Pontus Jansson insists Newcastle and Brighton could still be caught
Pontus Jansson is being talked about as a target for Premier League clubs in the summer but he feels promotion could be on the cards with Leeds United.
The Yorkshire club are eight points clear of seventh and look assured of at least a play-off place but the Swedish international believes they can bridge the eight point gap that exists above them.
Pontus Jansson was on the bench on Saturday as Leeds beat Brighton 2-0 and closed the gap to Chris Hughton’s team to eight points, nine behind Newcastle.
Signed on loan from Torino last summer, Leeds making the deal permanent for what looks a bargain £3.5m in January.
The defender made the official Championship team of the season yesterday and at 6ft 5 is a commanding presence, ideal for English football.
Jansson and Leeds couldn’t cope with Dwight Gayle and Newcastle United in November, the Magpies notching a comfortable 2-0 win at Elland Road, with the teams set to face each other on Friday 14 April at St James Park.
That is the fifth last game of the season and hopefully by then, Newcastle will have put further daylight between themselves and third place and beyond.
However, Pontus Jansson still sees possibilities of Leeds catching one or both of the top two, saying ‘Newcastle and Brighton, begin to slump a little. We (Leeds) have not lost many games and have been very consistent’.
Brighton have lost three of their last six games and Newcastle just the one, suggesting he may see the south coast club as the more likely to be caught.
Leeds themselves haven’t lost in their past six matches but they have drawn against QPR, Ipswich and Fulham (Leeds conceding an injury time equaliser) in those half dozen matches.
Victories in those three matches would have seen Garry Monk’s team only two and three points behind Newcastle and Brighton respectively and with NUFC still to play, it would have looked a lot more ‘interesting’.
Pontus Jansson taking to Sydsvenskan:
With eight games left in the English second league is Leeds four and playoff spot. The distance to the runner-up Brighton and direct promotion is eight points.
“It is a possibility (that Leeds can break into top two).
“The teams at the top, Newcastle and Brighton, begin to slump a little.
“We have not lost many games and have been very consistent.
“As long as there is a theoretical possibility, we need to aim for the top two.
“Eight points is not much in the Championship.
“I’m at Leeds, a huge football club that has not been in the Premier League in a long time, it would be foolish to focus on something else (speculation Premier League clubs could move for him in the summer).”
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