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Leeds United should be focusing on Premier League survival ahead of anything else next season following last term’s close call, Danny Mills has claimed.
The Whites are looking to avoid another repeat of their final-day scrap to stay in the top flight. They battled Burnley to avoid the drop and it was the Clarets who eventually moved to the Championship.
As a result, Leeds boss Jesse Marsch has been quick to bolster his ranks as he embarks on his first full season at Elland Road.
But despite the new recruits already at Leeds and with more to come, Mills insisted that his former side cannot afford to look any higher than just survival as it stands.
Mills therefore added that a solid start to the season will prove crucial to get Leeds going next term.
“Vital, it has to be the key,” Mills told Sky Sports News when asked if staying up should be Leeds’ top aim.
“It’s a little bit of a transitional season for them. After [Marcelo] Bielsa they got a lot of senior players and they’re getting towards 30 and over 30 and that’s why they’ve tried to address it.
“Bringing in players around the 20 mark, mid-20s to give them something in the middle which they’ve lacked in the last couple of seasons.
“Realistically what is with a new manager, lots of new players, survival has to be the key, if they can get off to a good start. “Every team outside the top six, seven, eight are thinking 40 points, get to 40 points as quick as possible then see where you are.
“See what date you get to that 40-point mark then see if you can kick on from there.”
Leeds recruiting ahead of next season
Midfield has been an area of concern for Marsch this summer.
He has consequently added former RB Salzburg man Brenden Aaronson, with Marc Roca joining him from Bayern Munich.
Elsewhere, Marsch has further raided Salzburg for right-back Rasmus Kristensen.
Marsch and director of football Victor Orta could yet look to add more players to their squad before the summer transfer window ends.
Whites need better start than last term
If Leeds are to have any optimism this season, they need a better run of results at the start of the campaign than they had last term.
Indeed, the 5-1 drubbing away at Manchester United on the opening day set the tone for a tough season.
And only two wins in 10 games – against eventually-relegated Norwich and Watford – has turned out to be an even clearer sign of their struggles.
Marsch began adapting his Leeds team from the high-intensity style of Bielsa towards the end of the 2021/22 campaign.
He now has a pre-season to further cement his philosophy and will want Leeds to hit the ground running in August.
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