By Neil Champney

22nd May, 2020 | 7:34pm

Phil Hay outlines 'biggest threat' potentially facing Leeds promotion push

Phil Hay has claimed that the “biggest threat” to Leeds United’s promotion push could be themselves. 

The Athletic journalist suggested that the EFL’s determination to complete the current Championship season – along with their preference for deciding league standings based on a points per game average if proceedings have to be ended early – leaves the Whites in a strong position.

But a resumption in action would mean that Marcelo Bielsa’s men need to maintain their position at the top of the table over their remaining nine matches if they are to return to the Premier League this summer.

With a seven point lead over the play-off places, automatic promotion would still be expected, and Hay has argued that an unlikely capitulation may be the only thing that could prevent a long-awaited top flight comeback.

Speaking on The Phil Hay Show podcast, when asked if an unforeseen dip in form was the only obstacle left to overcome, the reporter said: “It’s the biggest threat to Leeds United’s promotion if the games are played.

“I think if the games aren’t played the biggest threat to them would be some machination in the Premier League which led to a huge fight over whether or not three clubs should drop out of the league and then whether or not the league could expand.

“Essentially, if the games resume at both levels it is 100% in their hands.”

This is a promising update from Hay, and one that outlines just how secure the Whites are at the moment.

We all want the season to be resumed, but if it isn’t, the EFL’s preference for deciding the Championship on a points per game average would be enough to see us up.

Even in the event of Premier League clubs opposing relegation, chairman Rick Parry has stated that it is his “expectation” that there will be promotion from the second tier.

And if the campaign can be completed, you would like to think that a seven-point cushion would be enough to secure an automatic promotion spot.

In that sense, Hay is absolutely right here – only a wholly unexpected slump in form can stop us from reaching the Premier League this summer.

In other Leeds United news, ‘Among the best’ – Javier Mascherano praises senior Leeds man who he holds in ‘very high esteem’.