Leeds United chiefs

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Football Insider revealed on Wednesday that Leeds were set to axe manager Paul Heckingbottom after a disastrous run of form since the former Barnsley manager arrived.

And some Leeds fans have been calling the decision ridiculous, saying that he needed the summer to buy his players and put his stamp on the team.

There’s an argument that says they’re right and Heckingbottom’s troubles can, partly at least, be put on the squad he inherited.

But let’s take a second to look at what he’s actually achieved since he arrived.

The form of the team has been worse than under Thomas Christiansen, and would be relegation form but for the points that, ironically, Christiansen won at the start of the season.

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A lot of managers enjoy a bounce when they arrive, even if it’s short-lived, with a string of wins reflecting the new positive mental attitude.

Even if that doesn’t happen you generally notice a shift in the players’ attitudes, especially in a situation like the one Leeds are currently in.

With a handful of games left until the end of the season, you’d expect players to be playing for their place in Heckingbottom’s squad next season.

But, if anything, they look more lost and more beaten than when Christiansen was there.

That’s a really worrying sign and it was highlighted by BBC pundit and huge Leeds fan Noel Whelan in the game against Preston.

Talking on BBC Leeds after the 3-1 defeat to Preston, Whelan said, “We don’t have the mental strength or characters or toughness to ride that bit of time out and build another attack. It went from bad to worse.

“From then on the body language was shocking.”

This is really telling and it could well have been behind Andrea Radrizzani’s decision to get rid of Heckingbottom.

This has been going on for a few weeks now and it’s not good enough.

It’s one thing to inherit a squad not equipped to get a team promoted. It’s another to turn them into beaten men just a few months after you’ve joined.

In other Leeds news, ‘Spot on’, Have him in a heartbeat – Leeds fans react as Brian Deane sends tweet about manager

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