McDermott’s Whites got their 2013-14 campaign off to a flier with Saturday’s 2-1 victory against Brighton in front of over 33,000 fans at Elland Road.
The game’s dramatic injury-time winner was bagged by Luke Murphy – United’s first £1m signing since 2005 – but McDermott says success can be achieved even without a raft of expensive purchases.
McDermott has already stated this summer how there is a need to balance the books though hopes are high the Whites can still bring in further recruits.
But either way McDermott insists he was not exactly rolling in cash when getting Reading promoted to the Premier League in 2012 with the 52-year-old now quietly confident of Championship success at Leeds.
“It’s the story of my life (having no money),” said McDermott ahead of tomorrow night’s Capital One Cup tie at home to Chesterfield.
“At Reading we had to sell big players so sometimes you have to work hard, dig deep, go together as a group. It’s amazing what you can achieve when you do that.”
United will seek back-to-back Championship victories on Sunday when they visit a Leicester City side who also picked up three points from their opening fixture with a 2-1 success at Middlesbrough.
But first the Whites will embark on this year’s Capital One Cup campaign against the Spireites at Elland Road.
El Hadji-Diouf will be available – fitness permitting – after serving the final game of his-two match ban but the Whites will still be without Rodolph Austin who serves the final match of his three-game ban.
Sam Byram also remains sidelined with a hip injury while Stephen Warnock will need to be assessed after limping off during Saturday’s win against Brighton.
It remains to be seen what changes will be made by United’s manager but McDermott has made it abundantly clear that success this season will be dependent on Leeds’ squad as a whole.
McDermott reasoned: “It is a group thing and we’re trying to create a group ethos here, not just about 11 players because we’re going to need the 20-odd players that we’ve got.
“I’ve been fortunate as a manager and subs have always been good for me.
“Late goals have always been good for me as well.”
Reflecting on Saturday’s substitutes Matt Smith, Dominic Poleon and Adam Drury, McDermott added: “Bringing Matt Smith on gives us another dimension.
“Dominic’s very quick and I thought the two strikers did well.
“Adam Drury came on and did well as well.”
It was Smith in particular who proved key in assisting United’s winner on Saturday – the six-foot-six striker nodding down a header for new recruit Murphy who did the rest.
That strike sent Elland Road into raptures with McDermott and his coaching staff certainly not holding back in joining in the celebrations.
McDermott says that in the event of last-minute drama he will never be one to play it cool.
“I’m not calm when we score a last-minute goal,” admitted the United boss.
“The whole bench was up, the staff, everyone and rightly so.”
McDermott also rose from a different bench to last season with the United manager having swapped the home and away benches around very much by design.
“In the other dug-out you’ve got the away fans by your side,” he said.
“In the other dug-out you’re nearer the middle of the pitch and I’ve got all the fans behind (the Kop).
“For me it makes more sense to be in that dug-out rather than be near the away ones – especially when you think of the amount of stick I got against Sheffield Wednesday.
“I thought it was right to move.”