STEVE EVANS has bridled at talk that Leeds United are pitted in a Championship relegation battle – and has called for a sense of perspective.
Seventeeth-placed United – four points above third-from-bottom Huddersfield Town – head into today’s home derby with high-flying Hull City seeking to avoid a third successive defeat after poor results and performances in losses against QPR and Rotherham United.
All told, Leeds have won just twice in their past ten league matches and have taken a mediocre eight points from their last 30 available.
But Evans believes it is far too early to suggest United – who have won two matches out of seven under his watch – are embroiled in a dogfight.
Evans said: “I look at the handful of teams who sit three points ahead of us and they’re talking about the play-offs.
“That’s three points, They could be behind us on Saturday and they won’t be answering questions about whether it’s a relegation fight.
“The season is always a marathon.”
One thing that Evans does acknowledge is that two-tier nature of the Championship with Leeds – despite their huge stature historically as a club – forced to compete with a host of well-monied sides armed with considerable parachute payments, including today’s visitors Hull.
Others such as Brighton, Derby and Middlesbrough are pushing the boat out considerably in order to reach the top-flight and hopefully earn their slice of the record TV cash bonanza on offer.
The Scot admits given all that, it is difficult for the likes of Leeds to compete at the sharp end.
Not that he is bemoaning his lot, with his fervent belief being that if he is afforded support over the course of several windows that he can build something substantive at Leeds along the likes of what is currently being achieved at Brighton.
He said: “You only have to look at the recent (financial) figures released by Brighton, who I think are a terrific club.
“They’ve posted nearly an £11m loss on top of a substantial training ground investment.
“If you look at other clubs, such as Hull, how can you compete with the monstrous parachute payments? It’s very difficult to compete.
“But they have to spend it right and those others like Sean Dyche are very fortunate to keep their squad in place.
“(But) We believe we can build something quite special. Chris Hughton’s done a great job but he’s had two or three transfers windows now.
“Give me two or three transfer windows and that much funding and you’ll see what we’ve got.”