The current international break may have come at just the right time for Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds United, according to David Prutton.
A former White, the ex-midfielder believes the current two-week break in competitive club football may actually be a blessing in disguise for the Elland Road outfit, despite having suffered another defeat just prior to it commencing.
Of course, Leeds were involved in a controversial defeat to Millwall just last weekend when they were beaten 2-1 with thanks to an incorrect refereeing decision to send Gaetano Berardi off inside the opening quarter-of-an-hour – a decision that has since been overturned.
It would not have been difficult to imagine Bielsa and his group of players wanting to get back out on to the football pitch as soon as possible and put that wrong right, however they have been made to wait.
And, it would seem Prutton is of the idea that it may actually be a benefit to them, rather than a hindrance.
Writing in his column for the Yorkshire Evening Post, he said: “They’ve obviously got two weeks to reflect on it which isn’t ideal, but maybe the international break actually comes at a good time in one regard as it will give the players who haven’t gone away a chance to rest up along with those in the treatment room.
“If a few players have gone away with their international team and it’s gone well then that’s great. Ultimately, though, they’re at the club for the greater good and that’s getting Leeds back up and running.”
Indeed, it is not a statement that would require too much of an argument in regards to suggesting that Prutton is right with his assessment.
Obviously, it would be great if Leeds were able to get back on the pitch as soon as possible and make Birmingham City effectively pay for what Millwall did to them on their last outing, however the Championship season is a marathon and not a sprint.
Therefore, giving the Whites the opportunity to, potentially, recharge the batteries a little and take some extended time on the training pitch to think about how they can improve in certain areas and become even more effective, may only help their long-term aim of finishing the campaign in an automatic promotion spot.
Injuries have played havoc for Bielsa’s squad once again this season, with the likes of Liam Cooper, Pablo Hernandez, Adam Forshaw and Jamie Shackleton all currently on the sidelines (via Leeds Live), whilst the likes of Luke Ayling had been unavailable for the majority of the season (Transfermarkt).
As mentioned by Prutton, Leeds have had a ‘stuttering‘ start to the current campaign, however the international break may have come just at exactly the right time for Leeds and their promotion pursuit.
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