HEAD coach Uwe Rosler believes Leeds United have “tremendous potential” to be a top six Championship side but admits: “we are not there yet”.
United approach the Elland Road lunchtime showdown with Sheffield Wednesday still seeking their first win of the season after throwing away a two-goal lead in Wednesday night’s 2-2 draw at Bristol City.
It means the Whites sit 15th in the Championship table after three draws but Rosler has encouraged fans to dream of a top-six finish insisting Leeds have the potential to reach the play-offs given elements of improvement and the rub of the green.
“I hope our fans will dream,” said Rosler.
“How I see it is simple – it has not changed one little bit since I walked through the door. I can see the potential but I also see areas where we have to improve to be called an established top- six team. We are not there now.
“Yes, when everything goes absolutely optimally and we are starting to win games in the 88th or 89th minute, who knows?
“But at the moment we have fantastic potential with certain players surprising me with how quick they can reach different levels – for example Kalvin Phillips. I think the game he played at Bristol was fantastic – without the ball and with the ball and in terms of keeping possession – learning how we want him to play that role.
“There’s tremendous potential here but we have to also improve in certain areas but I knew that from before and that has not changed in eight weeks.”
Rosler also insists United’s first win of the season is imminent – with the German confident of securing his first three-point haul in tomorrow’s Yorkshire derby.
He added: “I have said to the players we are very, very close. We have knocked on that door now several times very, very hard and I said ‘the more you knock on that door, the more resilient you are, the more determined you are – this door will go off for the first win.’
“The point against Bristol City will turn out to be a very good one when we win the game on Saturday.
“We are improving and I felt the last two games - in pre-season we would have lost.
“We are improving game by game and I think this period that we are going through now will set us in a good state for the next block to the next international week because of the amount of games in that space of time.
“But don’t underestimate also we had Burnley - a Premier League team - in what was a very emotional first game of the season.
“Then we had a Yorkshire derby against Doncaster which went 120 minutes plus what happened emotionally and then we have Bristol City away which was a full house and a newly promoted team with enthusiasm and energy.
“That was an emotional game again - especially the way it ended - so how my group of players and staff have performed, I am happy.”