UWE ROSLER has reiterated to Leeds United supporters that promotion is not on the agenda in 2015-16 - and says he must be solely judged on improvement over the course of this season.
United host Championship leaders Brighton at Elland Road tomorrow and reside in the bottom half of the division in 16th place after just two wins from their opening 10 league matches.
But despite United’s lowly position, Rosler is calling on fans to be patient and look at the bigger picture, with incremental improvement following two successive campaigns when the club have finished in 15th spot in Championship being the aim.
Rosler said: “For me, it is realistic that we improve from last season. My personal aim, I said it from day one, is to finish in the top ten.
“Is that realistic? Yes. I said from day one, promotion is not on our agenda.
“I can understand our supporters when they think they want to win promotion this year. But I am a football coach and judge what I have available and the teams we are competing with.
“Automatic promotion or indirect (play-off) promotion this year isn’t possible. What you have to plan is improvement. You have to improve the young players and the team and our supporters should see improvement over six months and 12 months in terms of how we play, points tally and position in the league.
“I am completely for that and that is what I get judged on.”
On United’s low-key start to the season, Rosler added: “Every person can have their say and criticise us. I obviously wish we had one or two wins on the board. (But) I am disappointed where we are? Not really.
“As we heard Mr Cellino say three weeks ago on Sky, for every Leeds supporter who listened, this is where we are.
“We want to improve from last year and being two years in a row at number 15. For me, the main thing is we stay calm, improve day and day and then judge where we are at the end of the season.”
Meanwhile, Rosler has revealed that his main source of regret in the opening few months of the season has been the exit of a valued colleague and friend in executive director Adam Pearson.
He admits his departure hit him hard, while also impacting on the time he would like to ideally spend on the training ground.
Speaking on Radio Leeds, Rosler, added: “It hit me a little bit out of the blue.
“I always said I see myself best when I can concentrate on my players and on my coaching and working at the training ground and concentrating on the key members of staff and having an input in recruitment.
“The rest was left more or less to Adam, which I was very comfortable with. Now when Adam is not there, there are more questions to me in certain areas and I have to go to the owner for things I don’t want to.”
Charlie Horton is likely to be back-up keeper to Marco Silvestri on the bench tomorrow, with Ross Turnbull out for a lengthy spell with an ankle problem.
Rosler says that he is comfortable with the situation in the short-term, but says a move for a more experienced no.2 keeper is on the cards.
Rosler, who has confirmed that Gaetano Baeardi and Chris Wood are ‘ready to go’ for this weekend’s game, said: “I think we have to bring in somebody else.
“Nothing has changed in the rankings of our goalkeepers and number three is Charlie and he was signed for another development phase of his career and getting regular game time in the under-21s.
“I don’t think we do Charlie any favours whatsoever when we have him on the bench over the long term. A couple of games is no problem whatsoever.”