Sam Allardyce told Wednesday’s press conference – as per the club’s YouTube – that the morale of the Leeds United squad has already surprised him, claiming he expected the players to be more “miserable” than they currently are.

Allardyce, 68, held his first press conference since being drafted in as Leeds manager after his appointment as Javi Gracia’s replacement was confirmed on Wednesday morning. He takes on Manchester City on Saturday afternoon.

In what is his ninth spell in the Premier League, Allardyce – who will be flanked by Karl Robinson and Robbie Keane – will be tasked with keeping Leeds in the top tier. Just four games to do so; West Ham, Newcastle and Spurs, too.

Allardyce was asked about the players after holding a training session on Wednesday – his first. He says that he has been surprised by the morale of the squad given the perilous situation that Leeds currently find themselves in.

“I would’ve expected the players to be a little bit more miserable than what they seem. They are desperate to do better. They need support, a bit of guidance, breeding a bit of confidence,” Allardyce told media in his first presser.

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Leeds morale surprises Allardyce, expected players to be miserable

It is a good sign – at least, he will not have to be picking up a group of players that are sad. The family feel has always been a crucial element of this Leeds squad. Perhaps, some know that selfishly, relegation is not a big deal.

The likes of Weston McKennie will know that relegation will not hamper their careers. McKennie for example, will simply leave Leeds. Willy Gnonto, Illan Meslier, Tyler Adams and plenty more have attracted interest in recent weeks.

But it is good to hear that the morale of the Leeds squad is a positive one. That will be key going into the final four weeks, as will be sorting out a plan and instilling confidence into a side that know relegation is now likely this term.

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