By Amir Mir
Leeds midfielder Toumani Diagouraga is ready to battle for a first team spot and insists the competition within the squad is healthy for team chemistry.
Manager Garry Monk and his side landed in Ireland on Sunday as the club begin a two-week pre-season tour in Dublin as they prepare for a gruelling Championship campaign.
Diagouraga is one of eight midfielders included in the squad selected by the manager, but the powerful midfielder is prepared to battle for his place within the squad.
“There has been competition everywhere I’ve been,” Diagouraga told the official Leeds website. “You just have to put your head down, do what you do and hope that you’re in the team.”
The 29-year-old featured 14 times for Leeds since signing for the Yorkshire club in January, but the defensive midfielder believes the squad’s strong chemistry will play a part in them being successful for the forthcoming Championship campaign.
“There’s a very good chemistry in the squad. If we’re going to be successful, it’s not going to be just 11 players – it’s going to be about the full squad,” said Diagouraga to the Leeds website.
“Of course there’s competition in there but, ultimately, we want Leeds United to be successful.”
Leeds have not been back to the top-tier of English football since financial implosion led to their relegation in the 2003-2004 Premier League campaign.
A visit to the third tier of English football soon followed as did the constant failures of past managers to get the club back to the Premier League.
Former Swansea manager Monk will look to break that duck as the club look for promotion in his first season in charge at Elland Road.
French-born Diagouraga believes it is exciting times ahead for the club as they prepare for a visit to QPR when the first game of the new Championship campaign starts on August 7.
“It’s very exciting because we know what we are working for. Ultimately, we’re trying to be ready for the first game of the season at QPR and then we’ll carry on from there,” said Diagouraga.
“We’ll go into the new season trying to win as many games as possible and seeing where that takes us.”
In other Leeds news, the club hint that they are on the verge of signing this Sporting Lisbon attacker.