Paul Heckingbottom backing Leeds United and Marcelo Bielsa for promotion

Leeds United winger Helder Costa in action against Cardiff City. (PA)Leeds United winger Helder Costa in action against Cardiff City. (PA)
Leeds United winger Helder Costa in action against Cardiff City. (PA)
The Whites have been backed for promotion this term.

Paul Heckingbottom is backing former side Leeds United to push on and end a 16-year absence from the Premier League this summer.

Marcelo Bielsa's men are chasing promotion from the Championship an have a seven-point advantage over third with eight games of the campaign remaining.

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United's restart from the three month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic began with a losing start last weekend at Cardiff City.

The Bluebirds ran out 2-0 winners over the Whites with two mistakes costing Bielsa's side the points in south Wales with Leeds now preparing for the visit of third-placed Fulham in what is a huge clash at Elland Road this weekend.

“They are stronger mentally for the benefits of last season, in a fantastic position,” Heckingbottom told the Guardian.

“I believe this break does them good and allowed them to recuperate and it will play into their hands and they’ll go on and win promotion.

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“I always remember at Arsenal, watching a Europa League game against Milan and chatting to Arsene Wenger afterwards. The first thing he said was: ‘Leeds, what a club, big club,’ and that’s the reputation it’s got all over.

“The break probably takes away that one criticism people tended to have of Marcelo’s teams – justified or not – that they would fade away at the end of the season.

“It is like starting again. Speaking to people there, the players are in fantastic shape and even fitter than they were before the break so I think they’ll be in a great position to see it through.”