Ron Atkinson tips Leeds and Queens Park Rangers to be stronger forces in the Championship next season

QPR Crest

The former pundit was discussing the strength of next year's division and has tipped the two sides to be contenders.

Ron Atkinson has suggested that Leeds United and Queens Park Rangers will be contenders in the Championship next season, the Sheffield Star reports.

The two clubs go into the final five games of the season sat in mid-table with both a play-off push and a relegation scrap seemingly out of the equation for another year. 

But after assessing the strength of next season's second tier, the former West Brom and Manchester United boss has backed the two clubs to be much higher up this time next year.

"Aston Villa, Newcastle and maybe Sunderland will be coming down. The likes of QPR and Leeds will get stronger so it will be a very difficult year for the big clubs," he told the Sheffield Star.

Of the two, Rangers certainly appear to be in the stronger position to move themselves towards the summit of the table during the next campaign. 

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink appears to be building something at Loftus Road that took a while to get going, but is starting to hint that it could help the club finally establish themselves at the highest level after a few years of basically yo-yoing. They have won four of their last eight games, and the Dutchman will be looking to continue that momentum into the final weeks of the season.

Meanwhile, at Elland Road, it is much more difficult to predict what is going to happen beyond the last five games.

Speculation surrounding Steve Evans' future has already begun (via Daily Mail), and for every impressive performance like the one the Whites put in against Birmingham on Tuesday, there is a shambolic display such as their defeats to Huddersfield and Brighton where they conceded four on both occasions, not far around the corner.

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