Pontus Jansson is in a confident mood ahead our Play-Off first leg clash with Derby County this afternoon, and laughed off the idea that the Whites are underdogs in the race for promotion.
In quotes reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, the £5.4million-rated defender rejected the idea that our end of season slump will see United struggle in the Play-Offs. Noting that while we could only take one point from the final four games, we still ended the campaign as the third best team in the division.
The Rams, on the hand, ended the season in a much stronger vein of form, by winning six of their last 12 – a run which saw Frank Lampard’s men only lose once.
Aston Villa, likewise, ended the regular season strongly, with Dean Smith’s side setting a new club record for ten consecutive wins before being held to a 1-1 draw at Elland Road and losing to Championship winners Norwich on the final day.
Our form, however, has led to some claims that we will struggle to end our 15-year hiatus from the Premier League. There have also been some suggestions that we should be seen as the underdogs in the Play-Offs, but Jansson refuted the proposal and shared his fighting spirit instead ahead of kick-off.
“Underdogs?” Jansson questioned. “I cannot understand how you see us as underdogs when we are third in the table and [have] beaten them [Derby] twice.
“Going into the Play-Offs as the third team [in the Championship], you should be favourites if you ask me. We know that we are good.
“As we say, it’s been a tough month for us, but that gives us more motivation to be extra motivated to go into the Play-Offs. So, you can see us as underdogs if you want but no, not in our world.
“It has been a positive year for us, apart from this last month [where] we’ve had some bad results. Apart from that it has been a fantastic year, now we just have to write the last chapter of it. We have to start on Saturday.”