‘Players to blame’ for Leeds United’s ‘lost’ season says Pontus Jansson

FRUSTRATION: Leeds United's Pontus Jansson. Picture: Tony Johnson.
FRUSTRATION: Leeds United's Pontus Jansson. Picture: Tony Johnson.
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Pontus Jansson bemoaned “another season thrown away” by Leeds United but hinted that he was committed to a third year at Elland Road after the club’s failed promotion bid.

Writing on Instagram, Jansson held his hands up to a poor Championship campaign and laid the blame squarely for it at the door of “us 11 that are on the pitch every week” ahead of what promises to be another intense summer for the club.

United’s campaign ended on Sunday with a 2-0 win over Queens Park Rangers, just their fourth victory in 23 games since Boxing Day. The collapse of their campaign left the club 13th in the final league table, a year after they finished seventh.

Jansson, who Leeds signed permanently from Torino for £3.5m last July on the back of a successful year on loan, has been the subject of fresh speculation about his future amid links to Premier League clubs Burnley and West Ham United.

The centre-back could gain extra exposure at this summer’s World Cup, where he is set to travel with Sweden, but he promised those reading his online post that he would “see you next year” with Leeds seeking to reassert themselves in the Championship.

Jansson, whose contract runs to 2022, wrote: “Last months of this season has been everything else that I want as a footballer for Leeds United. Go out every week and feel that another season just thrown away.

“Of course it’s disappointing for everyone involved and a lot of people have to see their thing in the failure but at the end it’s about us 11 that are on the pitch every week. So sorry for those months.

“I know it (has) been a wake up for a lot of people. Thanks for the support even if we didn’t deserve it and see you next year.”

Jansson is missing United’s post-season tour of Myanmar this week ahead of international duty with Sweden.

The Swedes are due to play friendlies against Denmark and Peru before the World Cup begins in June. Jansson was substituted at half-time during Leeds’ win over QPR after complaining of a tight hamstring.

A lot of people have to see their thing in the failure but at the end it’s about us 11 that are on the pitch every week. So sorry for those months.

Pontus Jansson’s Instagram post

Adam Forshaw was also left out of the travelling party which flew out to Myanmar yesterday. The midfielder completed 90 minutes against QPR but required an injection in a hip problem afterwards.

He and Jansson join captain Liam Cooper and Pablo Hernandez in sitting out of two friendlies in the Far East. Hernandez returned to Spain last Thursday for the birth of his second child while Cooper is set to become a new father shortly.

Leeds have pressed ahead with a commercially-driven trip to Myanmar despite criticism from MPs and Amnesty International owing to the political unrest and violence in the country. Head coach Paul Heckingbottom took a number of academy players with him and said the tour would be of most benefit to them.

“It’s not a football trip,” he said, “but from a squad point of view you can get something out of it.

“The 23s who I know pretty well and the 18s who’ve trained with us, there’s an opportunity for me now to sit with them and speak to them. Me going to Myanmar, I’m not there for the football. I’m there for the club and for the team and the players, to get to know them more, to push them to understand what it’s like being in a first-team environment and for them to feel a bit more comfortable around us.”

Leeds play their first friendly against a Myanmar National League All-Stars team in Yangon on Wednesday and then meet Myanmar’s national side in Mandalay on Friday, with both games kicking off at 12.30pm UK time. Around 50 Leeds supporters are expected to be present.

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