By Noel Whelan

25th Mar, 2020 | 1:37pm

'Pep should know...' - Exclusive: Whelan blasts Guardiola as he issues Leeds defence

Noel Whelan insisted Leeds United should finish the season as soon as possible, even if it meant behind-closed-doors fixtures.  

The ex-Whites striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, slammed Pep Guardiola for suggesting there is “no reason” to play fixtures without fans.

As revealed by Football Insider yesterday, the domestic season is unlikely to recommence before June 1 with talks held about fixtures starting off without fans.

Earlier this month, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola claimed there “is no reason to play without the people” when asked about the prospect of playing behind-closed-doors.

Whelan rubbished the idea suggesting the completion of the season, as early as possible, was paramount.

“Did you start playing football to be in front of thousands or because you love the game?” – he told Football Insider.

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“Pep should know that himself. It is about winning matches. Whether it is 100 people or 60,000.

“Obviously it is disappointing there is no fans but they will understand and want this season finished by any means possible. Especially where Leeds are and West Brom and Fulham.

“I am sure there are teams that do not want behind-closed-door fixtures because they need their fans but if your team is good enough you do not need your fans there. You do not need any get up and go. Showcase how good you are without fans. If you cannot get that winning attitude without fans you should not be playing football.

“It might make some players stronger. They have got to delve into something in their stomach to find something they did not have before.” 

In a joint statement last week, the Premier League, FA and, English Football League announced that the season will be extended “indefinitely” due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the UK.

In other Leeds United news, Danny Mills has told Football Insider club should “be careful” in approach for Premier League star.