HEAD COACH Steve Evans says Leeds United’s Festive fixtures will have a huge bearing on the club’s ammunition in the January transfer window.
Having been dangerously close to the Championship’s relegation zone, United travel to third-bottom Charlton Athletic today seeking a fourth win in six games that would put the Whites on the periphery of the top half.
And while Leeds are still only six points clear of the dropzone, Evans believes a top-half position at the beginning of January will persuade chairman Massimo Cellino to strengthen the squad for a genuine assault to reach the top six.
Five of United’s six fixtures between now and the first Saturday in January are against teams sat 14th or below with Derby County, Leeds’ final opponents of the year, the only exception.
As well as today’s visit to Charlton, United travel to Wolves and Nottingham Forest between now and January 2 with home games in the offing against Preston and MK Dons.
Evans insists he will take matters one game at time but has nevertheless made it crystal clear that the next six games will shape both the direction of United’s season – and Cellino’s financial commitment in the new year.
Asked what was top of his Leeds United Christmas wish list, Evans said: “I want a good campaign for the team.
“I’ve always said it, that I can’t expect to go and knock on the president’s door if I’m asking him to spend money to stay in a mid-table pack.
“I’ve never done that at my previous clubs but maybe I should re-write that and say that at my previous clubs I was always fighting for promotion but I wouldn’t go and do that.
“But I want to be knocking on his door with a real positive vibe and I know how much he will support me because he’s told me that and I don’t need to doubt it. We are working on different scenarios now but I have to give him the option that we’d be investing that money to take this team up to near that top group and we can achieve that but Christmas will have a big say on whether we can really do it or not.”
Leeds sit 17th in the table, four points behind 13th-placed QPR and five adrift of 12th-placed Blackburn Rovers but with a game in hand.
The Whites are 17-10 favourites to beat Charlton today on the back of last weekend’s taking 2-1 defeat of high-flying Hull City but a cool Evans said: “We’re trying to make sure that we don’t get carried away with ourselves and we all know we would have been looking at a different scenario if we lost last week but we didn’t. We won.
“Now we look at a very positive reality in that if we can go to Charlton and get a result I would assume looking at the league table we are very close to that top half.
“I’ve always said the first objective for me was top half of the table.
“If we can get into the top half of the table I’ve always maintained that going into January if we are half a dozen points off the play-offs then we’ve very much in this campaign for sure.”