Leeds United coach praises players for Italian job

David Hockaday.

David Hockaday.

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Head coach David Hockaday has declared himself delighted with Leeds United’s two-week training camp in Italy.

The trip ended in bizarre fashion with two Leeds United teams playing out a match against each other after intended opponents Romanian side Viitorul Constanta failed to turn up, but was otherwise deemed a success.

Hockaday saw it as vital to work with his players over an intense training period after only previously taking charge of them for two days before the trip to Santa cristina.

He admits he has pushed them hard in a bid to make them as fit as possible for the start of the new campaign, but they have been responsive.

He said: “Since I have been at the club the players that I have been given have been first rate.

“They haven’t given me any problems and they haven’t moaned. We were doing three sessions a day and there wasn’t one grumble.

“The training that we did out in Italy was all realistic. They can see how we want to play. So the players could see that what we were doing was relevant to what we want to do here.

“When I have spoken to the players they feel that there is a different culture here now and they feel like they are buying into it.

“Everyday we were out there we moved forward. We have to be a team. If there are one or two people that aren’t with us then we have a problem.

“But everybody is pulling in the same direction and everybody wants to do well for Leeds United.

“There were no distractions out there but we kept them occupied with three training sessions and by the time they were finished and had dinner they all crawled into bed.

“The players all worked incredibly hard.”