Ex-Leeds boss Simon Grayson comments on playoffs

General view of Elland Road before the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday at Elland Road on February 25, 2017 in Leeds, England.

Leeds United resume their Premier League promotion bid this weekend.

Simon Grayson manager of Leeds looks on before the npower Championship match between Crystal Palace and Leeds United at Selhurst Park on January 14, 2012 in London, England.

Leeds United kick off their playoff campaign this Saturday.

Marcelo Bielsa's side visit Derby County in the first of potentially three games which stand between them and Premier League promotion.

Former Leeds boss Simon Grayson has plenty of experience in the playoff, having led United, Huddersfield and Preston to top-six finishes.

He has had varying levels of success in the post-season matches, but Grayson says that a measured approach is always the best mentality to have in the first leg.

 

“The big thing about the first leg is to make sure you are still in the tie by full-time. Some make the mistake of throwing everything at the first game," Grayson, who has never lost a playoff final, told The Yorkshire Post.

“They go 1-0 down and then panic, going all kamikaze and then often paying the price after being hit on the break.

“Much is made of momentum. But as we showed at Preston (in 2015) it isn’t always the deciding factor. That said, I would much prefer to go in with it rather than not.”

Bielsa is clearly a very intelligent manager and you would hope that he knows the importance of not going gung-ho, like Grayson says, in the first leg.

But he has no experience of this format and therefore it might be a bit of a worry, though the same could be said for Derby's Frank Lampard, in his first year of his managerial career.

Leeds beat Derby 4-1 at Pride Park back in August, but everything that's gone on between then and now means it could be a lot harder for Bielsa's side this time around.

Sunderland manager Simon Grayson during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sunderland and Leeds United at Stadium of Light on August 19, 2017 in Sunderland, England.

 

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