UWE ROSLER says ‘optimism is high’ in the buoyant Leeds United camp ahead of the big Championship kick-off at home to Burnley.
United will pick from strength and report a clean bill of health aside from Tomasso Bianchi, with Rosler confirming that Luke Murphy has returned to first-team training after missing all five of the club’s pre-season friendlies with a knee injury.
It’s a timely boost for United following a positive and solid pre-season, with head coach Rosler believing that the decision to organise a tough schedule of pre-season games games against the likes of Hoffenheim, Eintracht Frankfurt and Everton will pay off.
Rosler said: “I think we are thoroughly prepared and the players are feeling confident with optimism.
“Optimism is high and that’s all what I can ask from myself, my staff and also the players – to be prepared as we can be.
“I feel prepared and we are very focused. I think we have kept the players on the pitch, which is very important, especially with the small squad we have had. We haven’t had many injuries or soft-tissue injuries which is credit to my staff and the medical staff in terms of how they look after players.
“We are prepared and now the real football starts.
“When you are prepared, then nothing will faze you, so on purpose we choose to play competitive teams in pre-season where it was not normal that we would win games.
“We accepted we might get beaten, but we pushed ourselves to the limit.
“The players dealt with it in a manner that brings that forward and now it’s Burnley.”
On Murphy, Rosler said: “He has a little bit to go in terms of match practice but what a good day that is for us that he’s already back in training.
“He’s slightly ahead of schedule. The next step is that he needs conditioning and he needs match minutes.”
Meanwhile, midfielder Lewis Cook admits pre-season has been gruelling, but believes he and his United team-mates will reap the rewards.
He said: “It’s been a hard one (pre-season), but very enjoyable.
“It has helped me get a baseline fitness and I think we are a lot fitter this year and hopefully that will show in other games against other teams.”