Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa appears to have admitted Sheffield United will be promoted ahead of his team.
This comes after the Whites’ 2-0 defeat to Brentford on Easter Monday. It followed a 2-1 loss to Wigan Athletic the following Friday.
Meanwhile, the Blades beat both Nottingham Forest 2-0 and Hull City 3-0 over the weekend. They are now three points ahead of Leeds with a far superior goal difference and just two games remaining.
“I am very sad,” Bielsa told the club’s official website.
“We had the hope to finish first or second, but with the loss, it is now going to be very difficult.
“If we had a normal efficiency, we would have 10-12 points more than we have now.
“This is not the case though and we now have to put all of our energy into the options that we still have and is very important for us.”
What can happen now?
If Chris Wilder’s men triumph over bottom-placed Ipswich Town this Saturday, they are effectively promoted to the Premier League.
This is regardless of what Bielsa’s side do in their game at home to Aston Villa. That is because the Blades have a plus 10 better goal difference than their Yorkshire rivals.
Beating Ipswich is by no means a given, but the fact that they are already relegated and have only won four matches all season should give the hosts confidence.
It is remarkable how much second place has switched between Leeds and the Blades in the past few weeks. Since Wilder’s team won at Elland Road on March 16, it has happened five times.
Yet these last two results appear to have finally secured automatic promotion from the Championship for the Blades. Even Bielsa seems to have admitted that now.