Leeds United manager Javi Gracia is well aware of the importance of every fixture for his side as the business end of the Premier League season approaches.
The 52-year-old’s remit upon succeeding former boss Jesse Marsch was clear: to ensure that Leeds remained in the top-flight at the end of the season.
His current record of 2 wins, 2 losses, and a draw in the league has been generally regarded as an impressive start to life at the club by the Elland Road faithful.
A 4-1 defeat to league leaders Arsenal over the weekend – despite being expected given the Gunners’ red-hot form – saw the Whites sink from 14th to 17th in the table.
The West Yorkshire club now sit precariously above the relegation zone – and will enter it if relegation rivals Everton avoid defeat against Tottenham this evening.
The significance of this week’s fixtures – a double header against fellow strugglers Nottingham Forest tomorrow [4 April] and Crystal Palace on Sunday [9 April] – is therefore monumental.
Gracia recognises this, and has stated as such in his pre-match press conference today.
“It’s the most important part of the season. 10 games left, we know every game is massive for us and for them,” he said (as per Leeds Live).
“We are playing at home, and we know how important that is to play with the support of our fans.
“We know it’s our chance to take a big amount of points.”
A win against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday could see Leeds climb as high as 13th in the table, were other results to go their way.