Leeds players return to training sharp and raring to go

26 May 2020 11:16 am, by YorkshireSquare

Leeds United players returned to training at Thorp Arch on Monday and initial reports indicate that the players have emerged from lockdown in good shape. Although it's been ten long weeks since a competitive ball was kicked, Leeds captain Liam Cooper half insisted although it was like the first day back at school, the squad was raring to go! Even though they have been able to do no technical work during lockdown, the delivery was good, the passing was good and they are in unbelievable shape. Captain Liam Cooper told the media, afterwards, many of the drills were what they were used to after nearly two years with the Argentine.

I didn’t see Marcelo, to be fair. We drive in, it’s a scattered entry, so every five minutes there will be a lad driving in and you can’t cross paths. In your protective equipment, with your face and all your stuff’s waiting for you in a bucket as you get there. They’re all cleaned, your GPS and your boots. If you need treatment you can go in the physio room. That’s limited to a man per person at the minute.

The physios are in their PPE. It was good. You have to stick to the social distancing in the full session. It’s a bit difficult for us sometimes because we watch a lot of stuff off the iPad, but the iPads weren’t out today. We know a lot of the drills now. We’ve been working with Marcelo and his staff for a good time now and we know a lot of the drills. There was no new ones today so it was pretty all smoothly. It was like that first day back at school.

It was surreal and a feeling I hope I never have to endure again because it’s been a difficult time, but one where you have a lot of time to reflect. I was quite surprised at the standard considering the lads haven’t been able to do technical work for a while. The delivery was good, the passing was good and the lads have come back in unbelievable shape.

The fitness coaches are surprised at how good a shape we’ve come back in. We’ve not stopped. All the lads have bought into it. We’re raring to go and in a good place to be able to start off with the tactical side as opposed to getting fitness again because we’ve maintained that throughout this period.

The Leeds United backroom staff were well prepared for lockdown and the benefits of pre-prepared individual training programmes, training equipment bundles and the new running track at Thorp Arch which some players have been using appears to have paid dividends. The players have payed their part too, sticking to the programmes as strictly as they would have done under normal circumstances and it could give the team a cutting edge should games get underway again. The same cannot be necessarily said of other teams with pictures of a slightly portly Aleksandar Mitrović emerging.

If there is one thing you expect from a Marcelo Bielsa side, it is an unrivalled level of preparation and dedication and the players have shown that yet again. They have just a few weeks now to hone their skills and get ready for a possible return to competitive action, but it sounds like they are already at the right levels of fitness to get going straight away.