Neil Warnock has today told reporters that he doesn’t believe Leeds United are good enough for automatic promotion,

 “If I put my hand on my heart, I don’t think we’re automatic promotion material.

“That’s not me being defeatist, I’m just being realistic about the squad we’ve got. I’m telling you what I see.”

The Whites boss previously described this summer as the most difficult one he’s ever faced in terms of player recruitment and admitted he’d considered walking away at one point as he grew frustrated at the lack of funds made available to him.

Early optimism based on takeover speculation and the arrival of Jason Pearce soon dissipated as negotiations dragged on and Neil Warnock was left to perform a balancing act with his squad, forced to sell players before he could recruit new ones.

It’s not all been doom and gloom for Neil Warnock however. After the slow start to the transfer window and despite the takeover dragging on into a third month of speculation, the Leeds United boss has managed to secure ten new signings and believes his side is capable of a play-off push, conceding that a couple of new arrivals is still a priority.

“As far as the play-offs go, I’m optimistic that we’ll have as good a chance as most clubs of getting in there.

“You need a bit of luck to finish in the top six and you can’t always rely on luck but, first and foremost, you need the players. I’m going into the season with a lot of the players I wanted.

“We’re not the finished article and we do need a couple more players but if I can’t sign anyone else before the season starts then I’d still be happy going into it.

“I really mean that. I’ve got genuine players here and I also know that teams will have to be really good to beat us. Really good.”

There’s no doubt a little bit of mindgames going on here, but it’s important to control expectations at Elland Road as our fans get carried away very easily and when things don’t go according to plan, the manager becomes an easy scapegoat and people start calling for his head.

We’ve lost key players, have an almost entirely new squad that is going to need time to gel and still look to be lacking the necessary depth and game-changing individuals that are the difference between a successful season and one of mediocrity. There’s very little between the starting line-ups of teams in the Championship, so quality depth to overcome injuries is of paramount importance whilst a Gradel/Taarabt type player can earn you a lot of points in a division of very evenly matched teams.

Elsewhere today, Leeds United drew Oxford United at home in the second round of the League Cup.

  • Rich

    Like how he said gradel instead of snoddy at the end fuck snoddy we need two players in my eyes striker and winger y not try loan with view of permanent deal in jan if a takeover dose happen and try George boyd

    • IrishWhite

      If takeover does happen I’m sure the cash will be available to get in the likes of Maynard or even Beckford. Recent reports had looked promising but the silence of the last 2-3 days doesn’t bode well.

  • mathew

    been a leeds fan all me life but wasnt born in leeds i think tht we could have a chance but wouldnt bet on it (getting promotion)

  • IrishWhite

    Think NW is dead right in his honest assessment of the team. Look at the quality that someone like Bolton have in midfield in particular and we will try match them with Norris & Green. Playoffs are a realistic target, we could look even higher but we need Master Bates to bugger off back to Monaco permanently and leave someone else come in thats going to back to the manager financially to get in a couple of top championship players.

  • Stephen Roe

    Wonder what Lorimer will make of that, after all we’ve known for a couple of years that the squad aint good enough and then on top of that we’ve sold our best players and yet HE (PL and the board) still insisted we were good enough for promotion. What will he say now

    • NottsWhite

      Unfortunately it is difficult to see how poor the squad is when your head is stuck up KBs backside.

  • number1inyorkshire

    mind games it is warnock is an old pro at this and he will believe we can go up we need some more players Beckford as a winger would be good he can cross a ball and has pace .
    warnock will think we have as good a team as anyone and to be honest with a few additions i agree ,although i think a slow start will ensue ..
    And my prediction is “we will go up ” and we will be taken over too ..

  • Bubionwhite

    I’d have a little side bet that he’s told the players the opposite … mind games, motivational techniques, call it what you will. Remember what he said about Tom Lees and then afterwards said “he was the one shining light and the 1st name on the teamsheet”. He’s probably said that in public as a message to Master Bates and to try and stir up the fans.

  • Tyler75

    NW is certainly playing mind games and taking the pressure off the players to a certain extent. I can’t see much difference between the quality of players we’ve got this season and Reading or Southampton had last season – only difference is that they had been together longer.

  • mattbb3

    brilliant, we’ve given up before we’ve even started.

  • Matthew

    At the end of the day, until Bates sells up the club and someone buys us with a view of investing in the team and supporting the manager, I don’t think we’l ever be automatic promotion material.
    However I see no reason why we can’t hit the playoffs, no reason why we can’t make our way into the playoffs come near the end of the season, set up shop and ride out the end of season storm and still finish 5-6th.
    Regardless of who is at the helm, when we finish in the playoffs, we need to forget the Ken Bates stuff, fill up Elland Road and get behind the team. It’l be the best chance of going up anytime soon if the atmosphere is fantastic, and everyone is positively bouncing and cheering the team on to make the impossible happen, make it to Wembley and win the damn playoffs.
    Anyway, I’m looking forward to our yearly game against either Arsenal or Scum in the 3rd round of the cup, once we beat Oxford, I have no doubt we’l get either of these, hoping for an Emirates trip personally.

  • HunsletWhites

    Can someone clarify when the transfer window closes? NW keeps saying he’d like two more players but if the TO doesn’t happen before the transfer window closes then we are nothing more than top six hopefuls.. January may be too late to claw back any dodgy start.

  • Rochester white

    Vital Leeds reported we had four unnamed trialists playing in a behind closed doors match. Three of them scored. Any ideas who we are looking at???

    • Matthew

      You’l have to wait and see. No one will leak that.

      • TSS

        Like Diouf didn’t leak? Happens all the time, it’s just there’s very little interest unless they’re big names. We go through literally dozens of trialists every year and we may sign one of them. It’s just not worth trying to figure out.

        • Matthew

          Diouf came after some of the youth players were pestered to reveal on twitter.
          Some of these players might not even come to anything. Mostly why unless someone posts pictures, nothing will end up being leaked.

          • TSS

            Diouf was known to be training at ER long before the youth players mentioned it (and they only mentioned it after being asked specifically what they thought of Diouf).

            Wouldn’t be hard to find out who every trialist was if anyone was interested enough to do so, it’s just unlikely any of them will sign so why would anyone bother? Remember Alex Mendy last season? Took myself and the people of Twitter all of an hour to figure that one out.

          • Matthew

            Long? People were discussing the prospect of him being here the same day the youth players confirmed it to be him on twitter.
            Of course there was news about him being linked with us, but until it was confirmed by the youth players that he was training with us, it was still speculation.
            And yeah, sure. Probably because they’re either 1) Not good enough, 2) Asking for too much and thus are moved on.

          • TSS

            Mate, just because that’s the first you’d heard of it, it doesn’t mean it was the same for everyone else. And I’m not talking speculation, I’m talking 100% knew it to be fact. RITGK had photos of him training for a start! It was common knowledge the day he started training (2-3 days before youth players), there are too many people that live near the training ground and plenty that have access to keep such a well-known and distinctive player under wraps. There’s also a lot of players and staff that live locally, and they have a lot of friends. Keeping players of such notoriety under wraps simply doesn’t happen.

            Paddy Kenny only had to drive in to TA in his white Range Rover and he was made. It happens all the time.

            The only thing that caught me slightly off-guard about Diouf was that Warnock actually signed him. Even though I knew he was training with us I never thought for a second that he’d get a contract.

          • Matthew

            Oh right. I stand corrected. Sorry

  • Rochester white

    Sorry – reserve match against Bradford…