Noel Whelan admits he is worried that Leeds United will struggle to rediscover their momentum when the Championship season resumes.
The former Whites striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, admits the enforced break could help players recover from injury problems but that it could take a serious toll on fitness levels.
As revealed exclusively by Football Insider, plans are being discussed that would see clubs return to training at the start of May and the Championship season resume at the start of June.
The Whites have nine games left to play in their hunt for promotion, including a crunch tie against third-placed Fulham.
Whelan admits he is concerned the players will struggle to return to the levels needed to play Marcelo Bielsa’s intense brand of football after such a lengthy absence.
Whelan told Football Insider: “I think on some of the players, they’re going to be carrying some sort of niggles so during this period with nine games, you’re going to be carrying some injuries and knocks.
“On that front it gives them that opportunity to get those little niggles, aches and pains right but it’s going to be aches and pains again when they come back.
“It’s pre-season, once you’ve stopped using your muscle memory and playing at that intensity, it’s very difficult to get that intensity back and that’s the worry.
“We know Marcelo Bielsa plays that kind of style and it might just take two, three games to get back into the swing of their way of playing which isn’t ideal. Players lose fitness, they lose sharpness.
“We’ve been on a really good run, and that momentum might just have stopped. That’s the problem, you’re starting from scratch.”
In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that a £15million deal agreed is to be spread across four payments.