Neil Warnock’s long time assistant Mick Jones has sympathised with Nigel Adkins for the pressure being heaped upon the Saints boss.

Jones and Warnock felt the full force of Premier League pressure themselves last season.

Having led QPR to the top flight they were given until the start of January before being given the sack.

Jones said: “I think at this stage of last season, Neil had nine or ten points and QPR have something like three now.

“We were shocked to get sacked as we thought we had done a smashing job.

“We’d been to Stoke City and Everton and won, and beaten Chelsea, and getting sacked was the biggest shock of my life. Me or Neil didn't see it coming.

“But it was the owners’ choice and they decided to go down that line. But I was amazed.

“Every manager that goes up in the Championship will be under pressure in six matches, that’s natural.

“I look at it this way; if you were to buy players from the Championship and lower divisions for the Premiership, you would have a job to buy six.

“That tells you that the gap between the whole of football and the Premiership is massive.

“Even the teams that survive then find the second season is even harder when you think it should be a little bit easier.

“Naturally, the teams with all the finance win everything anyway.”

Jones is expecting a tough test tonight but knows there will be a fiery atmosphere for a game that holds a place in the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup for the winners.

“A cup game has a sparkle and Elland Road on a Tuesday night will be hard place for any team, I am certain of that and we need to go into the game with that attitude,” he said.

“For the very top teams, the League Cup is probably the least fashionable competition of all. But I can remember Martin O’Neill building a massive reputation on the back of winning League Cups with Leicester City.

“Below the top teams, others outside the big four will think they can win this competition.”

Leeds have their own problems to worry about.

Their last two games, both at home, have been sub-standard, with Charlton taking a point and then Birmingham all three from a pair of fixtures United were widely expected to win.

Nine-goal striker Luciano Becchio has looked off-colour too and, with replacements thin on the ground and the protracted takeover of the club by GFH Capital still not completed, reinforcements do not appear to be on the horizon.

As a result, Jones and Warnock are hoping to get the players they have back in some sort of shape ahead of tomorrow.

“Saturday against Birmingham was frustrating for everyone involved with the club. It was the first time this season we haven’t scored and I couldn’t see us scoring either,” Jones said. “Luciano is having a hard time at the moment but we all know how genuine and hardworking he is. He's in the leading scorers in the division and there's not a lot wrong.

“Getting new players will come down to finance as every job does. You can buy the best centre forward in the country if you have the money, but it's not feasible at the moment.”