KEN BATES has revealed Leeds United’s plans for next season are already gathering pace due to the club’s involvement in the Championship play-offs now seeming “unlikely”.
A haul of just six points from the last eight games has seen United go from chasing automatic promotion to being three points adrift of the top six.
Sitting ninth in the table, Simon Grayson’s side need to win their final two matches – at home to Burnley on Saturday and at leaders QPR a week later – to have any hope of reclaiming a play-off place come May 7.
Leeds, who were sitting pretty in second place at Christmas, are still hoping to force their way into the top six but Bates admits thoughts are already turning to next season and the bolstering of the Elland Road squad.
The United chairman told the Yorkshire Post: “Last August, we would have taken a top 10 place after winning promotion but, of course, in football expectations rise all the time. Basically, the more you get then the more you want.
“At Christmas, we beat QPR to go second so we expected a lot more. I must confess I expected us to go close but, unfortunately, that has not turned out to be the case.
“Despite all the noises being made that it is mathematically still possible to get into the play-offs, it is unlikely because there are three clubs between us and sixth place.
“If we beat Burnley this Saturday, that would mean we move up to eighth. But we would still have to rely on Millwall and Nottingham Forest losing, and even then they have a better goal difference than us.
“Of course, it is still possible. So, the players must concentrate on winning our last two games. But, as a club, we are already looking towards next season.”
For the full story read Thursday’s Yorkshire Post.