If Leeds beat Newcastle on Sunday, it will make a ‘big statement’ according to Ian Baird.

The former Leeds AND Newcastle striker compares Newcastle’s advantages to what Leeds are bringing to the table.

Ian Baird saying that Newcastle have got ‘the money’ as well as Rafa Benitez and top place in the table, whilst Leeds are ‘in really good shape’ according to the retired player.

Newcastle aren’t in ‘bad shape’ either, having won their last seven Championship matches.

For those with long memories, Ian Baird played five times when on a short-term loan back in 1984 and scored one goal. His solitary goal was in a defeat at West Brom but he does have the distinction of playing in the famous New Year’s Day defeat of Sunderland at St James Park, when Peter Beardsley scored a glorious hat-trick.

He played over 160 times for Leeds United over the course of two spells in the 80s, though it is a game for Middlesbrough that really sticks in the mind.

The final day of the 1989/90 season saw Newcastle needing to win at Middlesbrough to have any chance of automatic promotion, only for Boro to hammer United 4-1 at Ayresome Park with Ian Baird getting two goals. The less said about the play-off debacle that season the better!

After beating Norwich in their last match, it would give Leeds massive momentum if they did the same against Newcastle, whilst at the same time narrowing the gap between the two clubs to only eight points – Leeds possibly going as high as third.

However, a win for Newcastle would ease the gap to 14 points over Leeds and potentially 11 to the club in third.

All to play for and Newcastle have to go and try to win, though maybe some Magpies fans will feel that a draw wouldn’t be such a bad result.

Ian Baird speaking to the Yorkshire Post:

“It s hard over a season to say that individual results make a big difference but some results make a bit of a statement.

“It will be a big statement if Leeds win on Sunday.

 “Newcastle have got the money, they’ve got Benitez and they are already in a position where everyone expects them to go on and get out of the league…but Leeds are in really good shape.

“Credit where it is due, after a difficult start Garry Monk’s got to grips with the job there.

“It never does you any harm to get the better of the top teams and I think this Leeds side are very capable of doing that on Sunday.”