Phil Hay: Leeds dressing room 'very anxious' over key point in promotion bid
Phil Hay has claimed that Leeds United are “very anxious” to complete their Championship campaign as initially planned.
The Whites are currently in a state of limbo, with nine league matches left to play and no clear indication on how the EFL and the Premier League plan to resolve the debate surrounding promotion and relegation to and from the the top flight.
EFL chairman Rick Parry stated earlier in the week that he expects three teams to go up as usual, regardless of how the season is brought to a conclusion.
But Hay maintains that Marcelo Bielsa’s squad would much rather earn promotion to the top flight by completing their fixture schedule than have it handed to them via unconventional means.
Speaking on The Phil Hay Show podcast (May 8th 2020, 16.55) he said: “There is this overwhelming wish to get the games going again and play the season out.
“They’re very anxious that having come this far, and not just this season over the course of two years with Bielsa, [they want] to do it properly and to go out over 46 matches as the team that top the division, or certainly finished top two.
“I don’t think the metrics or the algorithms are at all appealing to the players in the dressing room but that said when you get to board level and behind the scenes at Leeds, they’re absolutely ready to fight for promotion tooth and nail.”
Hay doesn’t just speak for the dressing room at Elland Road, but for all of us when he says that it would be much more preferable to complete the season as initially planned.
Obviously, the most important thing in all of this is that we get promoted, be it by hook or by crook, but it would surely be so much sweeter and so much more satisfying if we were able to wrap up promotion without the club going into the history books alongside an asterisk.
Whether the league will actually be completed is a different kettle of fish.
According to the Athletic, clubs in Leagues One and Two look set to vote in favour of ending the season early.
The understanding is that there is more of an appetite for the Championship to be finished properly, with fixtures behind closed doors staged at neutral venues.
At this point, that definitely would be the best solution for the Whites, but the July 31st deadline Parry set out earlier in the week for all matches to be completed by could prove to be a major deciding factor in whether or not it is a realistic aim.
In other Leeds United news, Exclusive: Robinson identifies key factor that will give Whites ‘head start’ in transfer market.