Leeds United: Heckingbottom not ‘hung up on systems’ at Whites

FLEXIBLE: New Leeds United head coach Paul Heckingbottom. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.
FLEXIBLE: New Leeds United head coach Paul Heckingbottom. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.
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PAUL Heckingbottom has hinted there will be no rigid formation in his Leeds United tenure with the head coach insisting: “I don’t get hung up on systems.”

Saturday’s Championship Yorkshire derby at Sheffield United will be Heckingbottom’s first game in charge of a side that have predominatly played a 4-2-3-1 system for the last two seasons under Thomas Christiansen and before that Garry Monk.

Heckingbottom had recently favoured a 4-1-4-1 approach at former club Barnsley, raising suspicions that United’s formation might finally change under the club’s new head coach.

But Heckingbottom insists that the systems used at his former club will not automatically be replicated at the Whites with the head coach hinting that his plans will be flexible during his tenure at Elland Road.

Asked if he would be bringing his recently favoured 4-1-4-1 formation to Leeds, Heckingbottom said: “Not necessarily.

“Predominantly last season and the season before I played 4-4-2 due to recruitment and the personnel in the squad.

“It didn’t suit us so we changed.

“But I don’t get hung up on systems, especially in possession.

“We have got principals and when we have got the ball we will us the formation if you like and it will just be based on how we defend.

“We could defend as a 4-4-2 or we could defend as a 4-3-3 but in possession it may look exactly the same. That will be the messages that we will get across.”

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