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.