Leeds United employee issues 'aggressive' claim after training ground reveal
Noel Whelan has hailed the set piece transformation at Leeds United after Jesse Marsch revealed Mark Jackson’s new role.
The former Whites striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed dead balls were the Yorkshire club’s “Achilles heel” in recent years.
Leeds United looked dangerous from set-plays throughout the 2-2 draw with Southampton on Saturday (13 August) – and doubled their lead through a corner when Pascal Struijk’s flicked header was nodded home by Rodrigo.
As quoted by Leeds Live post-match, Marsch revealed he has handed former Under-23 coach Jackson a role as a dead ball coach – insisting his side are now “stable defensively and dangerous offensively”.
As per WhoScored, the Elland Road side conceded the joint-most set piece goals in the Premier League last season (19).
Whelan insisted the hard work behind the scenes at Thorp Arch is already paying off as Leeds United look to remedy that statistic.
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He told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury:
“We look a lot more disciplined.
“Mark Jackson has been fantastic since he’s started coaching at the club, and we’re now seeing clear improvement on the pitch.
“Set pieces were our Achilles heel for a number of years, going back to the Championship.
“You can see the hard work that has gone in on the training ground to making players more aggressive.
“That can win and lose you football matches, and Jacko knows that.
“It’s all about the contact, and the hunger of winning the first ball. We didn’t have that for a long while, but it’s now pretty clear to see in the first two games.”