After a slow start to the 2015-16 campaign, Leeds United have shown plenty of promise under new manager Steve Evans. Although Leeds lost to Rotherham United in their most recent encounter, the Whites have looked much better and have lost just two of their six fixtures since Evans arrived at the helm.
Evans' immediate impact has helped the Whites to climb up the Championship table. While they are still 16th in the division, they sit just nine points behind sixth-placed Birmingham City. With plenty of matches remaining, there are numerous opportunities for Leeds to continue climbing up the table and Evans will believe that he can lead the Whites to a play-off spot this season.
Unfortunately for Leeds, they did suffer that 1-0 defeat by Rotherham at Elland Road. If they are to endure a successful season, the Whites must improve at home. Leeds have won just once at home this campaign - a 1-0 victory over Cardiff City - and Evans must focus on improving in front of their own fans. Leeds have thousands of ardent supporters who follow the club all over the country and they deserve more than their current run of form. If the Whites can begin to shine in front of their home supporters, they will begin to climb up the division.
If their star men continue to make a major impact throughout the campaign, they are more than capable of putting together a good run of form and could well be featuring in the Premier League next season. There's a long way to go but if anyone can perform a minor miracle, it's Leeds.
Defensively, Leeds can be suspect at times and they must tighten up if they are to challenge for a play-off berth. Ultimately, the Whites will need to secure a number of close victories over the course of the season and clean sheets will prove crucial to their top-six aspirations.
Leeds have kept just three clean sheets all season but they have achieved two of those in recent victories against Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town - both under Evans' management. If Evans continues to focus on improving Leeds' leaky defence, that could well be the catalyst for a successful campaign.
So, can Leeds challenge for the play-offs this season? Of course they can. The Whites have a number of talented stars and, along with Evans' tough management stance, Leeds have the potential to climb the division this season. Their away form is exceptional and, if they can begin to pick up victories at Elland Road, they will be in business. Only time will tell of course but the early signs are promising and Evans may well be the right man to take Leeds back to the big time.