Thomas Christiansen expects Leeds United to make a genuine bid for promotion next season, as he sets his sights on returning the club to the Premier League.
Following Garry Monk’s departure from Elland Road, the Whites caused something of a surprise when they turned to the former Spain international as his replacement. The 44-year-old former Barcelona youngster may be little known in England, but having twice finished runners-up with AEK Larnaca in the Cypriot First Division, he led Apoel Nicosia to the league title last season.
Christiansen has now set his sights on returning Leeds to the top-tier of English football, a division they last played in during the 2003-04 season when they finished second-bottom and six points from safety. And the new head coach has full confidence in his own ability, to such an extent he fully expects his players to mount a serious and lasting bid for promotion next term.
“We all want the same, to arrive in the best place at the end of the season,” he said. “Last year, we finished seventh, promotion should at least be a target. I am at a big club with ambition. One of the things that inspired me to come here is that it’s a family club, a big club that deserves to be in the Premier League and I believe with the good work, we can achieve that.
“About the league? I have followed it since I was a boy. I know how they play and how they advance. It’s still with the direct play and with the 4-4-2. I will try to put my ideas onto the pitch, to bring that also to the players and to dominate the games. But this is a process that I have to go through with the players. I am very excited and I believe that we can do good things here.”