Sky Sports pundit Don Goodman is confident Leeds United will beat the drop after back-to-back victories in the Premier League.
The Whites built on their 3-1 win over Burnley earlier this month with a superb 3-2 success at West Ham on Sunday to open up a nine-point gap between themselves and the bottom three.
It is the first time this season that Leeds have earned consecutive wins, which has arguably come at a point where they have been most up against it.
Marcelo Bielsa was without eight players at the London Stadium – Kalvin Phillips, Liam Cooper, Patrick Bamford, Joe Gelhardt, Tyler Roberts, Charlie Cresswell, Jamie Shackleton, and Sam Greenwood – while Adam Forshaw and Junior Firpo both limped off in the first half to add to his woes.
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But that did not affect Leeds, who unlike the likes of Burnley and Arsenal over the last week, got on with the task at hand and came away with their best victory of the campaign.
Lewis Bate and Leo Hjelde both made their Premier League bows against the Hammers, which means Bielsa has now handed a record eight first-team debuts to teenagers this season.
And speaking to OLBG, Goodman believes Leeds will be safe of relegation following those wins and was full of praise for the academy players who have stepped in and done a job.
He said: “I think he’s a man who likes to work with a small squad notoriously throughout his managerial career.
“Usually he’s got away with it, but the intensity of the Premier League along with the pandemic where games come even more frequently, they’ve had an unbelievable amount of injuries.
“Unfortunately for Leeds it has happened to key players such as Kalvin Phillips and Patrick Bamford.
“If you could pick two players you wouldn’t want to lose if you’re Leeds United, it would have been those two.
“They’re nine points clear of the drop zone and it’s over teams who are struggling to win games of football means they’re going to be ok.
“I think this part of their history shows is that the academy is doing something right with these youngsters coming through.
“A lot of young players are coming into the squad, they’re learning on the job, and they will have the occasional bad moments within games.
“But in general, they’ve been doing ok, Leeds have been competing and those back-to-back wins are huge.
“Those six points make a huge difference, and you’d start to worry if you took those away, but hopefully they can get a couple of bodies in January and finish the season strongly.”