A RELIEVED Leeds United hierarchy have already begun work for next season after securing Premier League safety on a dramatic final day.

The Whites’ nerve-jangling 2-1 win at Brentford, coupled with Burnley’s home loss to Newcastle by the same score means that Elland Road will host top flight football again in 2022-23.

After the final whistle, club chairman Andrea Radrizanni issued a statement to supporters, who have been through the mill in the last nine months.

“Staying in the Premier League was our objective this year and we’ve managed to obtain our top-flight status, but this is not success and improvements are needed,” he noted.

“As a board we will work hard with Jesse Marsch this summer to improve the squad and find a way to deliver the kind of performances you all deserve.

“We believe that with time and a full pre-season, Jesse will be the man to take this club forward.

“Your support for the team at Elland Road and at the 19 top-flight away grounds you have visited has been unrivalled and we can’t thank you enough.

“The hard work for the 2022/23 season is already underway.”

Radrizanni’s gamble to replace Marcelo Bielsa with Marsch at the end of February after a 4-0 home defeat to Tottenham paid off, just.

Leeds had not looked right since they kicked off the season with a 5-1 hammering at Manchester United, shipping goals left, right and centre. With just 23 points garnered from 26 games, Marsch came in to secure 15 points from his dozen games.

Victory in West London on Sunday was gained in typical Leeds United fashion. Raphinha, who may be heading to Barcelona this summer, won and scored a 56th minute penalty to put Leeds in front.

The Bees, having made all their substitutions, were reduced to ten men when defender Kristoffer Ajer went off injured. Despite a man advantage, Leeds looked nervous and, with 12 minutes left, Sergi Canos headed Brentford level being booked for whipping off his shirt in celebration.

On the resumption, Canos hacked down Raphinha and was ordered off. Even facing nine men Leeds looked wobbly, knowing that another Burnley goal could send United down.

Tension grew until Jack Harrison fired home the winner four minutes into added on time to spark delirious scenes in the away corner.

Marsch has taken a more pragmatic attitude given the predicament Leeds found themselves in when he arrived, but promises a more positive approach next season.

To do that Leeds need some rebuilding, strengthening not just the thin squad but the first team.

Survival may mean England’s Kalvin Phillips stays, but the midfield is an area where the club has been crying out for a playmaker. They have not signed a midfield man since Adam Forshaw in January 2018.

The fixtures are out on June 16, before the league resumes on August 6.