New Leeds United Under-21 coach reveals plan for the season and 'fast lane' philosophy

Leeds United Under-21s head coach Michael Skubala witnessed his side defeat Derby County’s youngsters by five goals to two on Friday night

Saturday, 6th August 2022, 6:00 am

Leeds’ Under-21s surged to the summit of the Premier League 2 Division 2 standings on Friday night as they got their 2022/23 campaign underway in some style.

Mateo Joseph scored four times as Leeds beat Derby County 5-2 with new signing Sonny Perkins netting United’s other goal.

Speaking after the full time whistle, Michael Skubala reflected on his first outing as Under-21s boss.

"I want us to be aggressive,” the former England Futsal coach said. “I want us to be on the front foot. I want us to put teams under a lot of pressure because we can be exciting and we've got exciting players. So if we can get that intensity, that intent in our game, I think they're quite an exciting group. At times that looked brilliant. Other times we’ve got to learn when and where we don't do it, but I thought at times really, really positive.”

Leeds were in the ascendancy for the majority of Skubala’s Under-21s coaching debut, but the experienced head coach was not satisfied with his team’s five-goal haul.

"[There are] always areas for improvement. I thought with the ball today, we could be a little bit cleaner, a little bit cleverer.

"I felt like we could have had more goals, a bit disappointed with the two goals [conceded]. We had a 10 minute wobble.

Michael Skubala's first game in charge of the Under-21s at Leeds ended in a 5-2 victory (Pic: Leeds United)

"When there's a wobble, that's natural for these young players. So we’ve just got support them through those moments. But yeah, I think we could have got more goals,” he said.

When asked of this season’s objectives with the Under-21 side, Skubala answered in two parts: “I think what I bring is a holistic development for these players, and what they need and how I can support them on the pitch, off the pitch.”

"There's a fast lane and a slow lane all the time. So the slow lane is ‘can we get the players ready [for first-team football]’.

"The fast lane is, now and again, when we have to come out and win games.

"My role is to support Victor [Orta], Jesse [Marsch], [Academy Manager] Adam Underwood to really drive this programme on and how do we make these players ready for the first team. I'm trying to win while we do that, right. I think it's really important to win. I don't think it should be soft. It's important to try and win.”

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