The gravest error has been undone...
Leeds' position was looking pretty bleak even before they had reached the end of August: 21st in the Championship after four matches and three defeats, knocked out of the Capital One Cup by a League One side and with a former Forest Green manager in charge that nobody believed in. Hiring Dave Hockaday was Massimo Cellino's mistake, but he admitted as much and acted quickly to amend it.
...and they have been brilliant since
It is remarkable that, four games after being backed at 3.55/2 and slimmer for the drop and appearing set for a season of struggle, Leeds are in the top half, two points off the play-offs compared to eight shy of the relegation zone, and with that progress made under an inexperienced interim boss. Neil Redfearn did an exceptional job though, winning three and drawing one during his brief dugout stint.
Darko Milanic was a carefully considered appointment
Given how successful Redfearn's caretaker reign was, it would have been easy and cheap for Cellino to make it permanent, particularly as there is a recent example of such a strategy seemingly paying off in the division in Stuart Gray at sixth-placed Sheffield Wednesday. However, he resisted any urge, hinting at some long-term thinking by insisting that Redfearn's value to the club's youth setup is far greater. Cellino took four weeks to identify and confirm his man, so this wasn't a whimsical decision.
The new boss has decent pedigree
Some Leeds fans and many pundits wanted Redfearn to be retained, and will dismiss Milanic's four Slovenian titles with Maribor, or even European victories over Rangers and Panathinaikos. Consider this: Slovenia outscored Scotland for UEFA coefficient points since last July, but most - this writer included - would judge former Celtic chief Neil Lennon more than worthy of a Championship job.
The fixture list is friendly
Leeds have lots of momentum and a strong opportunity to maintain it. They visit Brentford at the perfect time given the Bees' successive 0-3 and 0-4 losses to Norwich and Middlesbrough, yet are 4.03/1 to triumph. That is followed by home meetings with Reading and Sheffield Wednesday and then a trip to League One play-off winless Rotherham, who are winless in their last three as hosts.
Cellino knows what he is doing
He might treat managers meaner than Twitter users do Q&A session enthusiasts and make strange comments and decisions, but it is important to remember that Cellino is no clown. He kept Cagliari in Serie A for a decade - they are incidentally bottom early into their first campaign without him - and has assembled a talented squad at Elland Road, as they have started to prove since Hockaday's exit.
Leeds fans, do you share the tentative optimism? If you are really confident, promotion odds of 8.27/1 are available...