Leeds United: We've irons in the fire - Bates

Leeds United chairman Ken Bates has warned the Championship that the club are actively working to improve their squad with the transfer window a fortnight away.

Bates indicated that the division's in-form team could be significantly strengthened next month, saying that United were "non-stop, always looking" at options to bring to Elland Road in the near future.

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Leeds are likely to limit their business in January with manager Simon Grayson already in possession of a large and near fully-fit group of players but Bates has not ruled out further signings following United's rise to fourth place in the Championship.

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The club plan to pursue the long-term signing of on-loan defender Andy O'Brien, with Bolton Wanderers understood to be willing to trade the 31-year-old next month, and Leeds are also likely to tweak their midfield ranks.

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Jamaican international Jason Morrison – a 26-year-old central midfielder – is on trial at Thorp Arch with a view to securing a contract with United.

Grayson has appeared increasingly content with his squad having started the season with a catalogue of injuries and suspensions affecting key players, and the range of the resources available to him has been borne out in a run of eight league matches without defeat.

Leeds climbed to their highest league position since 2006 at the weekend and Bates is hopeful that the club can defend their play-off position, despite admitting that a year of consolidation was United's initial target.

Bates, pictured, said: "The majority of fans would have been happy with a consolidation situation in the first year back in the Championship. That was the general mood a few months ago.

"Expectations have risen and we'll have periods in the new year when things aren't going quite as we'd like them to but we look good. We're strong in numbers and we are non-stop, always looking at how we can improve our squad. I won't go into specifics but I can assure you of that.

"We're fourth and we want to stay no less than top six. We'd like to be in the top two."

Bates also paid tribute to Grayson ahead of the 42-year-old's second anniversary as manager of Leeds.

Grayson will complete two years in the job a week today and Bates said: "With all the madness in football, he's probably one of the longest-serving managers in the league.

"He's brought stability to the club and he's not a headline-seeker. He's just got on with his job. We've supported him in every way we can and in every way we can afford. But in saying that, his demands are not

excessive and he's realistic.

"He's respected by everyone and he's got a cool head. When we lose, I don't get panic calls the next morning saying 'we've got to do this, that or the other'. There's just a cold assessment of what went wrong and how we can put it right.

"I've got great hopes for Simon and I hope he's here for many years to come."

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