By Noel Whelan

21st Sep, 2022 | 11:48am

Leeds United employee salutes U-turn as record-breaking Elland Road details emerge

Noel Whelan has claimed Jesse Marsch has helped create a “more controlled defensive unit” after new details on a change of disciplinary record at Leeds United.

The former Whites striker and club ambassador, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested his former side needed to be “a bit more cute” in transition in order to avoid excessive cautions.

As per Leeds Live (16 September), the Elland Road club broke a 22-year Premier League record last season by receiving 104 cards in one season – eclipsing the previous record set by Derby County in the 1999-00 season (97 cards).

This season, Leeds United have picked up an average of 2.17 cards per league game – down from 2.74 per game in the 2021-22 campaign.

Junior Firpo was the club’s most-booked player last term, picking up 11 cautions.

Jesse Marsch’s side are also conceding markedly fewer goals in the new campaign, having leaked just 10 in six games so far this term.

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Leeds United conceded 79 across a 38-game season (2.08 per game) in 2021-22 as they narrowly avoided relegation to the second tier.

Whelan told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “Those numbers show that we were a bit too rash, but the intensity was there.

“You’ve got to be structured in defence, and I think now that’s what Jesse Marsch has found – a more controlled defensive unit.

“Not just defence, in that midfield area too. There are going to be missed challenges at times because of the intensity we play at and the running and chasing we do.

“We need to be better in this regard, there’s no doubt about it. It’s not a good record to hold.

“It shows that sometimes the defensive ability isn’t good, if you’re picking up cards at that rate.

“We needed to address that area of our game, and become a bit more cute – and it looks like we’ve done that.”

In other news, Football Insider updates as Leeds United given “huge” boost in Cody Gakpo chase.