Bet on White: Leeds United still a strong contender for Championship promotion Mark February 7, 2014 Leeds United 5 Comments Despite all the strange goings-on surrounding the club, the Whites prepare for a late-season surge. Brian McDermott has been through a bizarre rollercoaster ride the past few days. Late last week, the Leeds United gaffer was told he would be sacked by would-be club owner Massimo Cellino only to be reinstated a day later by current owner GFH Capital. Cellino, who also owns Italian Serie A club Cagliari, reportedly wants former Middlesbrough player Gianluca Festa to head Leeds United. With Cellino now closer than ever to completing the takeover bid after Enterprise Insurance’s Andrew Flowers pulled out of the bidding, McDermott’s continued role as Leeds United manager still seems to be up in the air. Despite all of the strange twists and turns Cellino’s takeover bid has put the club through, Leeds United remains a strong contender for promotion to the Barclays Premier League thanks primarily to two men: gaffer McDermott and skipper Ross McCormack. Consider the last game against Huddersfeld. With McDermott’s future largely in limbo, the club came together to complete a 5-1 rout buoyed by a hat trick from McCormack. The win over Huddersfeld sets the stage for a late-season surge for the Whites, who at 11th are currently eight points off a promotion playoff place. Over the past decade, a few teams have managed to claw their way back from unfavorable positions to promotions. Crystal Palace did it in 2003-04 from an 18th place starting position. Sunderland also managed a similar feat in 2006-07 from ninth place. McDermott himself is no stranger to these late-season surges as Reading won 14 of their final 18 games in 2011-12 under his leadership. This kind of experience will be invaluable in engineering and eventually securing Leeds United’s run for promotion. As for team captain McCormack, the fact that he is sitting clear at the top of the leading scorers list with 22 goals in 29 games can be counted as a good omen for Leeds United as the last three season-leading scorers all played for clubs who were promoted to the BPL. Punters and fans alike expect another fine performance from him and the rest of the team come game time against Yeovil, with betting site Bwin.com placing the Whites at 6/5 to win. Leeds United, who are only 2 wins from the playoffs, also have more chances remaining at thinning out the opposition above them. Reading, Nottingham Forest, and Derby – who are currently in fourth, fifth, and sixth place respectively – each face a trip to Elland Road before the season comes to a close. It’s a trip none of these teams should take lightly, either, as the Whites have only been on the losing end four times at home this season.