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Leeds United: Heckingbottom vows to clean up Whites' disciplinary record

OFF: Eunan O'Kane is dismissed in the recent defeat at Ipswich Town.
OFF: Eunan O'Kane is dismissed in the recent defeat at Ipswich Town.
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NEW head coach Paul Heckingbottom has vowed to clean up Leeds United's "big problem" disciplinary record, declaring: "I'm all for aggression but the best players have control as well."

Heckingbottom's tenure as head coach begins with three players suspended and with the Whites having picked up four red cards in their last five games.

Eunan O'Kane and Kalvin Phillips have both now completed their suspensions with Phillips banned for two games after picking up ten yellow cards and O'Kane sent off in the recent loss at Ipswich Town for headbutting Jonas Knudsen.

But Samu Saiz, Liam Cooper and Gaetano Berardi all remain banned for the next two games with Saiz nearing the end of a six-match suspension for spitting at Robbie Willmott towards the end of the third round FA Cup loss at Newport County.

Cooper is serving a four-game ban for receiving his second red card of the season in the loss at home to Millwall while Berardi's dismissal for two yellow cards in last weekend's defeat at home to Cardiff City was also his second red card of the season.

Centre-back Pontus Jansson is also walking a disciplinary tightrope with the Swede on nine yellow cards and heading for a two-game ban if booked for a tenth time.

Heckingbottom said of United's disciplinary issues: "It is a big problem and ultimately why it is a big issue for me is because now we are without players.

"I'm all for aggression, I'm all for tackling but the best players have control as well - whether that's control to perform your role or control in winning the ball back.

"You have to have that control and it's a big part of how we will be training and how we will be playing.

"It will change.

"There will be sendings off in the future but if they are sendings off that are for people trying to do things for the good of the team I can accept that, definitely.

"If they are sendings off that are through ill discipline or a lack of control then we have got to address it."