YORK star Jack Leaning believes back-to-back wins in the NatWest T20 Blast against Lancashire and Leicestershire will go a long way to brightening the mood around Headingley.

Yorkshire face the Lightning at a sold out Headingley tonight and the Foxes at Grace Road tomorrow.

They are two make or break clashes in a campaign which has drifted after a promising start.

Ahead of the trip to face Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge a couple of Sundays ago, the Vikings were top of the North Group and heading for the quarter-finals.

But that was the first of three straight defeats, including Derbyshire and Durham, to leave them in fifth place and two points outside the all important top four.

Add in a two-day Championship defeat to Essex at Scarborough earlier this week, and things are a bit gloomy for the White Rose.

Mind you, we all know how quickly things can change, especially if you beat the old enemy.

Lancashire are in exactly the same position in the Blast table with eleven points from as many games and sixth courtesy of an inferior net run-rate.

The likelihood is that the loser tonight will not qualify.

“We have to bounce back quickly,” said batsman Leaning. “We can start to put it right this weekend.

“We have a massive game against Lancashire. It’s arguably one of the biggest of the season, a full house at Headingley with the best part of 20,000 behind us.

“All the group’s so tightly packed that anybody can still go through in the top seven. It would take us a big step towards qualifying by winning that game.

“We’re not a million miles away. We’re still playing some good cricket in T20.

“We’ve come close to winning all three of those games (which they lost). There’s only been an over or two in each that let us down.

“Hopefully we can put it right before the next Championship game (against Middlesex at Headingley early next month).

“T20’s a different game. You can play with a hell of a lot of freedom and just whack it. Sometimes that does put you back into a bit of form.

“Hopefully that’s what will happen for us before the back end of the season.”

Leaning has scored 137 from eight innings with a best of 32 this season.

His tally does not quite reflect his contribution given he has often arrived at the crease trying to tee off almost from ball one.

“My role is to come in and score as many runs in as few balls as possible at the end,” he said. “If I’m not facing many balls, it means the lads are playing well before me.

“There’s not many times where I’ve come in and we haven’t been in a good position.”

Yorkshire are hovering dangerously close to the relegation zone in the Championship ahead of the final month of the season.

Leaning scored 70 in the second innings against Essex, and he added: “Since I’ve been part of the first team, we’ve rarely had a situation like this.

“Every now and again, you’re going to have a blip in form. We’re not the first team to have it, and we won’t be the last.

“It’s not a welcome challenge, but we’ll take it on as a team and try to win the last four games of the season.”