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Last Updated: Friday, 9 March 2007, 06:57 GMT
Poyet focused on clash with Luton
By Chris Bevan

Gus Poyet and Dennis Wise
I am asking the fans to get behind the team - especially on Saturday - the players really need you

Leeds assistant boss Gus Poyet
Leeds United assistant boss Gus Poyet sees Saturday's home game against Luton as their most important of the season.

With 10 games to go, Leeds are bottom of the Championship, four points adrift of safety and five points behind fellow strugglers Luton.

"It is a massive game," Poyet told BBC Sport. "We have a lot of respect for Luton but we have to win.

"We have not won for five games but we feel we can change it. This is a big game - this is the one."

Poyet hopes a win at Elland Road will kick-start his side's bid for survival with away games at Leicester and Southend to follow.

"If we beat Luton it will make such a difference in the confidence of the players at Leicester," he added.


"Then we have Southend away which is another huge game.

"A lot will depend on how many points we get. We could win all of them and turn our season around from three games.

"We need to win at least one game and get some points from the other two but it will be very difficult."

Poyet and manager Dennis Wise have been criticised by Leeds fans for failing to turn things round at Elland Road this season.

And the atmosphere at the club has not been helped by a row between the boss and captain Kevin Nicholls.

Wise admitted he was furious that Nicholls said he wanted to return to Luton, admitting he was "gobsmacked" by the decision.

Poyet said the row meant Nicholls would not play against the Hatters - but the Uruguayan said the dispute would not affect team selection long-term.

"He's under contract and he has to train every day," he said.

"If we want to play him we will play him, if we don't, we don't. It's our decision.

"As you'd imagine Luton is not the best game to play him in. He won't play but that is it and there is nothing strange about that, it is all out in the open and there is nothing more to hide."

Poyet has spent the week rallying supporters in Leeds and hopes they will get behind his side against the Hatters.

"I am being really honest and telling everybody I see to wait until the last minute of the last game of the season to make their mind up about us.

"Whatever happens we will put our hands up and accept responsibility - but we are asking the fans to give us a chance until then.

"It is especially important on Saturday. We need them to be behind the team because the players really need them."

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