Leeds Live’s Beren Cross has revealed what he’s seen at Leeds United amid the club’s tough start to the Premier League season.
The Whites find themselves nine games into the top-flight campaign and with just one win to their name, and were recently knocked out of the Carabao Cup at the fourth round stage on Tuesday night.
And now, during a Q&A for Leeds Live, Cross responded to a fan’s question about how the Leeds squad are coping mentally and how they might look to address that behind-the-scenes.
He said: “I would refuse to believe psychology was not playing a part because the team is made up of human beings after all. They’re not footballing robots, so you have to believe every result and every training session will have some sway on how they then read in-match situations on a Saturday.
“The noises from the club would suggest the squad retains plenty of confidence in its own ability and capacity to get back to the levels of last season, but on an individual basis I would be surprised if none of the players had seen their confidence knocked by the opening weeks of the season.
“Bielsa is very aware of this stuff too. He constantly speaks about the players as human beings and the importance of understanding every factor which will determine their performances in a match, whether those factors are on or off the field. Before the Wolves game, he spoke at length about mentality and responding to bad performances like those at Southampton. The club will be on top of factors like psychological performance.”
Naturally, when you pick up just one win all season in the Premier League, the confidence levels are hardly going to be through the roof.
The Whites find themselves in their most difficult run of form since their return back to the top-flight last summer, and face an absolutely crunch fixture against fellow struggles Norwich City this weekend.
That game already looks like a potentially season-defining moment for both Leeds and Bielsa himself, and a defeat there would be almost unthinkable.
The return to fitness of the likes of Kalvin Phillips, Raphinha and Patrick Bamford in particular can’t come soon enough for the Leeds boss, but it’s certainly a concern for the club’s fans at how low the morale must be right now.