UWE rosler is pledging that every Leeds United player will be given a clean slate this pre-season – with all of his squad to be given the chance to impress ahead of the 2015-16 big kick-off.
Last season’s squad, alongside summer arrivals Chris Wood, Sol Bamba, Lee Erwin and Charlie Horton, are coming to the end of their opening week of pre-season training, with head coach Rosler having no preconceptions in regards to team selection.
A number of United’s foreign signings from last season infamously ended the campaign on the periphery following events ahead of the game with Charlton Athletic on April 18.
Controversy reigned when six of United’s foreign signings – including top-scorer Mirco Antenucci, centre-back Giuseppe Bellusci and striker Souleymane Doukara – unexpectedly declared themselves unfit prior to the Addicks trip, to the anger of many Whites supporters.
Antenucci and Doukara found themselves out of the side for most of the second half of last term, while fellow 2014-15 close-season signings Casper Sloth and Nicky Ajose were used even more sparingly.
All were part of the group who assembled back at Thorp Arch on Monday, with Rosler eager for them to write a new positive chapter at United.
Rosler, who is taking a look at former Manchester City right-back/winger Adam Drury on trial, said: “The players are putting in good shifts and I will give everyone a chance.
“For example, Nicky Ajose is running everyone into the ground. He has prepared well in the summer.
“If he can bring that onto the pitch, the boy has a chance. It is important everyone realises that what happened in the past is not my problem.
“All I can influence is what happens now. That means judging the players and picking the team from what I see in training. A clean slate for everyone.”
After returning for tests at the end of last week, Rosler has been putting his charges through their paces alongside assistant Rob Kelly and first-team coach Julian Darby and has been impressed by the players’ work ethic.
Their attitude has also been noticeably pleasing, according to Rosler, who has stressed the need for good morale in his squad – indirectly alluding to the events at the end of late last season when dressing-room unity came into question.
Rosler said: “We tested the players when they came back and now we have put in place a programme designed to get them up to speed.
“We also made a representation to the players about how we want them to play and why we are doing the physical drills.
“They are an intelligent group, some are very experienced, and the response has been very promising.
“One of the recipes in the Championship is you need fitness but you also need good morale. You need team spirit to carry you through difficult spells.
“It is a very demanding league and probably one of the most difficult in Europe with the match programme and the way the football is played.
“To come through successful, you need good morale in the camp and that is what we are trying to create.
“We want everyone to feel included and happy with the environment.”