Football

Grayson maintains play-off belief

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Leeds manager Simon Grayson will not accept his side's play-off challenge is over until it is mathematically impossible after a 1-0 win over promotion rivals Burnley kept their season alive.

Ross McCormack's first goal for Leeds - and his first league goal in over a year - lifted Grayson's side up to seventh place in the npower Championship, and ensured they would remain in the hunt for the final play-off berth regardless of Nottingham Forest's result against Scunthorpe.

Grayson said: "We always had hope. We never stopped believing we can still achieve it because we know things can happen. One or two things might still happen over the next few weeks, but we had to do what we had to do and that's win the game."

He added: "The way that we played was really encouraging, really positive and now we just wait and see what happens. We had to make sure we are still in with a chance this time next week and we've done that, but for me the manner of the performance was very encouraging.

"The players will learn from the experience. We've had good times and bad times this year and if we get in the play-offs or we don't we'll learn from the experience and be better next year."

Defeat for Burnley leaves them in eighth place, two adrift of Leeds going into the last day of the season next weekend, and manager Eddie Howe turned his thoughts to next season.

Howe, who felt his side should have been awarded a first-half penalty after Leeds defender Andy O'Brien appeared to have climbed on Chris Iwelumo's back, was unhappy with his players' performance as much as the result.

He said: "Yes disappointed with both. We started quite bright early on, I felt we should have had a penalty, but from then on Leeds closed us down very well and we gave the ball away an awful lot in our own half.

"The penalty was nailed on from where I was. If it had been at the other end it would have been given.'' Howe added:

"But I think that's it for us now, definitely. It's out of our hands now and we've got to look to next year. It's been a disappointing end to our season because we've been very close, but just not close enough/"

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Football
Ross McCormack
Scunthorpe United
Championship
Chris Iwelumo
Nottingham Forest
Leeds United
Eddie Howe
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