Murderball will boost Leeds United's preparations, insists captain Liam Cooper

Liam Cooper in training: PHOTO: Courtesy of Leeds United.Liam Cooper in training: PHOTO: Courtesy of Leeds United.
Liam Cooper in training: PHOTO: Courtesy of Leeds United.
LEEDS UNITED captain Liam Cooper remains hopeful that Marcelo Bielsa's ultra-intense training regime will stand the club's players in good stead if the Championship season resumes in the summer.

United are back in small-scale training in small groups at Thorp Arch as they take the first steps in preparation for a potential return to competitive action at some time next month - to fulfil their commitments for 2019-20.

With nine matches of the campaign remaining, Leeds top the second-tier table and are seven points clear of third-placed Fulham after 37 matches.

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Bielsa's famed methods have revolutionised working life for Leeds's players - none more so than on Wednesday's during full training sessions when players take part in a high-intensity training match which is colloquially known as 'Murderball.'

Questioned on whether the Argentine's training demands will hand Leeds a potential edge on rivals, Cooper said: "I hope so.

"But football games aren't won solely with fitness so we have got to polish our tools again, get familiar with the style again and I am sure we will, it doesn't leave you.

"We will just polish those tools and crack on.

"We can't wait to get going, we are champing at the bit to get going and hopefully that won't be too much longer."

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Ahead of returning to Thorp Arch on Monday, Leeds players had been working hard for a number of weeks on their fitness as they followed individual programmes remotely.

Cooper estimates that he and his team-mates are at '85 to 90 per cent' levels at the minute as they top up their fitness ahead of a potential return to full training and to matches in the summer.

"I'd probably say we are probably at 85 or 90 per cent at the minute. And that's running fitness," Cooper continued.

"Obviously when you go into a game situation and there is contact and you are up against bodies and the intensity, we will get that in the 'murderball.'

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"But as running goes I would say we are at 90 per cent full fitness at the minute and obviously in the coming weeks when we can start doing group sessions and contact, that's when we will get the extra ten per cent and be ready to go."