By Darren Bent

18th Mar, 2020 | 6:00pm

Exclusive: Darren Bent claims some Leeds stars 'coasting' after lockdown

Darren Bent insisted some of the Leeds United players will be “coasting” and “go through the motions” as they face the tough task of keeping up their fitness levels during the EFL suspension.

The former Aston Villa and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says the only way to stay match fit is by playing games on a regular basis.

Football Insider exclusively revealed that the Leeds board made the decision to shut down their Thorp Arch training ground over the head of manager Marcelo Bielsa after the advice of the government.

It is understood the players have been handed individually tailored training schedules by the coaching staff during this period of isolation.

However, Bent insists that no amount of training can replicate the intensity of a matchday and that we will have to wait and see the impact this time off has on the squad.

Bent told Football Insider: “It’s difficult because it’s like when you’re coming back from injury.

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“You can do all the running and push-ups and weights, all the fitness work on the training pitch you want, you still can’t find your lungs when you go to a game situation.

“The only way you’re going to replicate being match fit is by playing matches, even internal games aren’t at the same intensity, it’s still going to have some people coasting and going through the motions.

“We’re not going to get an indication of where Leeds United are until we start playing games again.” 

Leeds currently sit seven points ahead of third in the hunt for automatic promotion in the Championship, with nine games left to play.

Their games against Cardiff City, Fulham and Luton Town have been postponed, with a trip to Blackburn Rovers their next scheduled match.

In other Leeds United news, Noel Whelan has tipped the club to make jawdropping £35million goal machine signing and claimed it is a real possibility.