Transfer window key to our chances of making play-offs

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

Who can say? Until you see who we’ve bought and who everyone else has bought – that probably means the end of the transfer window – there’s no way of knowing. Even then, the Championship’s the Championship. But I don’t see why not. We’ve got a chance. Hasn’t everybody?

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

Because of my work I saw more of Leeds on television last season than I did live games and what I saw under Warnock was awful. In a grim sort of way I quite enjoyed the George Graham era. The football was horrible but we got results. But terrible football and terrible results? No thanks. Once McDermott came in you suddenly realised that our players could actually pass the ball. I’m not going to call him the Messiah because people called Warnock that and look how he worked out. But I like what McDermott’s done so far. The 50 Euro note in Slovenia was a nice touch.

Who will be United’s key player?

As long as we don’t sell him – I had to get that in – then Sam Byram. He was brilliant last season and he’ll get better and stronger. I laughed at Christmas when a mate of mine came on holiday with his stepson who was in Byram’s year at school. Talk about feeling your age. Anyway, Chris Dawson, pictured, I really like too and Tom Lees is coming on all the time. It’s nice to be naming three academy lads because we keep getting told how great our youth-team system is. Sometimes you can’t see it.

Who in the squad will be the surprise package?

Dawson. He’s got massive potential and I hope we let it loose. Matt Smith’s another one. He’s one of those players who people judge on the basis that he’s big and powerful, but I think he’s quite a clever player, an astute signing as they say.

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

You’ve got to look at the teams coming down from the Premier League. They’re the ones with money. Most of the others look pretty evenly-matched to me.

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

I’ve agreed with a lot of what they’ve done. Getting the BBC back in for the commentary was about time and the changes to ticket prices... well, that had to happen.

I’ve got guarded optimism about them. Certain things concern you and when I read recently about possible Red Bull investment, I thought straight away about the things that company has done to clubs abroad. But we’ve had a long overdue clear-out and GFH got rid of Ken Bates. No tears were shed by me.

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

The thing about making predictions at the start of the season is that they make you look like an arse in nine months’ time. Ah, what the heck – fifth.

Graphic: Graeme Bandeira

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