Leeds United have posted their weekly training video as Javi Gracia prepares for his fourth Premier League match in charge of the Whites – and Junior Firpo is clearly full of confidence, as he is seen nutmegging Brenden Aaronson.
Leeds have taken four points from the first three games under Gracia, so far. A decent return given the teams Leeds have faced. A relegation six-pointer against Southampton, Leeds won 1-0. Chelsea away, a spirited 1-0 defeat.
Then, a decent point against Brighton in a game which both sides could have scored four or five. Firpo has been key to Gracia’s reign so far, starting all four matches – and scoring the winner in Gracia’s only win against Southampton.
His confidence is high after a frustrating 18 months at Leeds, in which the defender has been constantly sidelined by niggling injuries. But in the midst of a relegation battle, Firpo is coming good and it showed in training this week.
Controlling a pass, Firpo looks to go forward from the left flank. When closed down – he nutmegs £25m Aaronson. The bit of skill, seen at 2:10 in the 3-minute video, leaves Aaronson in despair as Firpo keeps possession of the ball.
Leeds training video: Firpo full of confidence as he nutmegs Aaronson
It is great to see Firpo finally putting aside those that have criticised his performances, and his lack of form, to get going in a Leeds shirt. It might have come just at the right time, and under the right manager in Spanish boss Gracia.
Th ex-Watford man likes to play with width, something Jesse Marsch was against. It sees his full-backs overlap the wingers and get crosses into the box, or even into the penalty area to score, as he did at Elland Road. Firpo is key.