By Sean Fisher

9th Dec, 2022 | 6:10am

Leeds United coach Tom Robinson explains 'Magic number' approach used by Jesse Marsch in training

Tom Robinson is tasked with yelling out numbers to Jesse Marsch during Leeds United training to maximise the efficiency of sessions.

Leeds United flew to Spain this month to undergo some hot-weather training ahead of the Premier League’s resumption on Boxing Day.

Marsch has put his players through some gruelling training drills as well as planned a friendly match against La Liga side Elche to help maintain match sharpness.

But perhaps the biggest eyebrow-raiser from the Spain camp has been Marsch’s bizarre ‘magic number’ approach with the help of sports scientist Robinson.

As reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, Robinson can be spotted in Leeds training most of the time with an electronic tablet while he shouts numbers over to Marsch and his coaches – a method they coin the ‘Magic Number’.

Robinson explained that the number is used to help maximise the efficiency of the training sessions.

“The number that I’m reading out is one called high metabolic load distance. That’s a unit of measurement that STATSports have created to measure basically, how much the players are accelerating and decelerating and covering distance at high running speeds,” said Robinson.

“It’s a quite good indicator of how difficult the session is and what sort of demands we’re placing on the players’ bodies.

“We have figures on the players for what their high metabolic load distance would be in a game and we have a good understanding of what percentage of their match output the figure for today would be.”

Top class

Since Marsch arrived in Leeds, he kept up the intensity in the squad from Marcelo Bielsa’s training sessions. The Whites still play high-energy, high-octane football – yet injuries in the squad have dropped dramatically.

Perhaps that has something to do with the American’s training techniques and the work of his coaches, physios and sports scientists.

If Marsch is able to pinpoint exactly how much to train each player before they start to become overworked then the squad’s fitness and longevity will feel the effects in the long term.

Leeds’ fitness levels have been mightily impressive this season, and Marsch will need his squad back in top shape ahead of the second half of the season.

The club still finds itself in a relegation scrap but can take advantage of only having three stars away during the World Cup break.

With other teams inevitably facing fatigue and tiredness, Leeds should be able to capitalise after putting in the extra miles in Spain.

In other Leeds United news, the imminent 49ers takeover can fund a blockbuster deal for Charles De Ketelaere