Leeds United: Warnock set to clear decks

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Leeds United manager Neil Warnock will look for a major overhaul of his squad this summer after spelling out his financial requirements to chairman Ken Bates.

Warnock has revealed that a clearing of the decks is planned at Thorp Arch in preparation for an all-out attempt to win promotion from the Championship next season.

The Leeds boss outlined his future vision with the Elland Road club struggling to qualify for this year’s play-offs.

United travel to Millwall on Saturday, the first of eight remaining games, with a six-point gap to overcome, and Warnock played down their chances of mustering the form needed to make promotion possible

The 63-year-old said he had identified players he intends to sign ahead of another term in the Championship, and he has already spoken with Bates and Leeds chief executive Shaun Harvey to outline the wage bill and budget he requires to take the club into the Premier League next season.

Warnock saw winning promotion with Leeds as his “last big challenge” after becoming their new boss last month and he has vowed to retire from management when his contract expires at the end of the 2012-13 term. He admitted to doubts about the ability of his current squad in the wake of a record 7-3 defeat to Nottingham Forest on Tuesday but insisted United’s supporters “believe I can remedy this. That’s how I feel when I talk to them.”

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But asked whether he felt he could solve Leeds’ inconsistency and disappointing league position, Warnock said: “Without being cruel, I don’t think we’ve got enough tools in the cupboard at the moment.

“I’d think there would be quite a lot of changes over the next few months. That’s how I see it. The whole club has to do that together – the chairman, the staff, everyone. We all need to pull together.

“I’ve got three or four players I’d like to bring in in the summer and it’s just a matter of getting a wage bill that’s sustainable and which the chairman agrees with.

“I’ve told Shaun and the chairman what I think I would need to get promotion next year. They’re quite clear in their minds that they’re going to try and provide that for me. It’s the only chance we’ve got.

“I don’t want to waste a year of anybody’s time. I haven’t got a year. Everything’s been positive in our talks.”

Warnock’s first six matches as manager produced a series of encouraging performances but only one win, and he looked on as Leeds conceded seven goals at home for the first time in their history against Forest on Tuesday night.

Speaking ahead of the clash with Millwall, Warnock said: “I don’t know what’s around the corner at the moment. I don’t know whether I’m going to find a bag full of tricks or a bag full of wet, old newspapers. I haven’t got a clue.

“Am I asking for consistency that some lads can’t maintain? Am I asking certain lads to do more than they can do? All these questions I’ve got to look at.

“It’s a big club, Leeds, and you have to have the right mentality in place. I need a while to sort it out. I could do with two summers!”

Thomas Christiansen.

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