Newsome - Heat is on for Leeds

David CuffleyFormer Norwich City skipper Jon Newsome would love to see two of his former clubs fill the automatic promotion places in League One this season - but admits Leeds United are giving him cause for concern.David Cuffley

Former Norwich City skipper Jon Newsome would love to see two of his former clubs fill the automatic promotion places in League One this season - but admits Leeds United are giving him cause for concern.

As the division's top two prepare to meet in Saturday's sell-out clash at Carrow Road (3pm), the ex-centre half is confident the Canaries will book their return ticket to the Championship, but believes their visitors must dig deep to improve on a run of just three wins in 14 league games since the turn of the year.

Newsome, who helped Leeds win the Football League title back in 1992, believes a third successive season in the play-offs could be a 'recipe for disaster' for the Yorkshire club.

He said: 'They are two clubs close to my heart and I had super times with both in different ways.

'I don't think either club should be where they are but at the end of the day that's where they find themselves.

'It would be nice if they could both get promotion but that's more dependent on how Leeds play in the last nine games. I think Norwich will make it and I'd like to say Leeds will make it, but I don't know.

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'The last thing Leeds will want to do is finish up in the play-offs, on the experience of the last two years.'

Leeds lost the League One play-off final to Doncaster at Wembley in 2008 and were beaten in the semi-finals last year by Millwall, who are now breathing down their necks in third place after a 2-0 win at Elland Road on Monday night.

That result set the alarm bells ringing as Millwall closed the gap to three points.

'It's all about confidence and there may be a little bit of self-doubt. So they need to really scrap and get the wins they need,' said Newsome, well aware that Leeds had an 11-point lead over City after they beat them 2-1 in October.

'It was ridiculous. There was talk about them being runaway champions, or that's how they were labelled by some of the media. They got a flying start and were riding on the crest of a wave,' he said.

'Not to gain automatic promotion now could knock your confidence and self-belief. It could be a recipe for disaster.'

Newsome, 39, who lives in Sheffield, where he was born, still works occasionally in corporate hospitality for Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday, his other major club.

He said: 'I have seen Leeds a few times live this season and seen them on TV, of course, but I've only seen little bits of Norwich - the goals mainly.

'It's a massive game at the weekend. Norwich are doing extremely well, they've turned it round since the start of the season and the manager has come in and done a fantastic job.

'It's a big game for both clubs but perhaps it's bigger for Leeds.'

Newsome became City's first �1m signing when he arrived from Elland Road in the summer of 1994. He was player of the year in his only full season with the club, and though it ended in relegation from the Premiership, he believes he played his best football for the Canaries, for whom he scored eight times in 76 appearances.

He said: 'I loved it at Norwich. I go back to that confidence thing. When John Deehan gave me the captain's armband and told me I was the record signing, it filled me with confidence.

'He put his arm round me and said he wanted me to be an integral part of the club. I wanted to repay the manager and I think that's why I played some of my best football for Norwich. I never really felt as big a part of a club before and I was disappointed to leave.'

Sold to Sheffield Wednesday - his first club - in March 1996 and forced to retire early through injury, Newsome works in the motor trade, which limits the amount of time he can spend at football, but he will have a special interest in this weekend's result.

'On Saturday, I will have to sit on the fence,' he said. 'I would love them both to get promoted and at least be heading in the right direction - though ideally I'd really like them both to be in the top flight again.'

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