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Page last updated at 12:43 GMT, Thursday, 7 May 2009 13:43 UK

Grayson denies play-off pressure

Simon Grayson
Grayson replaced Gary McAllister as Leeds boss in December 2008

Leeds United boss Simon Grayson has said that his chairman Ken Bates has not put any extra pressure on him to win promotion to the Championship.

Leeds take on Millwall on Saturday at the New Den in the first leg of their League One play-off semi-final.

Grayson said: "He's been good as gold - I'm fully aware of the pressure that comes with this football club.

"We had 34,000 [at Elland Road] at the weekend and they want to get promoted like we all do."

"You want to test yourself and to take Leeds back to where we deserve to be regarding facilities and fan-base.

"We're in the division we are but we've just got to enjoy it because we've had a few ups and downs over the last few years.

We just have to go into it very confident, which we are, but not over-confident

Simon Grayson

"You've got to enjoy these moments when they come along and hopefully we play to the best of our ability and we get the breaks and we're victorious at the end of May."

Leeds lost out to Doncaster in last year's play-off final, but Grayson has experience of winning at Wembley, taking Blackpool into the Championship via the play-offs two seasons ago.

While he would rather have gone up automatically, Grayson is grateful to still be involved at this stage of the campaign.

"It's where you want to be. Ideally you'd like to go straight up but there's nothing greater than the play-offs and winning them.

"Obviously on the other side of that there's the disappointment if you don't win them."

If Leeds are to end their two-year absence from the Championship, they will need to avoid a repeat of this season's league result at the New Den, when they lost 3-1.


Grayson, though, insists their preparations for the weekend have not altered just because of what is at stake.

"You've just got to treat it as another game - I know that's easy saying it, but you have to.

"We just have to go into it very confident, which we are, but not over-confident because we know what Millwall are all about.

"It boils down to a little bit of Lady Luck here and there, decisions and who performs on the day."

Regardless of what happens in the away leg, Leeds are guaranteed an excellent atmosphere in the return leg at Elland Road on Thursday 14 May, with a sell-out crowd of over 37,000 expected.

BBC Radio Leeds has full match commentary of Millwall v Leeds United on 92.4 FM, 103.9 FM, 774 AM & DAB from 11.00 BST on Saturday.

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