Danny Mills has claims Leeds United will be the “fittest team” when the Championship returns despite Marcelo Bielsa opting against playing behind closed door friendlies.

The former England international, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, suggested that the 64-year-old has taken such a decision because he wants to “control every element” of his teams preparation ahead of the restart.

Leeds have been playing 11v11 games with teams drawn from the club’s first team and Under-23 squads.

According to The Athletic’s Phil Hay, the Whites did discuss staging a friendly against Premier League side Everton but an agreement failed to materialise.

It is now just six days until the Championship leaders recommence their promotion push with a trip down to Play Off hopefuls Cardiff City.

When asked by Football Insider if there was reason behind Bielsa’s decision not to play a friendly, Mills said: “You can set up as you want and you can tell the opposition to play in a certain way and be how you want to be. You have a little bit more control over it.

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“I do not think Marcelo Bielsa will be concerned over their fitness. We know how hard he works his teams and I am pretty sure they will be the fittest team coming back into this.

“We know how much control he likes to put on things and he will want to control every element of what his players are doing right now.

“He probably believes that his reserves, or B team are fitter than most of the other teams.

“They might get a harder work out playing against each other. He could get 60 minutes flat out against each other or 90 minutes against another team at 70 per cent. So it is no real surprise.”

In other Leeds United news, Noel Whelan has told Football Insider clause may stop Whites from signing loanee permanently.