By Neil Champney

20th Jun, 2020 | 10:30am

MOT View: Restart verdict from promotion rival skipper should fill Leeds with plenty of hope

If there’s one thing that Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United side can pride themselves on, it’s their fitness levels. 

The Whites are a relentless force, thanks in no small part to the efforts of the Argentine boss and his infamous training methods – including his gruelling Murderball sessions.

All that hard work is for a reason, and with Leeds seven points clear of the play-off places and on the cusp of a long-awaited return to the Premier League, you would have to say that Bielsa’s dedication is paying dividends.

Arguably, that superior fitness will never come in as useful as it will over these next few weeks.

The enforced break in play that all English clubs have had to endure as a consequence of the Coronavirus pandemic has had a hugely disruptive effect.

And understandably, there is some wariness as to how much that will affect teams, especially those chasing promotion.

Speaking on talkSPORT, Fulham captain Tom Cairney said: “It’s going to be really exciting for the neutral. I think the standard will be really bad at times, especially with how many games that are going to be played in such a short space of time.

“Fatigue will definitely come into it as well, so the extra subs will help. I really don’t think games will be won by maybe the best side or the best footballing side.

“I think teams will really have to dog it out times as well and maybe get a bit of luck.”

That verdict should fill Leeds fans with plenty of hope.

If there is one side equipped to “dog it out” over these next few weeks, it’s the Whites.

Bielsa will not stand for any kind of rustiness, and will have been working as obsessively as ever to ensure that his players are up to scratch for the restart.

Form is on their side too.

Leeds didn’t lose a Championship match until the sixth round of fixtures this season.

In 2018/19, they didn’t lose until the ninth round of games.

Bielsa’s men always start at a blistering pace, and if they can combine that with the relative sluggishness of the teams around them in the coming weeks, they should have more than enough to get themselves over the line.

In other Leeds United news, Jermaine Beckford makes big claim about Whites squad ahead of trip to Cardiff on Sunday