Leeds United earned a crucial point against Brighton in the Premier League relegation battle thanks to a late Jack Harrison goal.

To fall behind twice, refuse to fold and then make a real fist of the contest the way they did against a very good Brighton side on Saturday is exactly the kind of character Leeds United are going to need if they are going to stave off relegation.

The importance of that bootstrap mentality for the battles ahead cannot be emphasised enough.

I must confess, my stomach was in knots going into the match while sat in a busy tavern in Benidorm . The anxiety levels were heightened further by news of relegation rivals Bournemouth having beaten Liverpool in the early kick-off, hauling themselves out of the relegation zone and in the process pushing us into the bottom two.

The Cherries had thrown down the gauntlet in the race for survival. Leeds United needed to respond. It’s important to avoid being cast off and falling too far behind fellow relegation strugglers.

Yes, we ended the day worse off in the table than we started, but there are a lot of positives to glean from Saturday’s performance.

Of course, three points would have been nice, but at least we didn’t lose. We showed a lot of resilience and earned ourselves as very good point. It’s a character that is going to stand us in good stead for the survival race.

Dealing with the anxiety and looking out for rivals’ results and willing them to drop points is going to be our lot as Leeds United fans until the end of the season.

The Brighton test

The Seagulls are soaring majestically the moment and making a credible play for a place in one of the European club competitions next season. So, there was no disgrace in sharing the spoils with genuine contenders for a European berth on Saturday.

I’m sure there were many Brighton fans who were quite despondent when Graham Potter left and feared their side was going to unravel, or even get sucked into the relegation dog fight.

What an instant impact Roberto De Zerbi has had. Brighton’s biggest fear will be that their manager is just making a whistle-stop at the Amex Stadium before proceeding to a bigger club.

The Italian is being linked with a host of top jobs in the Premier League and back in his native Italy. The rumored interest in his services is testament to the work he is doing at Brighton.

Brighton’s fortunes and current form could not be in starker contrast with those of my beloved Leeds United. If Javi Gracia can have half the impact De Zerbi is having at Brighton I would be tickled pink.

All to play for

So, we have 12 games to save our season. That’s enough points on offer to claim a share and put on board towards the survival cause.

But we have also reached that stage of the season where every match feels like a cup final, and every point dropped not exactly a fatal blow, but rued.

At least we are not yet talking about mathematical chances for avoiding the drop. We still have our fate in our own hands.

We will need to turn Elland Road into something of a fortress – batten down the hatches and use home form as a launchpad for our survival campaign.

As things stand, there is very little to choose between the relegation rivals. It’s all to play for.

Leeds United, how do I love thee!


I'm Barrie Jarrett, born in Leeds, lived over a decade in South Africa, CEO And Co Founder of Planet Sport Limited and Planet Bet Limited.

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