Championship boss hails Leeds United as 'one of the best in the division' - despite not facing them yet
Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate says Leeds United are one of the best teams in the Championship.
The former Leeds United defender has endured a tough start to life in his maiden managerial job with Boro inside the drop zone on goal difference.
Out of their 14 league games, Woodgate has tasted victory just twice - his last coming seven matches ago - and saw his side score just 11 times, the lowest in the division.
Over recent weeks, the 39-year-old believes Boro have shown signs of improvement - pinpointing the narrow 1-0 defeat to league leaders West Brom.
And ahead of Saturday's goalless draw with Fulham, Woodgate picked the Albion, the Cottagers and Leeds as the strongest sides in the second-tier.
"We went toe-to-toe with West Brom," Woodgate told the club's matchday programme #UTB.
He continued: "Who alongside today's opponents (Fulham) and possibly Leeds, are one of the best teams in the division and they will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season."
Marcelo Bielsa's side are yet to face Boro this season with their first meeting pencilled in for November 30 at Elland Road.
During the last campaign, neither side could be separated with a 0-0 draw in West Yorkshire before a late Kalvin Phillips strike rescued a point in the return fixture.