'It's a club for falling in love' - Victor Orta hails Leeds United environment after Premier League season
Victor Orta has hailed the environment created among Marcelo Bielsa's squad at Elland Road, insisting Leeds United is a 'club for falling in love'.
The Argentine head coach guided the Whites to a ninth-placed finish in the Premier League at the first time of asking this season.
Leeds initially began the campaign searching for top flight safety following promotion but quickly took England's elite by storm, earning plaudits for their commitment to forward thinking and high intensity football.
Bielsa attacked the division with the base of his Championship title-winning squad as Orta and his scouting department added a sprinkle of European talent to the tune of around £100m.
With the swift turnaround following the delayed finish last term, many of the new signings took months to adjust amid a demanding regime in West Yorkshire and a spate of injuries along with a mix of bad luck.
Stuart Dallas claimed the club's Player and Players' Player of the Year awards while Patrick Bamford smashed any doubts by bagging 17 league goals, along with seven assists - two players playing their first full term of Premier League action at Leeds.
Orta - who now has another challenging summer ahead in the transfer market - believes the success of their debut season is a result of the togetherness and drive shown by those plying their trade in a white shirt.
"We are really lucky in the level of players we have," Orta reflected recently.
"Not in terms of quality, because there are lots of teams that get quality players with good money.
"It's one thing we don't have to value... the quality of person we have in the locker room or dressing room.
"It's a small detail that happened with the penalty [against West Brom]. [Liam] Cooper makes a decision to be a captain [and have the final say on who takes the spot-kick].
"Like always, he is always in silence and working hard. I feel really proud of all the people around this football club.
"Winning or losing we have the values we detected. The result is relevant because at the end the result is football, it's the competition. I feel really proud to be around these people - they make me better.
"At Leeds United you can only fall in love. It's a club for falling in love. It's difficult to find other things in terms of passion.
"My feeling is we have the foundation. The only thing I want from Leeds United fans, even in the bad moments [is that] they continue [to support the team].
"Having fans back in the stadium, it was a really strange feeling. It looks like we're back to normality.
"You know what normality is? This team playing in European competition. That is the normality that I want. We're going to fight hard to try and get that. This is my goal."
Asked about his passion in the directors box, Orta added: "When people talk about my passion, it is genuine that I am a fan. It's the only way to love football.
"It's a passionate game. We work hard in the club but we are really lucky."