By Richard Parks

Thomas Christiansen has revealed that he knew Leeds United were a “big team” before he took over as manager after following them since he was a child.

The Dane, who went on to become a full Spain international, made the admission as he reflected upon Leeds’ midweek League Cup triumph against top tier Burnley.

Their 5-3 win on penalties at Turf Moor, after a frenetic end to the 90 minutes saw the rivals locked at 2-2, set up a fourth-round trip to another Premier League club, Leicester City, in the week commencing 23 October.

Christiansen, 44, is looking forward to having many more big clashes against top-tier opposition.

“Before I came here I knew about Leeds, I’ve followed English football since I was a kid and I knew Leeds were a big team,” said the Dane, as quoted by the Telegraph and Argus.

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“They are a team who should be in the Premier League. This is what we are going to work on, day by day, one game at a time. We’ll do our best to achieve that this season.”

The Championship leaders resume their league campaign on Saturday at home to fifth-placed Ipswich in buoyant mood after bouncing straight back from their defeat to Millwall last weekend.

That was Leeds’ only reverse from 11 matches of a season which holds great promise under calm and shrewd command of their new manager.

Leeds have won five league matches and all three cup clashes to put to bed concerns that Christiansen was a dubious choice to replace Garry Monk, who quit in May to take over at Middlesbrough.

In other Leeds United news, a 26-year-old Monk mainstay is fighting for his Elland Road career after recent developments.

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