By William Evans

Fourth-place Leeds United are still capable of catching Newcastle United to secure one of the Championship’s automatic promotion places, according to pundit David Prutton.

The Magpies drew 2-2 at home with Queens Park Rangers on Wednesday evening, while Garry Monk’s side scored an 89th minute winner through Pontus Jansson to beat Blackburn Rovers 2-1 at Ewood Park.

This result will help the atmosphere in Leeds dressing room as they prepare to face Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town on the weekend.

The Terriers beat table-toppers Brighton and Hove Albion on Thursday evening to close the gap between themselves, in fifth, and the league leaders by a margin of eight points.

The significance of Leed’s result is increased even more considering they lost 1-0 to non-league side Sutton United on Sunday.

Garry Monk deserves a lot of credit for the way in which he has turned the Whites around – inheriting a mess of a club, largely down to owner Massimo Cellino, and transforming them into promotion contenders shouldn’t go unnoticed.

Before the season begun Newcastle were tipped as heavy favourites to bounce back to the Premier League at the first time of asking and they currently sit in second place. However their cushion has been reduced to just four points.

Prutton believes that Leeds could finish in one of the top two spots, potentially at the expense of the Tyneside outfit.

“I don’t think the battle for automatic promotion is as clear as it was in the autumn,” he wrote in the Yorkshire Evening Post.

“What I’m really saying is that the top two aren’t untouchable from Leeds’ point of view.

“As for Newcastle, who at the moment are the team for Leeds and others to shoot at, I’m not sure. It seemed strange for Rafa Benitez to be complaining about their transfer business in January.

“Did they really need Andros Townsend? I don’t think so. But the fact that Benitez was looking at him tells you that he doesn’t think Newcastle are home and dry.

“We’re talking about five points between them and Leeds now. It’s absolutely not unattainable.”



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