Leeds United are bidding to go top of the Championship at Elland Road on Saturday with manager Brian McDermott insisting: “This team will get better.”
United can claim first place temporarily with a victory over title favourites Queens Park Rangers after starting the season with a morale-lifting run of six games without defeat.
The club’s form in the opening month has eased fears that a lack of transfer activity might leave McDermott inadequately equipped for a year in the Championship but the Leeds boss, who remains in the market for one further signing before Monday’s deadline, claimed his existing squad would grow in strength as the term went on.
Tomorrow’s clash provides the most difficult examination of United yet against an expensively-built QPR side who have underlined their post-relegation potential by winning three of their first four matches.
But McDermott said: “I’m looking at the squad we’ve got and they’re giving me absolutely everything. We’re trying to play a certain way and they’re 100 per cent doing the best they can every day they’re involved.
“I can’t ask any more than that but I do think there’s more to come from them. That’s the good thing for me – I know there’s more to come. We’ve got some results where we weren’t at our best but we still got the results. That’s what matters at this stage of the season – getting results and trying to improve. There’s more to come.”
McDermott has used two different formations this season, predominantly employing a midfield diamond but switching to a three-man forward line to good effect against Ipswich Town last weekend and at Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday.
“Players can surprise you and they can adapt,” McDermott said.
“I’m all for fitting a system around the players and that can be any system as far as I’m concerned. I’m known as a 4-4-2 man with wingers. Well, I’ve got no wingers and we’re not playing 4-4-2. We used different shapes against Ipswich and Doncaster and it’s all about the players and what’s right for them. They’ve adapted really well.”
The Leeds boss also spoke highly of QPR manager Harry Redknapp, saying: “He’s well respected throughout football and he knows how to get promotion from this division. He’s been there, seen it and done it. I like Harry. He’s a top guy.”