Marcelo Bielsa’s surprise approach to training this week will do his Leeds United squad “the world of good”, according to Noel Whelan.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Whites striker and boyhood Elland Road fan delivered his verdict after Patrick Bamford revealed they had changed their training schedule after the 1-0 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.
Leeds’ top goalscorer told the club’s official podcast that on Monday they had a day of head tennis tournaments at Thorp Arch.
He explained this was something that was previously “unheard of” and was organised in order to “boost the spirits”.
First-team players Kalvin Phillips, Diego Llorente, Ian Poveda, Helder Costa and Tyler Roberts all played in the club’s Under-23s 1-0 victory on Stoke City on Monday meaning the training group was depleted.
“We used to do that when we were playing,” Whelan told Football Insider.
“If you were on the back of a bad result, sometimes you take away that pressure and it’s a chance to train with a bit of fun.
“You put just as much into it as a normal training session. It’s fun, it takes your mind off it, it just eases you into a week of training.
“It can’t be pressure, pressure, pressure all the time and work, work, work. You need that little bit of getaway from tactics and patterns of play.
“I think that will do them the world of good. It always did us the world of good when we had those sort of days where it was like ‘There’s no point coming in, going through tactics, setting up, doing sessions, doing phases of play. Let’s just give them a fun day, let them enjoy having a bit of laugh with each other.’
“It’s therapeutic. It can mean you come into work with a happy smile on your face and then you’re ready to work again.”
In other news, Football Insider can reveal Leeds United have been handed a huge transfer boost amid a dramatic Derby County development.