Nicky Butt is keeping his fingers crossed Leeds will secure a return to the Premier League this season after admitting he misses seeing the “healthy rivalry” that exists between them and Manchester United.
Marcelo Bielsa‘s side are well placed to secure promotion this season after a 16-year absence and currently lie second, three points clear of third-placed Fulham.
After coming so close to ending their long wait last season, their hopes of returning to the Premier League this time around face a crunch phase with matches against fourth-placed Nottingham Forest, fifth-placed Brentford and sixth-placed Bristol City next on the horizon.
But Butt, who was an intrinsic part of Manchester United’s squad when Leeds and the Red Devils used to have regular ding-dongs in the Premier League, is desperate to see them return, having outlined why the rivalry between the two sides is much missed.
Butt, who will be in charge when Manchester United meet Leeds in the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday evening, said: “I’ve been to many Leeds games from when I was younger with my uncle, my cousin and my dad and I went to Elland Road a good few times as a younger kid.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Butt added: “I didn’t need explaining what the rivalry is!
“But it’s a healthy rivalry; Leeds are a great club, a massive club and I can’t wait for them to get back into the Premier League, if I’m honest.
“Because it’s part of a healthy, really good rivalry we have and our lads will know about it.
“We’ve had several meetings this week with the youth team coach, talking about the rivalry and history.
“But I think you’ve got to be careful about it with kids, because if you go on too much about the rivalry you forget about the actual game.”
Since Leeds demise at the end of the 2003/04 season, the two clubs have met just twice – with Leeds famously shocking United while a League One side in a FA Cup third-round clash in January 2010.