Gaetano Berardi refused to be drawn on Andrea Radrizzani’s criticism of Leeds United’s squad, saying he would speak to the Italian “face to face” after Radrizzani’s attack on their attitude.
Berardi said he had not heard a radio interview or subsequent reports of it in which Radrizzani called into question the players’ “commitment, passion and spirit” and laid the blame for a disappointing season at their door.
United’s owner bemoaned the club’s failure to make a sustained push for the Championship play-offs, claiming Leeds had given the squad “everything” including extended contracts to a number of the players.
Right-back Berardi was among those who had their deals extended earlier in the campaign but United’s faith has gone unrewarded with the squad down in 13th position and 11 points short of sixth place.
Berardi conceded that the club’s players had “made a lot of mistakes” but insisted he would keep his thoughts on Radrizzani’s outburst to himself until they next meet in person.
“I didn’t read it, what he said,” Berardi said. “Speaking with my teammates, no-one said anything about it because the manager is doing well. We just focus on the game (against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday). Honestly, we don’t care about what he says because if I have to say something to him, I speak with him, not here.
“We all makes mistakes, of course. We did a lot of mistakes this season but this season is not over and we have to give our best every time, even in this bad moment. I know that the manager is doing his best for us, like the club is doing its best for us since the beginning of the season. I’m sure we’ll show that we can do more.”
Head coach Paul Heckingbottom insisted he had seen no negative reaction to Radrizzani’s remarks, which came in an interview with Talksport on Tuesday, and asked how they had affected the dressing room, Berardi said: “I came here on Monday for training, food, training again, nothing more.
“I didn’t read what he said, the interview. I know something but I didn’t read exactly what he said. I’m going to speak with him for sure but if I’ve got something to say to him I will speak face to face. Not here.
“He is a good man. When he’s with the team, he likes to speak with all the players and say what he thinks. He can show every time positivity. I hope to see him soon.”