By Mark Smith

1st Feb, 2020 | 11:30am

Paul Cook delivers Leeds promotion verdict ahead of clash v Wigan

Wigan manager Paul Cook has claimed that regardless of what fans may think, Leeds United will earn promotion to the Premier League this season.

The Latics travel to Elland Road on Saturday, with Cook hoping that the Whites don’t take out their frustrations on his side after last year’s shock win in West Yorkshire.

Cook went against some of the fears circulating from the disappointment of last season and was definitive in his verdict on Marcelo Bielsa’s men.

“I must pay Leeds a big compliment because, although the Leeds fans might not always think it, they’re going up,” he said, via the Yorkshire Evening Post.

“They’re such a strong team, from the mindset of the manager into the players and again into the supporters.”

It is still anyone’s game in the Championship, with the gap to the drop two having dropped significantly recently.

Last year’s defeat against Wigan all but put an end to Leeds’ promotion hopes. The Latics came from behind to win 2-1 despite having a man sent off early in the game.

Bielsa will be hoping for a much more straight forward encounter and three points on Saturday, very similar to the 2-0 win at the DW Stadium from earlier in the season.

Yes, the Latics once again got a man sent off, but Leeds were dominant. The away side kept 76.1% possession, as well as completing 387 more passes on an afternoon where two goals from Patrick Bamford handed the Whites an easy three points.

If Leeds can replicate the second-half against Millwall for the full 90 minutes, Cook will be left looking for cover on the touchline at Elland Road.

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay has revealed the issue that Leeds are facing with the injured Adam Forshaw