Leeds United are on course for their biggest crowd of the season this weekend with Saturday’s game against Nottingham Forest set to pull in more than 30,000.
Ticket sales for Forest’s visit to Elland Road cleared 28,000 yesterday and Leeds expect the attendance to exceed the crowd of 29,131 seen at their win over Huddersfield in September.
That fixture – the final match of Neil Redfearn’s spell as caretaker and the result which heralded the start of Darko Milanic’s ill-fated reign as head coach – is the only occasion when Leeds have gone close to breaking the 30,000 barrier this season.
The club are currently averaging crowds of around 23,500, a drop of 1,500 from the 2013-14 campaign.
A 2-1 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers in October, the game preceding Milanic’s sacking, attracted almost 28,000 but the attendance dropped to a season’s low of 17,634 for Leeds’ 1-0 win over Bournemouth on January 20.
United have maintained big crowds away from home, however, and more than 4,600 supporters travelled to Saturday’s 1-0 win over Wigan Athletic.
Redfearn paid tribute to them after that game, saying: “The supporters are sticking with us. Almost 5,000 away from home is unbelievable.”
Forest, who earned a 2-0 win at Elland Road last season through a brace of goals from Matt Derbyshire, have sold their allocation for Saturday’s match.
The Nottingham club, meanwhile, have been linked with a move for Blackburn Rovers striker Jordan Rhodes ahead of the weekend.
But Rhodes – the prolific Scotland international who cost Blackburn £8m in 2012 – is believed to be close to joining Championship title contenders Middlesbrough.