Leeds United ‘absolutely devastated’ to miss out on Premier League automatic promotion | Football

Leeds players looked downbeat at full-time after losing to Southampton (Picture: Getty)

Leeds United have been left ‘absolutely devastated’ after missing out on automatic promotion to the Premier League on the Championship final day.

Daniel Farke’s side needed to beat Southampton – and Huddersfield Town to defeat Ipswich Town – but neither of those results went their way on Saturday.

Instead, Ipswich beat Huddersfield to return to the Premier League for the first time since 2002 while Leeds lost at home to fellow play-off side Southampton.

Leeds, relegated from the top-flight last season, were hoping to come straight back up at the first time of asking but must now rely on the play-offs.

They finished the regular season in third place on 90 points – the highest-ever points tally by a team not to get automatically promoted from the division – and will now face Norwich City in the play-off semi-finals.

The other play-off semi-final will see fourth-placed Southampton take on fifth-placed West Brom, who Leeds will face at Wembley if they can beat Norwich.

Former Leeds manager Simon Grayson, speaking to the BBC after Leeds lost to Southampton, said: ‘Everybody in this stadium (Elland Road) will be absolutely devastated how it’s ended up because they wanted automatic promotion.

Gabriel Sara and Borja Sainz of Norwich City celebrate after a goal against Swansea

Leeds will face Norwich in the Championship play-off semi-finals (Picture: Getty)

‘But this season has had plenty of highs and it can still finish on one. They’ve got a second opportunity and that’s got to be the message. From Daniel Farke especially.

‘You are finishing third, you’ve got the opportunity to get into the Premier League. Would you have took that at the start of the season? Absolutely.’

Leeds fans have been reacting to their failure to secure automatic promotion on social media.

‘Imaging thinking this team has a chance in the playoffs,’ @NowThenMadriBum posted on X. ‘Farke isn’t the man, bookmark this.’

@jemccudden, meanwhile, said: ‘Good season Leeds. Shame about the end, but a decent season. Need to up things for the playoffs.’

‘Even if we won we weren’t going up,’ @MxPhee added. ‘Let’s make the play-offs count. Awful situation and people won’t agree but we’ve got to regroup and do these next lot of games.’

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