Leeds’ Jansson explains inflammatory Bielsa comments

Date published: Tuesday 5th February 2019 11:50

Pontus Jansson has explained the comments he made on a Swedish podcast about Marcelo Bielsa’s training regime.

The Sweden centre-back complained of fatigue and questioned Argentine Bielsa’s methods at Elland Road after Saturday’s 3-1 reverse against promotion rivals Norwich.

Jansson, 27, who has started 20 Championship games for Bielsa’s men this term, said that “sometimes you feel tired before the match” but Bielsa’s anaswer is to “train even harder to make it better”.

Jansson did claim that United’s hard work in pre-season had set the foundations for a promotion tilt, but on the whole the podcast by Fotbolls Experterna, translated by Sport Witnesswas largely negative.

The uncompromising defender though has defended what he said, claiming Bielsa is one of the “best in the world” and he said that he “sometimes says things with a bit of irony”.

The Argentine coach, who has a reputation for working his players hard, cut his first-team squad down to 18 players when he arrived with his preference to then use his young players to fill in.

Up until the new year everything was looking rosy for the West Yorkshire side, but a run of disappointing form has seen then toppled by Norwich at the Championship summit – and Jansson says the club’s poor results have made training seem harder than normal.

“On Wednesday we have something called ‘killer ball’. It is football 11 against 11, but it is only to run as much as possible, even for me who is central defender,” said Jannson, with all the players connected to GPS.

“But then he drives on with one of the longest training sessions a week on Thursday. He goes through everything that can happen in the match. It’s about defending at posts, defending one against one, defending two against two, playing, how to build from behind.

“It is very divided into the exercises then as well, but all the time it’s intensity, running and working very intensively all the time. When you start approaching the match you normally want to slow down a bit, but Thursday training is probably the longest we have.”

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