By Alex Stevens

Ian Holloway has claimed that Leeds are his Championship “dark horses” this season as he predicted they can clinch a play-offs spot.

Neutrals are predicting one of the toughest ever battles for a top-six finish after big-hitters Newcastle and Aston Villa were relegated to the second tier along with Premier League regulars Norwich.

But Holloway is convinced that Leeds can make a big impact in the Championship under their new manager, who he regards as a brilliant appointment by controversial owner Massimo Cellino.

The Yorkshire giants finished 13th under Steve Evans last season but former QPR, Blackpool and Crystal Palace manager Holloway believes they can climb seven places as he predicted a sixth-place finish.

“These are my dark horses for the season,” wrote Holloway for the Sky Sports website. “Well done, Mr Cellino – you’ve made your best ever signing in Garry Monk.

“No one was applauding louder than me when he appointed Monk. He was a huge part of what Swansea achieved – he’ll build an identity and a way of playing at Leeds United. It’s what the fans deserve.”

Leeds completed their seventh summer signing on Tuesday when they unveiled former Swansea winger Pablo Hernandez.
Monk has also recruited Rob Green, Hadi Sacko, Marcus Antonsson, Kyle Bartley, Kemar Roofe and Matt Grimes.
In other Leeds news, the club’s fans have reacted on Twitter to their new summer signing.