Championship

Leeds: Pulis backs Bielsa’s men for Championship promotion

Leeds: Pulis backs Bielsa’s men for Championship promotion

Tony Pulis expects big things to come from Leeds United in 2019/20, as the former Middlesbrough manager has backed Marcelo Bielsa’s men to secure promotion out of the Championship.

Pulis has been without a job since leaving Boro at the end of last season, when the Teesside outfit opted against extending the 61-year-old’s contract at the Riverside Stadium (BBC), having failed to secure promotion out of the second tier after reaching the play-off semi-finals the term prior.

He managed the feat more than a decade ago, though, as Pulis led Stoke City into the Premier League as Championship runners-up in the 2007/08 campaign, having amassed just two fewer points than title-clinchers West Bromwich Albion.

Newport-born Pulis has also taken 99 wins in the second tier over the course of his career in the dugout (TransferMarkt), and clearly expects Bielsa to chalk a few more against his name, with the Argentine already boasting 29 from 52 regular-season games.

Speaking to The Telegraph about who he feels can win the Premier League and Championship titles this year, Pulis said: “I still can’t look beyond Man City, I just think Liverpool will fall short again. Leeds will also do it this year.”

Leeds were in the Championship promotion picture throughout Bielsa’s maiden campaign at the West Yorkshire outfit, and have already made a positive mark on the new term with just three points separating them from Swansea City after the Welsh club clinched the spoils and the top spot at Elland Road last weekend.

The pressure is on Leeds to secure promotion this season, though, as they came so close to going up last season and have retained the majority of the players who featured in Bielsa’s regular line-up (TransferMarkt) that reached the play-off semi-finals, as well as ensuring the Argentine continued into a second term.

But, despite keeping hold of most of their key men, United must ensure they do not suffer the same end-of-season form that saw their efforts tail off in April above all else, otherwise they will come out empty-handed once more, no matter how much backing they receive between now and next May.

Leeds fans, who did you feel the Elland Road outfit had to retain the most this summer? Let us know in the comments below…

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