STEPHEN WARNOCK admitted Leeds United’s performance was better than anything he has seen in the Championship last season after Burton Albion succumbed to a 5-0 hammering at Elland Road.
The Burton captain and former Leeds left-back tipped his old club to mount a serious promotion bid and said they had improved in a summer which saw Thomas Christiansen replace Garry Monk as head coach and 16 new signings arrive at Elland Road.
For me the stand-out team last season was Fulham and I think that performance was better than what we got from Fulham last season.Stephen Warnock
One of those recruits, German striker Pierre-Michel Lasogga, scored twice on his debut as Burton buckled under the pressure of a relentless display from Christiansen’s players.
Burton conceded three times before half-time and were besieged by 30 shots on goal as Leeds waded forward in front of a crowd of over 33,000.
United are unbeaten after six games and lie second in the table having registered their first home win of the Championship term and the first of Christiansen’s short tenure in charge.
Warnock claimed Leeds’ football had eclipsed that produced by play-off semi-finalists Fulham last season, the side he described as the “stand-out team” during the 2016-17 campaign.
“They’ve brought a lot of quality into the squad,” Warnock said. “You hope you can keep it tight for the first half-hour and weather the storm but they’re a good team. There’s no doubt about that. I’m sure they’ll be at the top end of the table come May.
“For me the stand-out team last season was Fulham and I think that performance was better than what we got from Fulham last season.
“Having said that, there’s plenty of games in a season and they’ll find it tough come the winter when the games come thick and fast. It’s how those players who are not used to that intensity in the league adapt to that.
“The manager has brought in a very good style of play and without being disrespectful to Garry Monk, they’ve improved on last year. Whether that’s down to the players who’ve come in or the manager who’s changed things – just being in and around the place, there’s a very positive feel and they look like they’re building well.”
Lasogga was thrown into United’s starting line-up by Christiansen having completed only a handful of training sessions since agreeing a season-long loan from Hamburg.
The 25-year-old earns in excess of £50,000 a week at Hamburg but Leeds moved to finance the transfer after Chris Wood left for Burnley in a £15m deal.
Lasogga took his first goal on Saturday with a cool, 20th-minute finish and completed the 5-0 rout with a header from Kemar Roofe’s 59th-minute cross.
“Lasogga looks a handful and very lively,” said Warnock, who left Leeds for Derby County in 2015 after 67 appearances. “But that’s the difference in the clubs. They can go out and acquire a player like that and we can’t. We know we’re in a different position to Leeds but we will enjoy the challenge.”