Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa is going to have a lot of work to do if the currently suspended 2019/20 is able to reconvene.
Before football was brought to a halt earlier this month, Leeds were on a five-match winning run and sitting top of the Championship table with a seven-point advantage over third place.
It doesn’t matter to Leeds fans if they finish first or second as long as they go up automatically this season and end their 16-year wait to return to the Premier League so the emphasis has to be preserving that gap between them and third place, which is occupied by Fulham as it stands.
If the season is able to reconvene, it’s likely it will happen in June, July or later, and that means Bielsa has a lot of time to plan how he goes about continuing his side’s promotion bid – if he’s able to.
Here, MOT Leeds News has listed three things the Argentine should do as soon as he can once players are able to return to Thorp Arch:
Get players back to peak fitness
Leeds’ players are currently training at home but are limited to one exercise outside the house a day and the use of indoor equipment such as bikes. However none of them add up to the physicality of playing a match of football against other players. It could take a matter of weeks for Bielsa to get players to the fitness standard he wants of them but he’ll also want to make sure they’re tactically proficient too.
Although Bielsa has used the same starting line-up when and where he has been able to this season, he will no doubt need to get his players brushed up on his system. Spending time away from each other and not playing football is likely to lead to players being rusty on what to do with the ball, as well as how fit they are. This could take even longer than getting players up to match fitness.
In the two matches before the suspension, Leeds won 4-0 against Hull and 2-0 against Huddersfield. In the six games before those wins, the Whites failed to score more than once in a single game. Patrick Bamford finally ended his goalscoring drought against Huddersfield but that momentum is bound to have been lost. Without trying to sound like Michael Owen, Leeds need to score goals if they want to go up and there have been occasions this season where they’ve struggled to do that.
In other Leeds United news, Mateusz Klich has a plan to finish the season involving Dubai.