Former assistant Steve Thompson reveals that some foreign players used to smoke before Leeds United training

Elland Road East Stand

The former assistant to Neil Redfearn was not impressed with the state of Leeds upon his arrival.

Things are looking positive at Leeds United at the moment, but last season was a completely different story. One casualty of the circus at Leeds last term was Steve Thompson. The former Leeds assistant was suspended for no reason in April, despite having a positive impact on the first-team.

A personal friend of then manager Neil Redfearn, it was a shock move from the powers at be at Leeds.

He has now been speaking to the Lancashire Evening Post about the state of things at Leeds when he arrived at the club.

Thompson, who is now first-team coach to former Leeds man Simon Grayson at Preston North End, said the dressing room was divided when he arrived and that some of the foreign players at the club would be smoking before training:

“Neil Redfearn had been given the job at Leeds and it was no-brainer to join him,” he said.

“They were second-bottom of the table and the job was to save them from relegation.

“It was so complex there, with something of a divided dressing room and players who just weren’t good enough.

“You had some of the foreign lads smoking before training which was something I just wasn’t used to."

Of course Leeds owner Massimo Cellino is certainly sympathetic to a nicotine user, he infamously stopped a macabre press conference this summer for a ciggie break.

But professionals in this day and age should be taking better care of their bodies and smoking is not going to help you run around a pitch for 90 minutes.

Now it seems Leeds have trimmed the club of much of the riff-raff, and are left with a potent looking squad for new boss Uwe Rosler to deal with.

Even if some of the boys are still sneaking in the odd nicotine fix.

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