Sky Sports pundit: This is what the Leeds players really think of Christiansen
By Harry Sykes
Ex-Leeds United midfielder David Prutton has claimed that Thomas Christiansen has won over the dressing room since taking charge this summer.
Christiansen was a left-field appointment after spending the previous three years in the backwaters of the Cypriot league.
But the Danish-born Spaniard has made a strong early impression on Sky Sports pundit Prutton, who played for Leeds from 2007 to 2010.
“First up, the players have taken to him,” Prutton told the Yorkshire Evening Post. “You can see that clearly and don’t let anyone pretend that as a somewhat out-there choice as head coach it’s a simple job to get a squad on your side.
“On one hand he comes across as being in charge but on the other, he seems comfortable as part of a wider organisation at Leeds. There’s no sign of power struggles or any dispute over authority. He looks in control.
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“When he was asked by Sky before the Sunderland game to speak about Chris Wood, he told us that he’d answer questions afterwards. At full-time he dealt with everything that was put to him and spoke about Wood in depth. I respect that.
“As an individual, he’s multi-lingual and without suggesting that speaking foreign languages makes you a good manager, that does appeal to me. It shows a capacity to be open to new cultures and experiences and, by extension, open to new ideas.
“These days that’s critical for any up-and-coming coach. I don’t expect Neil Warnock or Harry Redknapp to start reinventing the wheel but the technicalities of analysis, tactics and performance are changing all the time.
“You either try to move with them or you get left behind and it has to be said that by turning to a coach who’d been working in Cyprus, Leeds avoided going down an old beaten path. At a club who recruited heavily from abroad, Christiansen’s background should make him an empathetic presence.”
Leeds have begun the new campaign in excellent fashion, securing 11 points from five Championship matches and demolishing lower league opposition in their two League Cup fixtures.
The team, who have won all three of their away league fixtures, are third in the table ahead of Saturday’s home clash against Burton Albion.
Christiansen must decide which of his many striker options should spearhead the attack after signing Pierre-Michel Lasogga and Pawel Cibicki on deadline day to compete with Jay-Roy Grot and the injured Caleb Ekuban for the centre-forward role.