A goal from Luke Varney was all that separated Leeds United and League Two side Burton Albion as The Whites ended their pre-season campaign undefeated.

It’s been a pretty straightforward and largely uncompetitive run of fixtures for The Whites. A pre-season tour of Devon and Cornwall threw up no surprises, but was scheduled as a chance for the team to bond and gain match fitness, rather than the quality of opposition.

A trip to Norway followed as The Whites were held to a 1-1 draw with Sandejford, before Leeds rounded things off tonight at The Pirelli stadium with a 1-0 victory over Burton.

Fortunately, Leeds will have a competitive fixture against Shrewsbury Town next Saturday before the Championship campaign opens at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers the following weekend. Despite concerns raised by some fans, Neil Warnock insists a League Cup match against the Shrews is better preparation than a friendly against Premier League opposition, due to the competitive nature of the match.

It’s hard to judge Leeds United as a unit on pre-season, but Warnock appears to have built a squad of hard-working team players that is desperately lacking in creativity. The defence looks sturdier than in recent years, but with so much effort put into getting the defence right, the attack doesn’t look anywhere near as threatening.

Signings like Rodolph Austin – who debuted tonight against Burton – will ensure Leeds United aren’t rolled over too easily by anyone. However, question marks over where the goals will come from undoubtedly remain. As things stand, The Whites look set for a season of scrappy, low-scoring encounters that could go either way.

To me, a couple of key signings are all that stand between Leeds United and a season of success or a season of mediocrity. Whilst I’m optimistic enough about Neil Warnock’s chances of securing that quality, we have been in this position before and the funding simply wasn’t there. Fingers crossed that this time is different.