Do you think Leeds United are good enough to win promotion this season?
The Championship is such an open, competitive league that a large number of teams will fancy their chances. McDermott should get more out of the squad than Warnock did. We can beat anyone on our day and we should be strong at home. However, without two or three further additions to the squad, I don’t think we’ll have enough over the course of the season to win automatic promotion.
Is Brian McDermott the man for the job at Elland Road?
He’s certainly the right man for the job at the moment. He comes across very well in interviews and seems to be making a good connection with the fans. He was harshly treated by Reading, meaning he has a huge desire to build and succeed at Leeds. He has experience of getting a team promoted and their loss is our gain, as the saying goes.
Who will be United’s key player?
Sam Byram (if he’s still here). As everyone knows, Byram is a cut above the rest and can only get better as he gets more experience. I would like to see a bit more of him going forward this season as he’s clearly got the ability to cause problems for defences.
Who in the squad will be the surprise package?
Luke Murphy. It’s a step up for him from League One with Crewe but he comes very highly rated and is one of the most exciting signings at Leeds for a long time. He will give us something we severely lacked last season – a creative midfielder who can pass the ball. McDermott obviously saw him as a key acquisition this summer and I think he will be central to his plans.
Which clubs do you expect to pose the biggest threat in the Championship this season?
Bolton, Watford and QPR. Bolton are a good northern club with some strong traditions and have made some good signings. A certain former Leeds number nine has gone there and if they can get him firing, they could be dangerous. Watford were very strong last season because of their Udinese link-up and appear to have signed half a team from Udinese again this summer. QPR have kept a lot of the players they came down with and have loads of money to spend.
How happy are you with the job that GFH Capital has done since buying Leeds last December?
They need to invest more in the team. More fans will come back if they do that and McDermott, with the right backing, would stand a very good chance of getting promotion and then giving them a return on their investment. I would also like to see more engagement with fan groups like the Leeds United Supporters’ Trust. We really do need a clean break with the past but, having said that, GFH do deserve some credit. They’ve made some important boardroom changes, made a good managerial appointment in McDermott and implemented a much-improved ticket policy.
Where do you expect Leeds to finish in the Championship table?
Play-offs. With the passion we have in Leeds and the absolute desire to get back to the Premier League, you always have to back us to get into the top six. Unless more players are bought, however, I struggle to see us getting automatic promotion.