Leeds United’s destruction of Stoke City was vintage Marcelo Bielsa, finish line is in sight – Graham Smyth’s Verdict
The North Macedonian international says his Whites “need” to go up in first place as proof of being the best team in the division with Alioski insisting displays like Thursday’s blitz of Stoke City should be a regular occurrence.
Third-placed Brentford are continuing a relentless pursuit of Leeds and West Brom in the Championship’s automatic promotion places with Thomas Frank’s Bees having now won six games in a row.
Tuesday’s 2-1 triumph at home to Charlton Athletic cut the gap to West Brom to two points with the Bees also moving three points behind front-runners Leeds who were then overtaken by West Brom as the Baggies saw off visiting Derby County 2-0 on Wednesday evening.
Leeds, though, responded in style with Thursday’s 5-0 blitz of Stoke City at Elland Road which has put the Whites back in pole position and needing just seven points from their final four games to guarantee automatic promotion.
The required tally would be less if West Brom and Brentford fail to win all of their remaining games but Alioski says Leeds are not bothered about the Bees and says Brentford are the ones who need other teams to slip up.
Brentford will once again play first this weekend when visiting Derby County for a Saturday 12.30pm kick-off with West Brom next to go when away at Blackburn Rovers two and a half hours later at 3pm.
Leeds will then take on hosts Swansea City in a 1.30pm kick-off on Sunday with Alioski unconcerned how Brentford fare.
« We don’t need to hope that they lose because we know we are the strongest team in the league and we know that we are going to go on the pitch and beat the other team so Brentford is the team that needs to think that we need to lose.
« We are not the team or the players that need to think and the players don’t do this, to hope or to think and if we win like we did on Thursday then it doesn’t matter what the teams behind us are doing. »
United approached Thursday’s hosting of Stoke knowing a defeat would leave them just three points clear in the automatic promotion spots but Marcelo Bielsa’s side produced a five-star showing with Mateusz Klich, Helder Costa, Liam Cooper, Pablo Hernandez and Patrick Bamford all on the scoresheet.
Alioski says his side will not be getting carried away but the winger-turned-full back says displays like the Stoke romp should be the norm.
“They give more than 100 per cent and this means we also need to give more than 100 per cent and we are doing this and we want always to do this.
“The team is fit, the team is ready, the team has a lot of confidence and it was good that we can score five goals.
“We can also score more and normally every game should be like this because we create a lot of chances and in can have every game we can have three or four goals more.
“But it’s good, what’s important is not how many goals we score, what’s important is only to get the points to win and that’s it.”
Pressed on ambitions nit just to seal promotion but also to win the division, Alioski said: “This team needs to win the league.
“Of course, the first two teams go up but to win the league you show that we are the best team. »
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