Leeds United: Never a bad time to reach Premier League - Lorimer

You hear it said from time to time that it is "too soon" for a club to be promoted to the Premier League.

For the life of me, I don't know what that means. How can there ever be a bad time to gain a place among the elite of English football?

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Blackpool have shown that the Premier League is what you make of it. As long as you go into the division with a level head, a sensible financial strategy and an appreciation of what will happen if you're stupid or reckless with money, you can't go wrong. It's a prize to covet.

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Reaching the Premier League is hard enough without attempting to pick and choose when you do it. That's why I'll have no concerns at all if Leeds United win promotion from the Championship at the first attempt.

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I'm not saying that it's going to happen, or that it should happen, but

I'll be absolutely thrilled if it does.

I've always been of the opinion that once Leeds get back into the top-flight, they won't drop out again – not unless something goes catastrophically wrong. If clubs like Wigan Athletic, Bolton Wanderers and Blackpool can make a fist of that division with smaller crowds than we presently draw in to Elland Road, what is there to be scared of?

Realistically, the chance to re-establish ourselves would be there for the taking.

At the end of the day, the long-term aim of both the chairman and the manager here is to make Leeds a Premier League club.

That has never been a secret. There was no specific timescale laid out for that to happen but as soon as possible was always the attitude. Our financial situation is very solid and our attendances are holding up brilliantly, at home and away.

There is nothing about this club that makes you think we'd be out of place amongst the sides who make up the Premier League.

In my YEP column some two months ago, I said that talk of the play-offs or better should be banned until the early part of 2011 – or at least until relegation was not an issue. I meant it. But when you're fourth in the table after 21 games and two points short of an automatic promotion place, you're ignoring the facts by insisting that a top-six finish can't or won't happen.

Our recovery since the end of October has been brilliant and I was so impressed with the fighting spirit at Burnley last weekend. That's the sign of a team who really believe in themselves. I'd be genuinely surprised if the players aren't thinking to themselves 'we might have a chance here'. I'm not going to say I'm confident about reaching the play-offs but I'm looking forward to the second half of the season immensely. It holds a lot of potential.

For a long time, people believed that QPR and Cardiff City were guaranteed the top two positions. But as I told some supporters at a Leeds United event recently, don't assume too much. At this time last season, everyone believed that Leeds and Charlton were certainties for promotion from League One. We scrambled home on the last day of the season and Charlton didn't make it. There's a lesson in there for everybody.

As a manager would say, you don't want to be top of the league at Christmas. You want to be top in May. But I always feel that your position after 20-odd matches is a reasonable indication of what you can achieve over the course of a season.

The squad at Leeds have everything to play for and much to be hopeful about.

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