By Alex McLeish

7th Feb, 2021 | 9:00am

McLeish: Leeds backroom staff critical after latest devastating Llorente blow

Marcelo Bielsa’s backroom staff will be so important in helping Diego Llorente over his latest devastating injury blow at Leeds United, according to Alex McLeish.

The former Rangers and Scotland boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted the Argentine boss was right to worry about the 27-year-old’s mentality after suffering yet another problem this season.

Speaking after the centre-back was forced off last week after nine minutes against Newcastle, as quoted by Phil Hay, Bielsa admitted he feared for Llorente’s “state of mind” following his injury setback.

Llorente has been limited to just two first-team appearances for Leeds since joining from Real Sociedad last summer, with his outing against the Magpies his first start for the Whites.

McLeish admitted the prospect of another layoff due to injury would be mentally taxing for the defender and insisted the coaches and medical staff would play a big part in keeping his spirits up.

Asked what could be done to help Llorente, McLeish told Football Insider: “They’re like your kids, you know, you have to reassure them, and you want to do the very best by your players.

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“He’ll probably be closer to the medical team the amount of times he’s been on the treatment table so it’s up to these guys as well to say: ‘You’re going to be alright.’ This is a reoccurring injury but they have to reassure him.

“He’ll be sitting on that table saying to the physios and things: ‘Why is this happening all the time, am I going to ever be alright?’ I would be very surprised if a physio says: ‘No, it’s going to happen your whole career.’

“Assurance from these guys, the backroom staff should be so important to Bielsa in that respect, and they have to find a way of strengthening those muscles and so they can cope with the Bielsa style of play.

“I’m very sure that before they signed him they would have had a look at his injury history before, if he had one, or whether this is just a new thing.”

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