Tony Dorigo believes Leeds are capable of going one better in the race for promotion this season – and has named two players he feels could make the difference for Marcelo Bielsa’s side this year.
United, so long leaders of the Championship last season, were eventually overhauled by Norwich before Shefield United overtook them with just three games to spare, with Leeds’ Championship fate sealed for another season after defeat to Derby in the play-offs.
But with a new season comes new hope and Leeds title winner Dorigo reckons the addition of two key players could finally help Leeds reach the promised land.
“I thought he looked really sharp in both games that I saw and he’s certainly one of those that can aim for about 10 goals this season; that’d be a big improvement. [Helder] Costa is a really good player, proven at this level; maybe he could make a difference.”
Aside from the obvious star man Pablo Hernandez, Dorigo also thinks some of Leeds’ homegrown stars could enjoy a stronger season, while he is also expecting more from Barry Douglas in his second season at Elland Road.
“You look at Jack Clarke, another year on for him, I think [Jamie] Shackleton will play a bigger part this season, Barry Douglas had a lot of injuries last season but he’s coming back and hopefully he stays fit.
“There’s reasons for improvement.”
Dorigo, while expressing concerns at a lack of depth in central defence following the sale of Pontus Jansson to Brentford, believes key to their success this season will be learning from the 2018/19 failures.
“In the betting we’re favourites, everyone thinks we’re favourites, that’s tough but I think Leeds last season played with a lot of extra pressure on them anyway, expectation is always there,” he added.
“I still think that what he [Bielsa] got out of the side last season was quite incredible, if you think that the previous year they finished 13th.
“I look at the team, they’re working really hard and they’re a solid unit.
“I don’t see any reason why, if we can play to our potential, we can’t get automatic promotion.
“Like last season, there’s no doubt our best was better than anyone else in the division, but when it came to the death we made too many mistakes and one or two didn’t perform as we’d seen before.
“We’re still good enough to get to that position again, it’s if we’ve learned from what happened last season.
“If we do, I think we’ll go up.”
Leeds’ hopes of a deal for Liverpool’s Ryan Kent, meanwhile, have taken a knock with Jurgen Klopp insisting the winger will only leave Anfield in a permanent deal this summer.
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