NEIL WARNOCK believes Leeds United’s next quartet of games will go a long way towards deciding if the club can launch a late push for the play-offs.
Tonight’s visit of leaders Southampton to Elland Road in front of the live Sky cameras is the first of four games against sides sitting above them in the Championship table over the next fortnight.
Visits to Hull City and Middlesbrough follow in the coming eight days before West Ham United travel to West Yorkshire on March 17 to round off the daunting run of games.
Warnock, when asked by the Yorkshire Post to talk about the upcoming four fixtures, joked: “I’d rather not, if you don’t mind.
“No, seriously, they are great games for us to play. When people said to me it was a difficult month because of the opposition in those next four games, I said to them, ‘They will be difficult for the four teams we are playing against’. That is how I look at it. My lads have something to show me because they are playing for their futures. We can bring the teams above towards us by beating them.
“I honestly don’t know how the race will pan out. But I do think we will know a lot more after these next four games, I really do. They are tough matches so it is time to stand up and be counted. We need to get some points on the board.”
Warnock had been hoping to host the Saints with at least one new defender in his squad but attempts to bring in Matt Mills of Leicester City and Bolton Wanderers’ Paul Robinson have stalled.
The United chief has, however, added Danny Webber to his squad on a short-term deal and the former Sheffield United striker is in the squad for the tea-time kick-off.
On the televised encounter, Warnock added: “Southampton are a team I expected to do well. They have spent a lot of money and are always looking to improve. It will be good for me to see where we are at against a team like Southampton.
“It will be a good crowd, which brings a bit of pressure against the top of the league team. It has all the ingredients to let me know what we are all about.
“By 8pm, I will be aware of what the situation is. I saw the Doncaster game and then Portsmouth but this is entirely different to both of them.”
Warnock may have had a frustrating week in the transfer market but he has also been able to watch himself on the big screen at the West End premiere of The Four Year Plan, a documentary about Queens Park Rangers under the regime of former chairman Flavio Briatore. The show will be broadcast on BBC 2 tomorrow night at 10.50pm.
Big-match interview with Ross McCormack: Page 3.