Paul Heckingbottom lasted only a few months as Leeds United boss.
Paul Heckingbottom has told Leeds Live that the excess of Victor Orta’s youth players at Leeds United ‘detracted’ from what he was trying to achieve last season.
Heckingbottom was sacked as Leeds manager in the summer, having only been appointed a few months earlier as Thomas Christiansen’s replacement.
Orta, United’s Director of Football, made over 20 signings during the summer of 2017, though many were not signed as senior players and subsequently never played under Christiansen or Heckingbottom last season.
The former Barnsley manager won only four of his 16 Championship games as Leeds boss, and the 41-year-old believes that his vision and efforts were hindered by ‘all those players hanging about’.
“There’s a good group of players there who had some talent, but there was also a big group behind that and into the 23s which were never going to play,” he told Leeds Live.
“When you’ve got all those players about and in the building and hanging about, it just detracts from everything you’re trying to achieve: the hunger, the drive, everything I’ve been about and the team’s been about.
“That’s one way to, straight away, make that better. Move them on, get rid of them.”
It remains to be seen if Orta’s idea back then ever pays dividends, because were Hugo Diaz or Alejandro Machuca ever really going to be big players for the Elland Road club?
But it doesn’t seem logical that that is the reason why Heckingbottom failed in West Yorkshire.
The bottom line is that he only won four league matches at Leeds and deflecting attention away from results and on to a surplus of Under-23 players doesn’t make a great deal of sense.