[GOOGLE NEWS FOOT UK] 🔵 Leeds United given ‘niche’ Premier League advice from promotion rival – Shango Media
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[GOOGLE NEWS FOOT UK] 🔵 Leeds United given ‘niche’ Premier League advice from promotion rival

Leeds United will have to find a ‘niche’ if they are to clinch promotion to the Premier League – and stay there. All three of last season’s promoted teams will return to the Championship for the 2024-25 campaign after a bruising 12 months in the top flight.

While clubs such as Brentford, Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest and Fulham have bucked the trend and remained in the Premier League after promotions, it’s not uncommon to see the most recently promoted sides struggle. Luton Town, Burnley and Sheffield United have all been relegated after celebrating a year ago, and gloomy predictions are already being made about Leicester City, Ipswich and Southampton’s fate.

Leeds, of course, missed out on an instant return to the Premier League, losing to Southampton in the play-off final last month, and instead are are plotting their second promotion bid under Daniel Farke. They are facing up to the realities of having to sell some key players to cope with the financial restraints of a second Championship season – but Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has warned that the gap between the two divisions is only getting wider.

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Wilder returned to Bramall Lane midway through last season, but was unable to steer the Blades away from the relegation zone. He will compete with Leeds for a place in the top flight in the coming campaign, and had words of advice for those looking to win promotion and then avoid an instant relegation.

“Sometimes, people don’t understand how difficult it is to even get to the Prem in the first place,” Wilder told SportsBoom.com. “To do that, you’ve got to have performed remarkably well.

“But with the way football is going, actually being able to stay there is only going to become even more difficult. Most of the teams who come up, unless they’ve got a really rich history there, are going to struggle to compete financially so you’ve got to find other ways of doing that. You’ve got to try and be a bit clever. Find a niche.

“The Prem has got even tougher. Every season it moves on and so do most of the other teams in it.”

“Money-wise, the differences are obvious. Especially for those of us who haven’t been up there for 10 years or so before coming back. But the standard of player, right the way throughout, just keeps on rising and rising as well. That, for me, is one of the biggest differences.

“As more and more money comes in, clubs who are regarded as in the second rung of the Premier League bringing in players who not so long ago would have been beyond their reach.”

“It wasn’t that long back, for the clubs coming up, that you could look at teams outside of the top six or so and think ‘We’ve got a real chance there’. That’s changing, the gap is getting wider, and you have to find other ways of competing which unfortunately we weren’t able to do.

“We take ownership of what happened to us. But what I would say to everyone coming up is ‘Well done, but you’re going to be in for a bigger surprise than maybe you realise.’ That’s just the way it is. I reckon, even from a few years ago now, it’s even more difficult to come up and then stay up.”

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