Karl Robinson on 'almost impossible job' of keeping Leeds United in the Premier League

Karl Robinson says he, Sam Allardyce and Roy Keane took on an "almost impossible job" in trying to save Leeds United from Premier League relegation.

The Whites were outside the Premier League's relegation zone on goal difference when Allardyce became their third manager of the season, bringing in Robinson and Keane as his coaches.

But confidence was at a low ebb after a dismal 4-1 defeat at Bournemouth which saw the travelling fans turn on the players.

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Days earlier, Robinson had expressed his fear for them after a 1-1 draw at home to Leicester City, who eventually went down with them.

RELEGATION: Karl Robinson (right) with Sam Allardyce on the day Leeds United went downRELEGATION: Karl Robinson (right) with Sam Allardyce on the day Leeds United went down
RELEGATION: Karl Robinson (right) with Sam Allardyce on the day Leeds United went down

"I did the game for Sky and I think that night I said Leeds are going to be one of the teams that struggle to stay up," said the former Oxford United, Charlton Athletic and Milton Keynes Dons manager.

"Once you get in the club there are some unbelievable people – the backroom staff, the CEO (Angus Kinnear), the whole club's geared to be in the Premier League. The last two years have been incredibly difficult for everybody.

"They just struggled in certain moments, especially when we were there – just key moments.

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"It was almost an impossible job, but we all have that ego going in and plotting a miracle. That’s not naivety or stupidity, we thought we could do it even though we knew it’d be so difficult."

Allardyce was given just four games to try to rescue Leeds - the latest in a season anyone has been drafted into a relegation battle - and effectively three because the first of them was at treble-chasing Manchester City. He picked up just one point as Leeds were relegated on the final day.

Robinson said he made his doubts known to Allardyce when the former England manager called to invite him for talks about joining him, but came anyway.

"I was playing golf and I got a phone call from the gaffer to say what are you doing?" he recalled.

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"I said I was playing golf. He said can you get yourself up to Leeds tonight. He said he was going in for the last four games of the season.

"I actually think I said ‘are you mad?’ He said get yourself up here tonight and we’ll have a conversation. I got in my car and drove to Yorkshire.

"I don't think Leeds were that for off, it's just the goals they conceded were astronomical. You can't do that and stay in the Premier League."

Allardyce's contract only ran until the end of the season and it was revealed last week he will not be staying beyond that, saying the job was too long-term a project for him at this stage of his life and career.

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Former Whites coach Carlos Corberan, who left to take over at Huddersfield Town, has been heavily linked. He signed a new contract at West Bromwich Albion after Leeds tried and failed to bring him in as Jesse Marsch's replacement in February, but it is believed to contain a release clause and the cihef executive who brought him to The Hawthors, Ron Gourlay, is to leave this month.

Blackburn Rovers' Jon Dahl Tomasson is another Championship manager who has been linked with the post.

Andoni Iraola was another missed February target and is expected to leave Rayo Vallecano this summer but Leeds in the Championship may not hold the same appeal.