Former midfielder David Prutton has applauded rare stability at Leeds United but admits continuity will only be hailed a success if the Whites are promoted next term.
Leeds suffered a double dose of heartache seeking promotion to the Premier League after a 15-year absence last term with the Whites first falling out of the automatic promotion spots in the final month of the season to finish third.
United then squandered a second bite at the cherry when losing their play-off semi final over two legs to Derby County but head coach Marcelo Bielsa is back for a second season in charge, becoming the first Whites boss since Simon Grayson in 2011 to start a second season from the first game.
Whites director of football Victor Orta hailed the club’s new-found stability during the club’s pre-season tour of Australia and former Whites midfielder and Sky Sports pundit Prutton will be in agreement but only if United go one better and seal promotion next term.
“Continuity in football now, especially in Leeds terms, is one full season of the same people,” said Prutton.
“I think Victor Orta is right, as long as the continuity leads somewhere.
“If the season ends without promotion then as much as continuity and keeping jobs and players in the same place is good then it still would have ultimately ended in the same place as chopping and changing every five minutes. It only becomes a good thing if it leads to what they want which is promotion.”
Leeds are 9-2 favourites to seal promotion in the ultimate style by winning the division next term with Fulham second favourites at 15-2.
Cardiff City are next in the betting market at 11-1 with West Brom 12s.
“Leeds are only favourites because of what happened last year and because of the size of the club,” said Prutton.
“If it was a Bristol City that got to the play-offs and fell short, they wouldn’t be favourites, that’s not the way it goes.
“You look at the manager who is another household name but if you are looking at trophies under his belt it’s a different discussion altogether.
“I think it’s going to take another super human effort from a group of players that unless they are working off something vastly different in pre-season are going to have to try and repeat the same trick but with the opposition knowing what goes on behind the curtain.
“It will be a phenomenal achievement if they manage to do it with a very similar set of players.”