Leeds United’s season hit its lowest point on Tuesday night as they suffered a humiliating 7-0 loss to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
The Whites have been in and around relegation places throughout the season, but their beating in Manchester is the heaviest loss in history.
And it doesn’t get much easier for Leeds over the Christmas period either, as games with Arsenal and Liverpool are set to follow.
While at the moment it may seem like everything is gloomy at Elland Road, here are five reasons to stay positive heading into the rest of the season.
Tuesday night’s performance at the Etihad was somewhat of an anomaly from what Los Blancos have been producing in recent weeks.
Leeds have certainly not been in their best form, but if one thing is for sure, they have shown some real fighting spirit in the matches.
Marcelo Bielsa’s goals in stoppage time against Crystal Palace and Brentford to earn four points, and produced a real fighting performance at Stamford Bridge, where they were unlucky enough not to win at least one draw.
If one thing is for sure, this team will not stop fighting for the jersey.
Played five of big six away after 19 games
When the fixture list was established in June, games against the league’s big six were the ones that immediately stood out.
And by mid-season, by the end of the game on Boxing Day, Leeds will have already played five of the big six away, as well as Liverpool twice.
These games, especially on the road, are often seen as a free kick, and Leeds will have eliminated them earlier than any of their relegation rivals.
The Whites were unbeaten in all of their home games against the Big Six last season, and if they can come close to replicating that this quarter, then a better second half of the campaign could be on the way.
While Leeds may not have used the January window much under Marcelo Bielsa, circumstances this season could strain their hand.
The Leeds bench average age in the loss to Man City was just 19 years and 10 months, and that could only look younger on Saturday with Junior Firpo and Jamie Shackleton likely to be out.
Given their current injury issues, it would be naive to think Los Blancos can continue to function with such a thin squad, and perhaps the club’s hierarchy will recognize that.
Leeds are perhaps almost playing with their Premier League status without any additions in January.
Returning key players
Injury has almost certainly been Leeds’ biggest problem so far this season. At no point did they have a great team to choose from.
Kalvin Phillips, Patrick Bamford, Luke Ayling, Junior Firpo, Diego Llorente, Pascal Struijk and several other players have already missed a number of matches due to injury.
However, at some point, Leeds’ luck will surely have to change. Once some of their key players come back to the side, then they could be an entirely different proposition.
And the last reason Leeds fans stay positive is that they have Raphinha in their squad.
He has already scored seven goals so far this season and if he can continue at this rate it would greatly help Leeds survive.
Of all the teams battling for relegation with the Whites, there is no one who has a player of his quality.