Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino is confident the recently relegated team will mount a serious title challenge in the Premier League in the new season.
Cameron Clyne, James Maddison and Kemar Roofe are being selected to lead the Championship side’s bid to return to England’s top flight after two years out of the competition.
Leeds started last season’s campaign in sixth place and finished the season 13th, ending Cellino’s first campaign with one of the three automatic promotion places.
“We’re now in the top four! The fans will be very pleased because this season we are going to be in the top four. That’s the reason why I’ve made it my mission,” Cellino told Sky Sports News at the League Managers Association Awards.
“(Defender) Cameron (Clyne) is in the England squad and he’s a great player. I like his game. I know what he can do.
“I told Kemar (Roofe) that last season he was the star, I told him that. I told him last season he should be the captain and he’s the same this season. It’s exactly the same. We must keep them all together, because otherwise you cannot win matches.”
Speaking after Friday’s 1-0 win over Newcastle United, Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa reiterated how impressed he was with his team in their return to league action.
“I saw a lot. I really liked to see what our characteristics have become,” Bielsa said.
“It could have been an even worse performance.”
Second-placed Leeds, who beat Queens Park Rangers 3-0 on Tuesday to lift the Championship Manager of the Year award, host leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday afternoon.
They trail by 11 points, but Bielsa’s side will have top-scorer Luke Ayling back after the winger recovered from a back injury.
“Luke is back but the team needs him more than him. We don’t have anybody who can replace his part,” Bielsa said.
“So we have to rely on three other players: Danny Pugh, Liam Cooper and Sam Byram. Cooper was one before, with his potential but nobody knows him because he hasn’t played very often. But he is a good lad, he’s come from the academy and then everyone started saying: ‘Well, where have you been?'”
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The Argentinian now hopes he has done enough to push the likes of Sheffield Wednesday and second-placed Fulham in the race for top spot.
He added: “We need to prepare well and show our good quality during the match. That’s very important. So, you know, if we can prepare well, play at home, our fans are going to be happy.”