Leeds United missed out on the chance to compete in the play-offs to play Premier League football by finishing in 7th last season, just 5 points behind 6th placed Fulham under former manager Gary Monk.
The Whites prepare for another campaign in the Championship, this time with new manager Thomas Christiansen at the helm. I spoke to someone who would know the club best – lifelong supporter Russ Vernon who in brief explained what is has been like following the club recently, and what he expects from the upcoming season.
Hi Russ, first of all, why do you support Leeds United?
I support Leeds United thanks to my dad. When I first started watching football in the late 1999/00 season, I was wanting to support Liverpool, but my dad soon changed that! I attended my first Leeds game on 7th April 2001 against Southampton at Elland Road, which we won 2-0 thanks to goals from Harry Kewell and Robbie Keane.
After narrowly missing out on the Championship play-off places, how do you feel after last season?
I feel that we did very well last season. Before the start of last season I was interviewed by another site and predicted we’d finish 7th, but after being in the play-offs for so long, I’m disappointed to see us drop out.
What are your feelings regarding the ticket prices at Leeds United?
After reports which have come out from the club, the new category A+ will only be used for Play-Off games, if we get there. The prices are very similar to last season but with an added £2 for Category A and B games.
Leeds United recently raised their ticket prices for the upcoming season which will see an adult match ticket for a ‘Category A+’ fixture cost £42. The cheapest adult ticket available on the day costs £31 for a ‘Category B’ game.
Is there any particular fixture(s) that you’re looking forward to?
The fixtures that I’m looking forward too are obviously the Yorkshire derbies! I also look forward to the return of Garry Monk with Middlesbrough.
Gary Monk shocked Leeds and resigned as head coach at Leeds United at the end of last season, despite the club claiming they offered Monk a suitable deal. Monk instead opted to join recently relegated Middlesbrough.
How successful has this transfer window been for yourselves so far?
I think it’s been fairly successful with the players he’s brought in, plus the permanent transfers of Pontus Jansson and Hadi Sacko will all help expand on what we achieved last season.
Centre-back and Swedish International Pontus Jansson was a hit at Elland Road last season on his loan deal from Italian club Torino. The 26 year-old was named in the Championship team of the year last season, alongside teammate and red-hot striker Chris Wood.
And finally, where do you think you’ll finish come the end of the season?
I think we can finish between 1st and 3rd place in the table. The shrewd pieces of business in the transfer market we’ve done so far will help us improve on last season’s finish and I can see us in the play-offs at least, if not, the top 2.
Many thanks to Russ for sharing his thoughts ahead of the upcoming season. Follow me on Twitter: @GeorgeS_Sport
Featured image: George Sanders