By Noel Whelan

10th Aug, 2021 | 10:39am

Whelan thrilled by 'incredible' update on Leeds 'big weapon' pre-Man United showdown

Noel Whelan has claimed “it is incredible” to think Leeds United are heading into the new season in better shape than last.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Whites striker said high fitness levels has been a “big weapon” for Marcelo Bielsa’s side in recent seasons.

The Athletic‘s Phil Hay revealed on August 8th that the squad’s physical performance statistics have improved according to the data at Thorp Arch.

The Yorkshire club were consistently praised for outrunning their opponents on their way to finishing ninth last season.

Leeds kick off their Premier League campaign with a trip to Man United on Saturday.

When asked by Football Insider for his thoughts on the players’ improved fitness levels, Whelan said: “It is incredible but that is what is required.

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“There needs to be progression on all fronts if we want to finish higher this season. To better last season we need to be fitter, stronger and more prepared because every season is difficult in the Premier League.

“One way to do that is to better your fitness and physique heading in the new season.

“It is going to be tougher this season because fans are back in the stadium. The adrenaline of that must be managed. A lot is taking out of you fitness-wise when adrenaline is pumping through your body.

“There needs to be individual and collective improvement on all fronts.

“Last season the team’s fitness came into play in a lot of games. You can see how big a weapon that has been for us, so to hear they’ve improve on that front can only be a good thing.”

In other news, Leeds tipped to launch new Kent bid amid £13.4m reveal.