Leeds United: Rosler aims to copy the Burnley blueprint

Uwe Rosler
Uwe Rosler
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Uwe Rosler said a confident Leeds United squad would aim to replicate the unexpected success of Burnley two seasons ago as the clubs prepared for this afternoon’s opening-day clash at Elland Road.

Uwe Rosler said a confident Leeds United squad would aim to replicate the unexpected success of Burnley two seasons ago as the clubs prepared for this afternoon’s opening-day clash at Elland Road.

United’s head coach described Burnley as “real title contenders” and claimed parachute payments earned on the back of the Clarets’ relegation from the Premier League would give Burnley a key advantage in the nine months ahead.

But Rosler said Burnley’s automatic promotion in 2014 had set the “model to follow on a relatively low budget” in the Championship and he spoke of confidence oozing among his own players on the eve of the new season.

The German is set for his first competitive game as head coach, three months after taking the job at Elland Road, and he refused to gauge United’s chances of promotion as he analysed a division containing no fewer than 17 former Premier League sides.

Burnley survived for only 12 months in the top flight – relegated along with Hull City and Queens Park Rangers in May – and their squad was weakened over the summer by the loss of leading striker Danny Ings and right-back Kieran Trippier.

Leeds, meanwhile, have injected more than £3m into their playing resources, adding winger Stuart Dallas to their squad in a £1.3m move from Brentford on Tuesday.

But Rosler said: “Being manager at Wigan left me knowing what parachute payments mean and what sort of advantage you have compared to most of the teams.

“It’s incredibly difficult for teams that don’t have the parachute payments to win promotion and get up there. Sean Dyche and Burnley, they did it and I think that shows the model

to follow on a relatively low budget compared to other teams – to still be competitive and win promotion.

“Bournemouth did the same last season and Brentford nearly did it. They are examples to follow.”

Rosler, however, claimed a home fixture against a newly-relegated club was an ideal way to begin the term. Today’s crowd at Elland Road is likely to near 30,000.

“I’d be very surprised if Burnley don’t end up in the top six,” Rosler said. “I see them as a real title contender.

“I welcome Burnley at home first and I didn’t really want to go to Preston away in the first game. Burnley at home, we know what we get – a team that did very well over the past few years, a unit and a manager who put a signature on that club.

“We’ve had a productive six weeks and we had continuity in pre-season. We don’t have the biggest squad so we need a bit of fortune with injuries and suspensions but the whole group is ready to go and I feel confidence around the players. That’s all I can ask for. And I’m ready.”

Bournemouth caused the biggest surprise in the Championship last season, taking the title on the final day of the campaign, and Brentford reached the play-offs a year after winning promotion from League One.

Rosler predicted that the division would be as competitive as ever this season. “I went through the whole league,” he said. “How many teams do you think have not played in the Premier League? Seven. That tells you how difficult this league is and the expectation nearly everyone has.”

Dyche, meanwhile, conceded that Burnley would be expected to compete for a quick return to the top flight.

The former Watford boss, who will be without the injured Matt Lowton this afternoon, said: “We’re in a good place to attack the season and go into games believing we can win.

“Two years ago maybe we were still wondering and even I was saying ‘ok, let’s see where this takes us’. Now there I think there’s a demand on ourselves to go for it this season.”

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