Whelan issues Leeds fears after Bamford training ground reveal via Sky
Noel Whelan has admitted the enforced break in fixtures could prove to be a “double-edged sword” for Leeds United.
The former Leeds striker and club ambassador, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted while the return of players from injury is good news, the squad may have lost some of their match sharpness.
Speaking to Sky Sports on Thursday (30 December), Patrick Bamford revealed he enjoys the cut and thrust of the intense festive fixture period and confessed training is nothing like playing games.
As revealed by Marcelo Bielsa on Friday (31 December), Bamford has recovered from a hamstring injury but is lacking the necessary match fitness.
Leeds have not played since 18 December due to games being called off.
Whelan admitted the gap in fixtures could impact other players’ fitness levels too.
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“The good news is we’ve got players back and big names back into the squad,” Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.
“Obviously, it’s a double-edged sword because you get your match fitness from playing your games.
“That usually keeps you ticking over. Those fitness levels are at a maximum because of those games you’re playing in.
“We’ve had a bit of time off now. Absolute, the intensity of training ground games is not the same as when you’re going up against a Premier League side. Absolutely no danger about that.
“But at the same time, having not played a game for a long time, the hunger and desire to get out there must be huge.”
Leeds saw their games against Liverpool and Aston Villa, originally scheduled after Christmas, postponed.
They face Burnley at Elland Road on Sunday (2 January).
In other news, Midlands side in advanced talks to sign Leeds United hot prospect.