Former Leeds midfielder turned Sky Sports presenter David Prutton has told the Yorkshire Evening Post that Marcelo Bielsa is as good of a manager as they come, and backs the Argentine to go one better and guide the Whites into the Premier League next term.
It will be our 16th consecutive campaign outside of the top-flight when the ball rolls again in August, having let promotion slip through our clutches in the final month of the boss’ inaugural season in England.
We now have to start almost from scratch in a fresh bid to leave the Championship in our past, but Prutton feels there is nothing we should fear, despite conceding that it will be another tough ask.
“For Leeds, there’s nothing in that division to be fearful about, though we all know that it is such a competitive division,” he claimed.
“The reason Leeds are favourites is because of how well they did last year, but I think the thing they have got to be wary of is that last season they were a surprise package, and while I’m not saying people will have now worked them out, they might know what’s coming and forewarned is forearmed, so it will be an even bigger ask to make sure they go up in an automatic spot.
“But with Bielsa in charge, you get the feeling that he is as good as anyone around and that he can take them up.”
What he remains unsure of most of all, though, is how much of a threat the recently relegated and promoted sides will present to our bid for promotion, with Fulham, Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town all vying for an immediate return, and Luton Town, Barnsley and Charlton Athletic all looking to stamp their mark in a higher division.
“It will be another tough ask, regardless of how well they [Leeds] have done this season,” Prutton added. “You have got teams that are coming up in Luton, Barnsley and Charlton that will have momentum and a real confidence about them, and then you have got the teams who have come down in Fulham, Cardiff and Huddersfield.
“From what we saw of Cardiff last season, unless Neil Warnock has a complete overhaul, I don’t think there will be anything too surprising about what they bring.
“As for Fulham, they could be anything. They were a good footballing side getting out of the Championship, and they have had their bottoms spanked for the best part of a season in the Premier League. They will pose a threat in a certain way, but I don’t think there’s anything for Leeds to be too fearful of, and who knows what Huddersfield are?
“The way they went about replacing the coaching staff for absolutely zero impact means that they have got questions to answer going into the new season.”