Bielsa’s work ‘breeds a better team’, says Leeds United’s Roofe

Kemar Roofe, right, with Luke Ayling  and goalkeeper Jamal Blackman in new apparel (Picture: Varley Picture Agency).
Kemar Roofe, right, with Luke Ayling and goalkeeper Jamal Blackman in new apparel (Picture: Varley Picture Agency).
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KEMAR ROOFE believes the Leeds United players are “learning every day” under new manager Marcelo Bielsa.

The former Argentina national team coach has made a big impact since taking charge at Elland Road midway through last month.

Signings have been thin on the ground with only Jamal Blackman and Lewis Baker joining on loan from Chelsea, but this has not stopped Bielsa from working intensively with his new charges.

Double sessions and plenty of work on tactics have become the norm with the players often spending up to 12 hours per day at the club’s Thorp Arch training ground.

“It has been very tough,” said Roofe, speaking yesterday at the launch of United’s new home kit.

“But good at the same time. He hasn’t just run us into the ground with people complaining – it is the total opposite.

“It is well thought out and there is a reason behind everything and we are learning every day.”

Asked about what sort of work has been done under Bielsa, Roofe added: “Everything, both on and off the pitch.

“You would be surprised at what we have been doing. We would think we were going into a meeting about football and it could be about something that is nothing to do with football, just a life lesson.

“He wants good players, but he wants us to be good people as well.

“That is important. Obviously he wants us to reflect him and he has come across as that kind of person as well. And it just breeds a better team as well.”

With the clock counting down towards United’s opening game at home to Stoke City a week tomorrow, the need to get more transfer deals over the line is become more and more pressing.

Barry Douglas, the Wolverhampton Wanderers left-back, is wanted along with Derby County striker Matel Vydra.

Middlesbrough forward Patrick Bamford is another heavily linked with a possible move to Elland Road, but, as it stands, Bielsa has only Roofe and Tyler Roberts at his disposal up front.

United are in action tomorrow in their final pre-season friendly when Las Palmas come to Elland Road.

Roofe, top scorer last term after netting 14 goals in 39 league and Cup appearances as a push for pcomotion fizzled our horrible in the new year, said: “I am very excited, especially to get back at Elland Road and in front of the fans as well.

“It will be a good test on Sunday and then it will lead us into the Stoke game as well especially on TV. I think everyone is excited.”