Leeds United hero David Batty predicts Premier League return in the 'very near future'

Leeds United Billy Bremner Statue

Leeds hero David Batty believes the club will return to its former glories soon.

Leeds United hero David Batty has told the club's official website that a return to the top is just around the corner - despite the current state of the club.

Batty, 46, was born in Leeds and started his career with his hometown club, making over 200 appearances after making his debut in 1986, but eventually moved on to Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers.

An emotional return to Elland Road was completed for Batty in 1998, but he was forced to retire in 2004 through in jury - which was of course Leeds' final season in the Premier League.

11 years on, Leeds are no closer to returning to the top flight, currently sitting in 15th place under Neil Redfearn, but with a superb crop of young players coming through, there's certainly cause for optimism at Elland Road.

Batty, who has largely kept away from football since his retirement, has now told the Leeds official website that he is keeping up with the club's results, and puts the recent run of three straight defeats down to inherent inconsistency.

"I’m always aware of how Leeds are getting on," said Batty. "I think, judging from the last few results, we were doing okay and then we dropped off. It’s a bit of inconsistency which has reflected all through the season."

Batty, who was part of the Leeds side which was challenging with the big boys in England and Europe in the early 2000's alongside the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Harry Kewell and Alan Smith, also believes that Leeds are too big for players to turn down - and that factor will take Leeds back to the top flight eventually.

"I think it’s a matter of just building for next season. I do honestly believe we’ll come strong in the very near future. We’re too big of a pull for players that must want to come and play for Leeds. We must be up there soon," he added.

Leeds fans will admire Batty's optimism, but after another season of chaos, some may feel that the Premier League return is further away than Batty thinks.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch