Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate has described upcoming opponents Leeds United as an “exceptional” team ahead of their midweek fixture.
Boro host Leeds on Wednesday night in the Championship at the Riverside Stadium, with the sides fighting different battles this season.
Woodgate’s outfit are sat 20th in the league table and have been dragged into a relegation battle by their poor recent form.
Meanwhile, Leeds sit second in the division standings inside an automatic promotion spot and are trying to get back to the Premier League.
The Whites have a five-point cushion over third-placed Fulham and have just won back-to-back games to boost their promotion bid.
Woodgate, who was previously a player at Leeds,
“Leeds are an exceptional team and they have proved that all season – but I think we can beat them,” Woodgate said, as quoted by Teeside Live.
“I know Boro fans don’t think we can’t but I think we can, my players think we can, so why can’t we?
“We have played a lot of the big teams and we have done OK against them. What a big game to play in against a vibrant Leeds United after coming off the back of a loss to Barnsley. People think we can’t beat them, I think we can.”
Leeds hammered Boro 4-0 at Elland Road in the earlier meeting between the teams this season and on paper they are a bit of mismatch considering their current form.
But the Championship has proven for many years that it’s one of the most unpredictables leagues around and no result will come as a big surprise.
Leeds have now managed to get back on track after a wobble at the start of 2020 and look in a strong position once again to earn promotion, but on the flip side Boro desperately need to start picking up points and they still have some quality individuals in their side.