By Ben Brown

20th Apr, 2022 | 8:40am

Tony Dorigo admits surprise at Jesse Marsch's words on Leeds United overtraining

Leeds United favourite Tony Dorigo was taken aback by new manager Jesse Marsch’s comments on the squad being pushed too hard by Marcelo Bielsa.

The current LUTV pundit was writing in his column for the Yorkshire Evening Post when he expressed his surprise at the American, who spoke with talkSPORT last week about his start to life in the Elland Road hot-seat.

However, Dorigo did also concede the level of injuries Leeds have suffered this season was unreasonable, and that Marsch was maybe just expressing that which others didn’t dare say about the iconic Bielsa’s reign.

“I would have been more surprised had he said it a few weeks earlier before the run he’s had and the points he’s managed to pick up,” he told the outlet (20 April).

“It’s clear the injuries that Leeds have had are not normal and the type of injuries that we’ve had are not normal. 

“I think, if you look at the statistics and all the minutes lost, we are among the worst for losing players. Perhaps Marsch was just saying what a lot of people have been thinking,

“It was clearly a really demanding regime under Marcelo and you will get issues.”

Unprecedented Levels

There’s unlikely to have ever been another Leeds season like it where the squad has suffered so much from injury problems.

The crisis has been to that extent over this campaign that even the youngsters drafted into the first team have missed multiple months with their own fitness concerns, whilst the likes of Stuart Dallas have had to play through the pain barrier to ensure Leeds can field a reasonable XI.

Whether Bielsa was solely to blame or just had bad luck there’s no doubt it’s made a big impact on what has been a difficult second season back in the Premier League.

The truthful answer is it has probably been a bit of both, with even Marsch making his own fitness blunders after Patrick Bamford reinjured his foot when being rushed back too quickly.

It could be argued that sacrifice was necessary to help get some points on the board but it also points to the fact Bielsa perhaps had justification behind his slow methods of returning players to first-team action.

Whatever the case Leeds will be glad to see the back end of a season like an episode of Casualty and rest up their weary playing squad over a free summer.

In other Leeds United news, this exciting youngster has been spotted back in training alongside Kalvin Phillips.