Pontus Jansson says Marcelo Bielsa made him a "better person and professional" at Leeds United

Former Leeds United defender Pontus Jansson has revealed his belief that Marcelo Bielsa made him a better person and professional during his spell at the club.

Monday, 28th October 2019, 12:45 pm
Brentford defender Pontus Jansson battles with Leeds United's Mateusz Klich.

The 28-year-old departed Elland Road this summer after a year under the Argentinian's guidance in West Yorkshire.

Jansson was a controversial figure during his three seasons at the club before making the move to Championship rivals Brentford in July.

Bees boss Thomas Frank handed the Swedish international the captain's armband at Griffin Park upon his arrival and he has been ever-present in the heart of defence for his new side.

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Jansson, though, credits his former head coach for his newfound responsibility both on and off the pitch.

"To work with Bielsa for one year gave me a lot of headaches because of long days, a lot of meetings and a lot of things to take in," he told Sky Sports.

"But it helped me so much, not only as a player, but also as a person how to be a professional footballer, how to eat, how to behave, how to sleep, all those things to recover well.

"I came here [to Brentford] with expectations, but I like that. It made me more concentrated. Now I'm getting older, I don't care that much about my performance anymore - if the team play good, it's more likely that I'm also going to play good. I think that's come with age.

"That disappears when you get older, especially at Leeds because Leeds is such a big club and you want to be the main main to get the headlines.

"Now I'm at Brentford, I don't have that. I don't want to be the main man, I just want to be the captain, to help my team-mates and the young players to play good football."

Asked about his departure from Elland Road, he said: "It happened quite quickly with Leeds and the decision that they wanted to sell me and I just told my agent to find something in England.

"We had quite a few clubs [interested], some in the Premier League, some in the Championship. The contact from Brentford was quite serious, directly from the first point.

"I spoke to the sporting directors and to the coach and after talking to them, I was quite sold. I always rated Brentford in a high position in this league.

"Obviously how it ended last year that I was injured in the two most important games, the play-off semi-finals, and then we lost.

"For me that was a dark moment of my career. I had a dream to take Leeds to the Premier League and when I couldn't play it felt so bad."