needing a win at home to Tottenham, while hoping results involving fellow strugglers Everton and Leicester City also go their way.

“You look at lads such as Luke Ayling, Liam Cooper and Stuart Dallas, players who put in a shift every time they go out there,” Matteo wrote on the Daily Mail website.

“When you come to this great club, you have to understand what it means to play for Leeds United.

“But as a collective I’m not sure there are enough of them who do understand. That’s what undoes you in the end and that’s what undid us in 2003-04.

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“I work for Leeds United a couple of days a week in an ambassadorial role and I absolutely love the place. I’ve played at another great football institution in Liverpool, but there’s a different feel about Leeds.”

Leeds need a miracle

Matteo played for Leeds at a time when they were playing in the Champions League and challenging for major honours.

He also played for a Leeds side who were relegated from the Premier League amid a backdrop of huge financial turmoil.

So, it is fair to say the former defender has a very good understanding of the heartbeat of the club and his assessment is a fair one.

It boils down really to a mishandled recruitment drive. Leeds lost their best two players before this campaign in Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips, and frankly the players brought in have not been of the required standard to compete in the Premier League.

And so, Leeds face D-Day against Tottenham on Sunday. It is not just three points needed but favours from elsewhere. On the evidence of last week’s defeat at West Ham, it just will not happen for Leeds. Simply, they need a footballing miracle.

In other Leeds news, David Prutton offered his assessment on the “ultimate slap in the face” to the club’s fans.