KEEP CALM and carry on regardless. For those Leeds United followers left dejected by those tough events at Elland Road on Saturday against Championship promotion rivals Sheffield United, a look back at the experiences at this time of year of the last three White Rose sides elevated to the Premier League may just provide a bit of context.
It should also preclude the need for melodrama after one admittedly painful setback. The path to promotion rarely runs smoothly, after all.
For Huddersfield Town (2016-17) and Middlesbrough and Hull City (2015-16), the volatile month of March was also not without a jolt or two on their navigation to the top-flight, which was celebrated amid joyous and relieving scenes in the merry month of May.
Rewind the clock two years to March 2017. A month which saw David Wagner’s Town - after a dream run of six Championship victories in the previous month which included headline wins over Brighton and Leeds - start with a punishing home defeat to promotion rivals Newcastle.
Victories over Aston Villa and Brentford followed before a televised date from hell at Bristol City - when everything that could have done wrong did en route to a 4-0 drubbing - with a barrel load of salt rubbed into festering wounds by way of desperate late home loss to relegation-haunted Burton.
Some further setbacks arrived and it was to Town’s immense credit that promotion was secured amid never-to-be-forgotten scenes at Wembley - and above all else, it was a triumph forged on character, resolve and a defiant, bloody-minded refusal to go away.
Those qualities also served Boro and Hull infinitely well in the previous season of 2015-16.
Karanka-gate dominated the scene for Boro in the first part of March 2016. It was a time when their promotion bandwagon looked like being shot to pieces, yet somewhat incredulously, the campaign ended amid ecstatic scenes as the Teessiders finished runners-up by mid-Spring after a nail-biter with Brighton.
Eight weeks earlier, a managerial tantrum culminated in manager Aitor Karanka’s suspension by the club after a training-ground disagreement on the Friday before a wretched defeat at relegation-haunted crisis club Charlton on March 13, 2016 - which had followed another grim loss to another side in the bottom three in Rotherham United five days earlier.
Briefly placed on gardening leave, Karanka’s dismissal was widely expected, only for chairman Steve Gibson to provide the Basque with the benefit of the doubt.
Recent history has shown that rival sides have overcome worse and ultimately prospered following events at this time of year.Leon Wobschall
A six-match winning streak followed during a ten-match unbeaten run to the end of the season - and promotion. Just.
March 2016 also saw Hull’s own top-two push hit skid row after taking just two points from a possible 12. Steve Bruce’s Tigers commendably rebooted their season in the nick of time and lasted the course, albeit via the play-offs.
Three years earlier in 2012-13, the East Yorkshire outfit, who suffered five defeats in a hazardous run-in, kept their heads - just - to edge over the line as runners-up.
With eight matches in the current season still to go and after a run of five wins in seven matches and 15 points from a possible 21 - and trailing the second-placed Blades by a solitary point - Leeds’ position and form is still relatively good in the greater scheme of things.
Recent history has shown that rival sides have overcome worse and ultimately prospered following events at this time of year.
Those with longer memories may also recount how Howard Wilkinson’s Division Two title-winning class of 1989-90 suffered defeats to Oldham and Barnsley in April 1990, but still managed to drag themselves kicking and screaming into the top-flight.
Bumps in the road occur. Early days, yet..