'They'll be over the moon' - Exclusive: Pundit reacts to 'Huge' Leeds training ground reveal
Noel Whelan claims that the Leeds United squad will be “over the moon” over potentially returning to the training ground this month.
The former Leeds striker and boyhood fan at Elland Road, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insists it will be a “huge” psychological boost for the players to get back to familiar surroundings.
First team striker Patrick Bamford has revealed the squad are targeting a return to training on 16 May after the EFL advised it would be the earliest clubs would be allowed back.
The Whites’ squad went into training in isolation back on the 18th March, the club acting before the UK-wide lockdown measures were put in place.
With a potential return date on the horizon, Whelan admits it will have a significant impact both physically and in the minds of the players.
Asked how big a boost it would be for the players to be back on the training ground, Whelan told Football Insider: “It’s huge, I think mentally and psychologically it’s bigger than anything.
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“That is your home pretty much, your environment, where you spend the majority of your time with the players, with the group, with the manager at the training ground.
“Those familiar surroundings, to be able to go there again and put your football boots on and feel like you’ve got a purpose again – it’s very difficult when you’re at home, going through the motions and repeating things every day, it makes a big difference to be out there with your football boots on.
“It feels like home so psychologically for the players, knowing they’re back in the training ground, it’s a step forward. Even though they might be running and doing doggies (shuttle runs), they’ll be over the moon they’re doing it in the training ground.”
Speaking of a potential return to training, Bamford told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “The letter that the EFL put out said that the earliest we would be allowed back in training was the 16th of May so for me it’s head to that date.
“I think now that we have been given a date, let’s head towards it and then deal with whatever happens as we get closer to the time.”
In other Leeds United news, Whelan admits he fears an Elland Road “exodus” after a major financial reveal.