LEEDS manager Neil Warnock wants his side to kick their new era off in style tomorrow, when they play host to third-placed Middlesbrough.
The Whites were today officially taken over by Dubai-based GFH Capital, bringing to an end the seven-year reign of Ken Bates.
Fans have grown increasingly angry with Bates about a perceived lack of investment, but he hands GFH, and their two frontmen, David Haigh and Salem Patel, an in-form side who have won four of their last five league games.
Warnock has got his eyes on a record eighth promotion, too, and knows tomorrow will be a good test of his players` mettle.
“We`ve got the best team in Yorkshire coming here on Saturday and we want to make it as difficult as possible for them,” he said.
“If we can get things right here, there is so much potential.”
Another intriguing fixture pits leaders Cardiff, humbled at home to Peterborough last week, against fifth-placed Leicester.
Just five points separate the two in a cramped division, and Foxes manager Nigel Pearson is respectful of his opposition.
“They are a side that has done exceptionally well this season, but it will be a tough game for both sides,” he said.
“They’re like most sides that are successful in this division - they work exceptionally hard, they’re organised and they have some very good individuals within the team.”
A side from the other end of the table, struggling Barnsley, head to Millwall tomorrow, with the Lions occupying the last play-off spot.
Barnsley, with an injury-ravaged squad, could have hoped for a better pre-Christmas trip, but according to manager Keith Hill, all is not lost.
“Everything that we want to achieve this season is still possible,” he said.
“The year of 2012 hasn’t been a great year. But one - we retained our Championship status and number two, we can still do that.”
Blackburn manager Henning Berg will be hoping there is not a Santa hat in sight as he leads his men into battle with Brighton.
There was a fuss caused this week when it was reported Berg had walked out of the club`s Christmas party after being encouraged to dress up on stage.
“This was an official club Christmas party that the club normally has, it was not a players’ do or anything like that. So we made a statement on it and that’s it,” he said.
“We’re thinking of football. The games are the most important things and that’s what our concentration and focus will be on.”
Elsewhere tomorrow, Birmingham and Burnley square-off, Bolton go to Peterborough, Sheffield Wednesday are at home to Charlton, Watford host Nottingham Forest and Ipswich take on Bristol City.
Crystal Palace, still second despite a recent wobble, take on out-of-form Huddersfield in the day`s late kick-off.
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