Leeds United's dangerous flirtation with the relegation places in the Championship had looked to have been nothing more than a desperate spell when they won two matches on the trot against table-toppers Bournemouth and Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield, but the Whites are still very much in the mix for a damaging return to League One.
Neil Redfearn's men were brought crashing back down to the reality of a relegation dog-fight by this season's surprise packages, Brentford, in a 1-0 defeat that hosted very little signs of encouragement at Elland Road.
Complaints from players and management about poor refereeing dominated post-match discussions, and they did well to shadow a performance that saw them hit the target just three times with their possession well below 50%.
BAD AT BRENTFORD
Now is the time to get on with matters rather than dwelling on decisions made by a referee in very difficult circumstances - nobody can be expected to get it right all of the time.
Looking at the table, you may think that Leeds are fairly comfortable - they do have a cushion of five points over Millwall, who currently occupy the highest-standing relegation place and none of the teams down there are playing particularly well.
However, the nature of the division states that things can change at the drop of a hat. While Blackpool look destined to be playing the likes of Fleetwood and Walsall next season, the other teams in trouble are more than capable of getting out.
Wigan Athletic and Brighton, despite sitting below Leeds in the table, have squads who, on paper, are among the strongest in the league - but both have massively under-performed and you would back them to improve.
Wigan, last year's FA Cup finalists and two-ago's winners, boast Premier League experience throughout the team and have a manager who can wrestle them out of the mire. Similarly, Brighton's strugglers in recent years have flirted with the top flight and are more than capable of putting a run together.
Millwall, managed by Ian Holloway, don't have the same quality but are seemingly perennial relegation survivors and know what it takes to dig themselves out of trouble.
So when you look at it that way, Leeds are very much in the brown stuff. They do not possess masses of experience - those who were experienced were got rid of - and haven't been in this position of uncertainty for a good few years.
After a very underwhelming transfer market in which more unheard of players from Italy were recruited, Leeds seriously need their disjointed team to fall into shape and put a run together.
The rest of February will be huge in deciding who stay and who goes. Leeds face three games against in-form sides like Reading, Middlesbrough and Watford. However, the biggies are against are at Brighton and at home to Millwall.
By March we will have a much better idea of where Leeds will be playing their football next season.
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