Former Leeds United right-back Danny Mills has lauded the Whites’ defence as he backed Marcelo Bielsa’s side to challenge for promotion into the Premier League this season.
United have allowed a Championship-low nine goals to be scored against us so far this term, which is four fewer than the second-best side Nottingham Forest have managed after 16 games, and four fewer than we allowed at this stage last year.
We entered the November international break in third position on goal difference this term though, as Patrick Bamford and co. have scored far fewer times than second-placed Preston North End.
The Deepdale natives hold a marginally stronger goal difference than us after scoring ten more goals, and Mills feels a lack of clinical finishing by United has meant we have only been thereabouts in the promotion picture.
“I’ve said all along, if you finish above Leeds I think you get automatic promotion,” Mills said on talkSPORT. “I can’t see them [United] finishing much further down than third.
“I think they are one of the best teams in the Championship, I think they play some of the best football, [and] defensively they’ve been absolutely superb. They haven’t quite been clinical enough in front of goal, but they’re still there or thereabouts.
“I think the experience of last season will hopefully drive them on. I just hope now that the festive period with a lot of good games, West Brom and Leeds might be able to open a bit of a gap.”
Are Leeds stronger in 19/20 than last season?
No, we have to strengthen
As things hotted-up between Sheffield United and us last season in the fight for the automatic promotion places, it often felt as if the Blades had a point in their pocket through their superior goal difference before our season unravelled and cemented our spot in the Play-Offs.
At the end of March, the Blades sat two points behind us in the table, but their plus-four goal difference to Bielsa’s men ensured the pressure remained on our shoulders.
That became even more overbearing when the Bramall Lane side overtook us heading into April, as matching their points tally would not be enough, as we found out as we let slip a three-point lead on matchday 43.
If we continue to struggle to convert our chances this term, there is every chance we could be in for another dogfight in the closing stages of the campaign, no matter how strong the backline are.