Negative discourse gusts around the Elland Road terraces as Leeds United battle against the pull of the League One tractor beam in the early stages of the Championship campaign.
The Whites owe their standing of 19th in the table to an extremely fortuitous victory over Middlesbrough last weekend, but comprehensive defeats against Millwall and Brighton suggest a long season looms.
At present a massive 16/1 says the west Yorkshire outfit will end 2014/15 with promotion; only four franchises are rated less likely to hop the fence into the Premier League.
Few would find cause to wade in big on these odds based on their opening-exchange showings, with their relegation price no doubt attracting more interest.
Although the reasons to be fearful may be more plentiful at present, there’s ample time for Leeds to reverse their fortunes, with two new arrivals in particular threatening to spark a surge of positivity.
Brazilian youngster Adryan is in discussions over a move to the three-time English champions.
The 20-year-old Flamengo prodigy will reportedly command a £5m fee and will inject some widely-craved creativity into their squad.
Lauded as the new Zico in certain quarters of his native Brazil, the youngster is alleged to have rejected a move to Manchester United earlier in his career after scoring five goals in helping his country to fourth in the 2011 under-17 World Cup.
Meanwhile, Catania stopper Giuseppe Bellusci will help solidify their backline.
A seasoned Serie A campaigner, he averaged 1.4 tackles and 2.3 interceptions per outing last term, while maintaining a mean of 6.2 clearances every match he contested.
In Billy Sharp they have one of the finest lower league goalscorers in circulation.
His record for local foes Doncaster Rovers of 46 in 94 is tough to slight.
If he can stockpile the strikes at such a rate for an outfit that perennially struggled during an elongated rendition of second-tier hokey-cokey, he’ll have no trouble notching en masse for the Whites.
Eccentric owner Massimo Cellino, whose schemes to buy the club’s stadium and training ground back have endeared him to supporters, oversaw two promotions in his 22-year spell bankrolling Cagliari, the first after just one season in Serie B.
The Italian is steadily establishing the groundwork for Leeds to follow the same path and his experience in this field will ensure the club finish this season strongly.