Brian McDermott has high hopes as he embarks on his first full season in charge of Leeds this weekend.
The manager took over at the back end of the 2012/13 season after he was sacked by Reading in March. His dismissal brought to an end a successful spell with the Royals, in which he took the club to a play-off final and then the Premier League a year later.
Now he has had the summer to settle into his new surroundings, and he has told Sky Sports that he is relishing the start of the new campaign after pre-season culminated with their recent 2-0 loss to Nurnberg.
"You're always optimistic going into a new season. You have to be. We've come back right for the summer training and worked really hard every day. It's been good for us for all sorts of reasons whether the performances have been good, bad or indifferent," explained the former Arsenal apprentice.
Leeds will be looking for a strong start when Brighton visit Elland Road this Saturday, when McDermott will undoubtedly be be exposed once again to the loyal support that he has witnessed throughout the summer.
On a pre-season tour around England and across parts of Eastern Europe, the side have been brilliantly supported wherever they have gone, and this is something recognised by the gaffer.
He added: "Travelling away from home has been the big thing. We went away to Slovenia and there were hundreds and hundreds of fans. I don't even know how they got there!
"At Walsall there were 1500 of them. There were 1400 at Stevenage. It's not just in Leeds, it's all over England - there are Leeds fans coming up to us."
However, with this immense support comes extra pressure to succeed and take this big club back to the Premier League, as they quickly approach a decade away from the top flight.
But McDermott remains grounded and sensible when he considers the notion of promotion this year.
"I don't know what's realistic for Leeds but I know what's realistic for me. We'll try to get a team on the pitch that puts on a performance for the fans. I just look at it each day. We'll do the best we possibly can and then see where we end up come May," concluded the 52-year-old.
Leeds fans have reason to be confident when they look at their new manager's recent Championship record with Reading. With large crowds to cheer his side on, it will be interesting to discover how strongly the Yorkshire club can challenge for promotion this season.
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