Leeds United defender Barry Douglas opens up on Marcelo Bielsa's demanding regime

Leeds United left-back Barry Douglas has lifted the lid on Marcelo Bielsa's training regime calling the Argentine "unique".

Monday, 12th August 2019, 3:14 pm
Leeds United left-back Barry Douglas. (Getty)

Douglas, who is in his second campaign in West Yorkshire, suffered an injury-hit debut season with the Whites following his arrival last summer.

The Scot was limited to just 23 league starts in his opening term after his switch from Wolves as he broke down with several problems across the campaign.

The 29-year-old has now undergone his first full pre-season under United's head coach, and says he's like no-one he has worked with in his career before.

“It’s certainly different under Bielsa. The manager is unique," he told the Daily Record.

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“He’s very particular on tactical situations. We do a lot of drills working on shapes in training. We don’t do small games or possession stuff. It’s more to do with the tactical side. That’s why it can be quite demanding at times.

“But now that we’ve had a year under him, we know what to expect. He’s taught us how to look at the game in a different way.

“To describe how Bielsa works, you really have to be there to experience it yourself. I can tell you what we do but it’s difficult to understand without sitting down and actually watching it.

“Then you’d realise the intensity and demands he puts on his players.

“He’s like no-one I’ve ever worked with before. I’ve played under a lot of different foreign managers, each with their own different views on the game. But Bielsa has his own way.

“You can’t really go and talk to him. He likes to keep his personal relationship distanced from work. He feels that he’ll get more out of us if we don’t become too close. But we have that mutual respect.

“Every manager has a different way or philosophy. This is the right way for us right now and I’ll definitely use some of the stuff he has taught me later in my career.

“We have sleeping pods at the training ground. He’s big on that, especially during pre-season.

“So we’d come in at 8.30am to train in the morning. Then we have to go for a siesta to recover before training in the afternoon. So they can be long, hard days. But hopefully it will benefit us during the season.

“How did I find it? Personally, I prefer my own space, the comforts of home. But if you have kids in the house, it can be good to get a bit of respite and recovery. And that’s so important, in terms of how we play.”