LEEDS United manager Simon Grayson (pictured) believes his side have been handed a tough opening month to the new season.
The Npower Championship fixtures were released on Friday with the Whites unusually beginning away from home to newly promoted Southampton on Saturday, August 6.
They follow-up with back to back home games against Middlesbrough and Hull City and with a Carling Cup first round tie also in the first week of the new season against Bradford City the derby games will test United straight off.
August is completed with trips to relegated West Ham and Ipswich Town. Meanwhile, Leeds appear to have been given a difficult run-in, finishing with games against Cardiff and Leicester.
United manager Simon Grayson told the club’s website: “It’s a tough start, but there’s no easy games, so it’s a good start and one that we’re really looking forward to now we know.
“Southampton have just come up, they will have momentum with them, and they will be looking to make an impression on the division.
“Then there’s two local-ish derby matches with Boro and Hull. They are two sides who will be looking to go a stage better this season.
“West Ham have just come down and that will be a cracking test for us and, as everyone knows, Ipswich is never the easiest place to go whenever you play them.
“There’s some long trips this season, but we do get a few out of the way early doors.
“The one good thing from our point of view is that we don’t have any long midweek aways. I think the furthest we go is Birmingham. That’s really good for the fans.
“I’m disappointed we’re not at home on Boxing Day - I always like the atmosphere here on Boxing Day - but Derby isn’t too far and neither is Barnsley on New Year’s Eve, so again that’s good for the fans.
“It’s an interesting finish because after Blackpool, we have Cardiff and Leicester and they will all be sides who will be fancying themselves for promotion