Marcelo Bielsa hails 'unbelievable' work in lockdown as Leeds United await Cardiff City

MARCELO BIELSA thinks his Leeds United players are well primed for their Championship return after "really serious and unbelievable" work during lockdown.

By Lee Sobot
Saturday, 20th June 2020, 5:24 pm

Championship leaders United will finally resume their promotion quest with Sunday's behind-closed-doors 12 noon kick-off at Cardiff City after a 15-week pause to the season in the nation's battle against coronavirus.

Leeds will now take in their final nine games in the space of just 32 days but Bielsa has praised his men for their efforts during the ten-week period of training from home.

Assessing whether United's players were physically and mentally ready to finish the job and secure promotion, Bielsa said: "We think (they will respond) well.

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PRAISE: From Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa for the work of his players during lockdown. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

"The players have made a big effort so far.

"They work very responsibly but the football we are going to play is not the same as before.

"For this reason it is very important to wait for the matches to be played to analyse our performance.

"During the period where players had to work at home we found our players have done really, really serious work and that’s unbelievable.

"After, we had individual training, in small groups and then after the full group training together.

"In all this time we had some details to resolve but all the problems we had were easy to resolve for us."

Asked about the kind of work and analysis undertaken during the period while the players were at home, Bielsa explained: "First of all the club, the institution, everyone in Leeds who makes easy the work of the players, offer us very important support.

"All the people around the players that the club employs have supported us in a lot of different ways.

"We want to say thanks to them for this support.

"The work at home of the players was the physical work - evaluation tests, different kinds of work.

"In this sense, the people who carry out this work, especially fitness coach Benoit (Delaval) and the staff around him, have received the feedback of the players and evaluated the players.

"When we started to work at Thorp Arch, the first week was individual training, it was something we had to plan a lot.

"We had to do a lot of training, we had one player with one coach during this week.

"The second week it was with small groups, the defensive line was three defenders and two defensive midfielders, and the other five players were three attackers and two more offensive midfielders. It was specific work per line.

"In the third week we had a lot of football in different ways and 11 v 11. And this week was similar as a week where we have a game at the weekend."

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