Leeds United in Austria: Phil Hay’s Tour Diary – Day 4

Leeds United's players walk down to training at the club training camp in Kossen, Austria.' (Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe)
Leeds United's players walk down to training at the club training camp in Kossen, Austria.' (Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe)
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Pre-season is one of the few occasions when journalists and supporters get the chance to watch training sessions in their entirety.

Yesterday’s session in Kossen was an insight into Uwe Rosler’s approach and confirmation that 4-3-3 - the system which served him well at Brentford - will be Leeds United’s formation of choice for next season.

The bulk of training was spent working on those tactics. Rosler lined up two teams in either half of the field and asked them to attack the empty goals with one-touch passing and quick interplay allowing advancing full-backs to overlap and cross into the six-yard box.

Sam Byram and Casper Sloth were used as wingers in one team and Souleymane Doukara and Lee Erwin filled the same positions in the other. It is, needless to say, an area where Rosler wants greater choice, particularly on the left, but his existing options are being schooled in his methods regardless.

United’s search for a left winger is on-going, without any obvious progress. The club have asked about Catania’s Raphael Martinho and Bastia’s Floyd Ayite but neither situation has moved forward since their squad left England for Austria on Saturday.

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Luke Murphy’s recovery from knee surgery has gone as well as Leeds would have wanted. Two weeks on from his operation, the midfielder is back running and was lapping the pitch with Rosler and physio Harvey Sharman while the rest of United’s squad completed their warm-up yesterday.

The new season is little over a fortnight away so Murphy still stands to miss the opening game but United’s projection of a return before the end of next month looks about right.

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Rosler promised his players that they would get some downtime during a hard week of training in the heat - heat which has taken United’s head coach by surprise.

Tomorrow afternoon’s escape for his coaching staff and squad is white water rafting; the perfect answer to burning sunshine.

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As a club, Leeds have sold 400 tickets for tonight’s game against Eintracht Frankfurt. The German press expect Frankfurt to bring a few hundred fans too and others can pay on the gate so the attendance at Eugendorf should be very respectable.

The local authorities seem relaxed about the whole event - a far cry from Slovenia two years ago when riot police were called into deal with Ferencvaros supporters who spent parts of a friendly (sic) against Leeds throwing seats onto the pitch.

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United will hold an opening training session at their base in Kossen at 11am tomorrow. The village is tucked away in the Alps and is accessible by car, bus or train. A word of warning though - journeys by bus or train will take the best part of three hours from Salzburg, despite Kossen being only 50 miles away.

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A few of the seats in the stand next to United’s training pitch are bizarrely marked with the words ‘Hooligans VIP’. The mind boggles, although in a very remote part of Austria it all seems a bit lost in translation. The only thing that causes trouble out here is the odd bear.

Leeds United goalkeeper, Felix Wiedwald.

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