Scott Minto has said that the next six weeks could decide whether Leeds United have what it takes to secure promotion.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side narrowly missed out last season after dropping out of the automatic promotions spaces in the final weeks of the season, before being beaten over two legs by Frank Lampard’s Derby County.
The Yorkshire side have regrouped and have enjoyed a decent start to the season after picking up 28 points from 15 games – a tally which has put them third in the league and level on points with Preston in second.
Speaking exclusively to Football League World, the Sky Sports EFL presenter admitted that he expected Leeds to be leading the pack at this stage, but says that they face strong competition for the automatic promotions spots.
Minto said: “I don’t think anything is different this season.
“We did Leeds vs Sheffield Wednesday a couple of weeks ago and they were a point better at that point last season, and yet it didn’t seem as upbeat as last season.
“That’s because Bielsa came in and made such a massive difference and compared to what had happened the season before, it was a massive jump.
“I did think that Leeds would be a little bit higher up the league and have a bit of a gap.
“I think that shows the the beauty of the Championship in that there isn’t a standout side.
Will Leeds United win the Championship title?
“I feel like Leeds, when they get it right, are the standout side in the Championship. I also put Fulham in that category.
“I saw Fulham against West Brom at Craven Cottage and for me those three sides are fighting for two automatic promotion places.
“On their given day, Leeds are probably the best team to watch but they just haven’t found that consistency yet this season.”
Next up for Leeds is a home clash with Blackburn Rovers this weekend – a fixture which, according to Minto, kickstarts a run of must-win fixtures if Bielsa’s side are to live up to their tag of promotion favourites.
Minto said: “They have some very winnable games coming up so this period going into the Christmas, they have a massive opportunity to create a gap between themselves and the rest.
“I’d be surprised if they don’t, but if they don’t I’m sure in the back of their minds they’ll be thinking ‘are we going to do this again’.
“But if they’re six points ahead, or maybe more, I look at their games and I think they’re more than capable of winning every single one of those.
“The nature of the Championship tells me that they won’t, but by the time you get to Christmas there could be a good gap between them and the rest.”