By Kevin Phillips

18th Mar, 2020 | 3:06pm

Leeds Exclusive: Phillips delivers Augustin warning after Thorp Arch shuts

Kevin Phillips has claimed the EFL suspension is “a wonderful opportunity” for Jean-Kevin Augustin to get fit but warned he will have to do so without the Leeds United backroom team.

The former Sunderland and West Brom striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, suggested if the fixtures recommence it will have the feel of a new season.

The 22-year-old has been limited to just three substitute appearances since signing on loan from Red Bull Leipzig in January.

Augustin has struggled to adapt to the grueling demands Marcelo Bielsa places on his players, a muscle injury keeping him out of action since mid-February.

Football Insider broke the news yesterday that Thorp Arch has been shut amid coronavirus fears and the Leeds players sent home.

When asked if the forced break had positive connotations for the former French striker, Phillips told Football Insider: “Any club that has got players that have niggles or injuries it is a wonderful opportunity in desperate times. If there are positives to take it is that – look at Harry Kane at Tottenham. It is the same for Leeds and Augustin.

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“However, a lot of clubs have shut their training grounds down. You can only do so much in the gym.

“There is no substitution for doing stuff on the training ground and putting yourself in match situations. Any underlying problems you have a chance to get a lot of work done, physio, sport science.

“When or if we reconvene every squad in every league should have a fully fit squad. You are almost starting it like a new season.” 

The Premier League and EFL both announced last Friday that all fixtures would be postponed until April 3 due to the outbreak of coronavirus while Euro 2020 was yesterday suspended for a year.

It appears the consensus across European football will be to try to complete the remaining schedule before June 30 – if possible.

In other Leeds United news, Noel Whelan has told Football Insider how much club will need to spend if promoted.