'Need to cut it out' - former Leeds United full-back hopes Whites can take lessons from Ajax friendly

Former Leeds United full-back Tony Dorigo is hoping Marcelo Bielsa's men can move through the gears following a friendly defeat at Ajax.

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 5:09 pm
Leeds United in action against Ajax at the Johan Cruyff Arena. Pic: Getty

The Whites headed to the Netherlands for a pre-season double-header on Wednesday.

A Leeds XI first played Jong Ajax - the Dutch side's youngsters - at De Toekomst training complex in the afternoon before a meeting with the senior side in the evening at the Johan Cruyff Arena.

Bielsa saw his squad beaten twice in their flying visit to Amsterdam as the club continued their preparations for the new Premier League campaign which begins on August 14.

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A 3-1 loss was followed by a 4-0 defeat in front of a 25,000-strong crowd - the biggest United's players have played in front of for around 18 months.

Goals from Davy Klaassen, Perr Schuurs, Ryan Gravenberch and Danilo handed an emphatic victory to the hosts.

United were missing a number of senior players - with Kalvin Phillips and Liam Cooper in action in the earlier game - while Diego Llorente and summer signing Junior Firpo also missed out through injury.

The performance was also littered with uncharacteristic mistakes from Leeds along with the failing to deal with the high press implemented by Ajax.

Dorigo, though, thought the result reflected a slightly below par performance from Bielsa's men but admits there is time to turn things around ahead of next week's highly-anticipated meeting with Manchester United at Old Trafford.

"It was [a performance] somewhere in the middle," the LUTV pundit reflected post-match.

"There's no doubt that this Ajax side is extremely good. They walked the league last season [in the Netherlands] by 15 or 16 points.

"They're no mugs by any means, however the way that we played last season and the heights we reached... we didn't reach anything like that in our performance.

"That's what Marcelo Bielsa and the boys need to get back to and the mistakes right at the start of games have to be cut out.

"It's pre-season and it counts for absolutely nothing and the main thing is that when we get to Manchester United, we are ready to go. It will have to be a few levels above that performance [against Ajax]."

The Whites face reigning Europa League champions and La Liga outfit Villarreal in their final outing of pre-season this weekend.