three-time promotion winner Robert Green says, ahead of tomorrow’s return to former club Norwich City, that the key for any side with genuine aspirations to reach the Premier League is to be “in the mix come March”.
The 35-year-old goalkeeper has helped Leeds United turn round their season with a nine-game run that has yielded 19 points.
It is an upturn in form that has taken Garry Monk’s men up to ninth place and to within a point of the play-off spots.
Stern tests, however, lay just around the corner with tomorrow’s trip to fourth-placed Norwich followed after the international break by the visit of leaders Newcastle United to Elland Road. “We are happy with where we are, but we have kept our own expectations in-house and we will carry on doing so,” said Green, who won the first of those three promotions to the top flight with Norwich in 2004.
“But what I will say is that in this league, once in a blue moon someone runs away with it. Other than that, if you are in the mix come March then you are happy.
“After 15 games, yes, we are looking at x-amount of points. But it is a long season. If Norwich are going through their dip then they will say, ‘Fine, we will go through that and come out the other side’. A Championship season is a long old grind.”
Leeds knocked Norwich out of the League Cup on penalties last month, a result that the Canaries followed by being thrashed 5-0 at Brighton & Hove Albion.
“The league is so topsy-turvy,” said Green, who has also won promotion to the Premier League with QPR and West Ham United. “You can’t really fathom it out sometimes.
“They will put (Brighton) down as a one-off and they will want to scratch it off, prove a point. But it is not something we have talked about, them being under pressure or anything like that.
“Norwich have got so many quality players that they could field two teams.
“Whoever feels pressure (tomorrow), that’s purely down to individuals.”
Meanwhile, United have moved to prevent promising young defender Lewie Coyle from leaving in the summer – when his current deal was set to expire – by agreeing a two-year extension.
The talented right-back has broken through in the past year and has 17 first-team appearances to his name. Coyle’s performances had alerted other clubs before he suffered knee ligament damage in the recent Cup win over Norwich.