Eternal optimism allows me to believe Leeds can lead the way

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Do you think Leeds United are good enough to win promotion this season?

I’m an eternal optimist. I thought we were going to get into the play-offs with three games of last season to go. We’re missing three players in my opinion – a centre-back, a winger and a 20-goal striker. But we have got Ross McCormack and he’ll do for me, so a centre-back and a winger would keep me happy. Every Leeds fan can see that we need someone with pace out wide. But I’m feeling positive and I’m thinking we’ve got a great chance.

Is Brian McDermott the man for the job at Elland Road?

I must admit that when he first came in I thought it was a really dull appointment. I couldn’t get excited about it at all. But I suppose I didn’t really know much about him or what he was like. I think he’s the right man for the job now. His interaction with the fans is great and he seems to understand what we’re about. He’s also got a scout’s background and if, as it seems, there’s not a big transfer kitty at Leeds then we’re going to need his expertise in finding good players on the cheap.

Who will be United’s key player?

Luke Murphy. He’ll be a big signing for us. He’s good for a couple of goals apparently so he might be our Frank Lampard. No pressure, like! I’m a big fan of McCormack’s and he needed a new manager to get his confidence back. I’d like to see McDermott tell McCormack that he’s his main striker and let him start the first 10 games up front. He wasn’t as clinical last season as I’d want, but that was probably because Warnock had us hoofing the ball.

Who in the squad will be the surprise package?

I’m surprised to hear myself saying this but maybe Luke Varney after his hat-trick last week. Before that I wasn’t really sure where he’d fit in and if you’d told me that Varney was going to be a regular starter then I’d have been less than delighted. But if he keeps scoring goals then I won’t complain.

Which clubs do you expect to pose the biggest threat in the Championship this season?

You wouldn’t expect me to say anything other than the three coming down. They’ve got the parachute payments. The other team I’ll be watching is Middlesbrough. They always seem to buy well before under-achieving. They drop away when it matters.

How happy are you with the job that GFH Capital has done since buying Leeds last December?

Last season I didn’t feel like GFH even owned the club because Ken Bates was still knocking about. I was disappointed with the funds they put in in January, I was disappointed that they tried to offload the club so soon after buying it and I was disappointed with their lack of interaction with the fans. David Haigh is prolific on Twitter but not everyone uses Twitter. My dad doesn’t have it and neither does my uncle. But I do think they’re learning from their mistakes and they’ve brought in a good manager. I like the fact that the BBC are doing the commentary again too. Let’s wait and see how it goes this season.

Where do you expect Leeds to finish in the Championship table?

I think we’ll be leading the way for a while at the top of the table, I really do. But we usually drop down at some point, so I’m going for the play-offs.

Garry Monk and David Wagner clashed at the end of the recent West Yorkshire derby.

Touchline ban for Leeds United boss Garry Monk after derby bust-up with David Wagner