A round-up of what the national media are reporting after Leeds United’s 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest at Elland Road last night.
'Victory was fully deserved'
"With another relegation-threatened side in Crystal Palace visiting Elland Road on Sunday, this was always going to be a defining week for Leeds' season," Phil Dawkes wrote for BBC Sport.
"Their fixture list is heavily loaded with less appetising opponents in May - on paper at least - and so it was felt they must make hay in this month's five games.
"This was a fine start and continued the impressive work done by Gracia since he succeeded Jesse Marsch as manager in February. He has now taken 10 points from his six games in charge. The Spaniard is something of a chameleon in his managerial approach, adapting his tactics to the surroundings.
"Having set up Leeds to contain and counter-attack without a recognised striker at Arsenal on Saturday, he unleashed more of his attacking arsenal here - understandably looking to take the game to a rival who had earned just six points on the road this season, scoring only four goals in the process.
"The victory, regardless of the scoreline, was fully deserved."
'A winger reborn'
"Arguably the biggest change Javi Gracia has implemented since replacing Jesse Marsch at Leeds is the reintroduction of width," Louise Taylor wrote for the Guardian.
"Where his American predecessor liked the team to play a narrow game, the Spaniard favours a more expansive approach with wingers no longer penalised for hugging the touchline. Two of his wide boys duly repaid Gracia’s faith here with Jack Harrison and Luis Sinisterra not only scoring the vital goals but torturing Nottingham Forest’s full‑backs throughout.
"Their game-changing input enabled Leeds to not only recover after falling behind but rise to the dizzy heights of 13th, albeit just two points above 17th-placed Forest in the tightest of relegation battles. Only goal difference is keeping Steve Cooper’s travel-shy side out of the bottom three and, after eight games without a win, his job security seems in increasing jeopardy.
"As Elland Road echoed to 'Marching on Together', Cooper folded his arms and stared at his shoes leaving Gracia to presumably give thanks for Harrison’s presence on his team sheet. Not for the first time this season, a winger who has seemed reborn under Gracia impressed enormously.
"Happily for Gracia, his team improved sufficiently to cling on to all three precious points while extending their guests’ woeful away record. Another win on Sunday, when Crystal Palace visit West Yorkshire, would further alleviate Leeds’ relegation fears but it remains to be seen whether Cooper will be in charge on Saturday for the trip to Aston Villa."
'Good news for Gracia'
"Jack Harrison will forever be remembered for scoring the last-minute winner at Brentford to secure Leeds' Premier League status on the final day of last season. Well, the winger is proving to be the Whites' saviour again this term," David Coverdale wrote for the Daily Mail.
"He started this campaign in fine form, with some even touting him for an England call-up for Qatar. But his performances nosedived when the Premier League returned after the World Cup. Harrison almost left Leeds in the January transfer window, with Leicester making a deadline day move.
"Jesse Marsch fought to keep hold of the winger but he was a shadow of his former self in the dying days of the American's reign and fans let their frustrations be known.
"However, since Javi Gracia's arrival at Elland Road, Harrison has been a player transformed. His energy is back and so are his assists and goals. In fact, Harrison has been directly involved in five of the 10 goals scored under Gracia – with three finishes and two assists.
"The good news for Gracia is that his other winger, Luis Sinisterra, is now also fit and firing. The Colombian's wonderful winner was a timely reminder of his talent in a season which has been hampered by injuries.
"With Willy Gnonto returning to the bench on Tuesday night, and strikers Patrick Bamford and Rodrigo both now fit, Gracia is suddenly blessed with an array of attacking options."