Neil Warnock is keen to achieve his eighth with Leeds United this year but feels his side will have to do it through the play-offs. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
United gaffer Neil Warnock today told the Yorkshire Evening Post that his side has a good a chance as any of reaching the end of season play-offs but stated "I don't think we're automatic promotion material."
Warnock doesn't think his new side has what it takes to repeat what QPR did the other year but he still remains happy with his squad. The 63 year old had the following to say:
"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.
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 had a few more tools in the box at QPR, Although in saying that, not too many more.
I had the best midfield player I've ever worked with in (Alejandro) Faurlin, and the person everyone focused on was (Adel) Taarabt. People think we got promoted because of him. But that success was as much down to your Paddy Kennys, your Shaun Derrys and your Clint Hills. You can't do it without reliable players like that - players you'd always trust to cover your back.
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.
Some of the lads here have played for me before, most have played in the Championship too and most have still got things to prove.
As a manager, I think you look at your players in the dressing room before a game and ask ‘would I have him at my back in a battle? Would I have him in the trenches with me?' In fairness, most of my players who are here now I'd want with me. Last year, I'd have been worried having half of them behind me.
We've got a difficult start to the season and it couldn't have been more difficult. But I like that. I like being thrown in at the deep end and starting with a bang."
Warnock also called upon the team to use the Olympic spirit to help his side get off to a good start.
"If the Olympics haven't lifted everybody then there's something badly wrong with this country.
I've never cried so much in my life. I'm a grown man watching sports that I've never really seen before and I had tears coming out my eyes.
I'm a passionate and emotional guy but I didn't expect it to make that much of an impression on me. I watched these lads and lasses fighting for medals and saw what sport is all about.
Emotional is what sport needs to be. It's what football has to be. Every kick of the ball should matter to you. When I've lifted trophies or won promotion in the past, the satisfaction I felt was so intense. You never forget it. I can't imagine what it would be like at Leeds if it happened. The roof would come off.
That little bit extra counts for so much when it comes to winning things. That's what I want my players to think about when they're in the dressing room for the game against Wolves.
We're not going to win the league against Wolves but I want us to go out against them, a team who won't have made many changes from their Premier League squad, and get stuck in. I want us to go the extra mile and realise what can happen when you do.
We've all got to want that winning feeling. And we've all got to feel the privilege of being employed by a club like Leeds. If the players take those extra yards, anything is possible."
Warnock as refreshingly honest as ever there with some very strong and motivational words as we prepare to welcome the 2012/13 season. Lets hope the players take note and give their all against Wolves on Saturday and if they do, we can't really ask anymore. Come on Leeds!