Leeds United quality and trait hailed by Blackpool boss with Whites admission
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Appleton's side will begin their new Championship campaign one week before United start their second season back in the Premier League and United provided Blackpool's second friendly opponents of the summer.
Five days after Saturday's 2-0 win at Southport, Appleton's team took on Jesse Marsch's Whites at the home of York City and Leeds raced into a 3-0 lead by the interval via strikes from Robin Koch, Junior Firpo and Rodrigo.
All three goals arrived via set pieces and after a multitude of changes from both sides, Leeds added a fourth in the closing stages through young substitute striker Mateo Joseph.
Leeds did not field any of their internationals who only returned on Monday whilst striker Patrick Bamford was also rested.
Luke Ayling and Stuart Dallas remain out injured and Whites boss Marsch deployed a mix of youngsters and the senior Whites players who returned to training last week.
Leeds, though, were still able to record a very routine victory and Appleton admitted Marsch's Premier League outfit were still a different class and “up for it” in their first friendly of the summer in front of fans.
"It's one of them when you play the Premier League teams," said Appleton to Blackpool's official website.
"When you come up against a side like that who are up for it, it's always going to be tough.
"Apart from their international lads who were missing, they played a really strong side and they were up for it and knocked it around really well.
"Of course, I'm not going to make excuses for our defending from set-pieces at times, as that was poor, and we still have to do better there.
"When you're up against strong opposition who you know are going to have a lot of the ball, you have to frustrate them during the game and make it difficult.
"This creates a bit of anxiety in their play and makes it difficult for them, but we didn't do that.
"Having said that, there were a few of the younger lads who didn't do themselves any harm and looked to be really competitive and that was good to see."
Appleton picked out Tangerines teenagers Jack Moore and Rob Apter for particular praise.
"I thought Jack was excellent, as was Rob Apter," said Appleton.
"They were two of the lads who impressed me, they were competitive and showed a bit of composure at times. Yes, they got done with their athleticism and pace, but they're up against Premier League players. They'll learn a lot.
"There's a real honesty to this group and we need to come together between now and the Reading game. We need to sharpen up our instincts and the next three pre-season games over the next few weeks will be crucial to that process."