Yorkshire Evening Post 29/5/15
New Leeds United head coach Uwe Rosler said he was intent on securing “quality opposition” this summer after finalising pre-season friendlies against Athletic Bilbao and Hoffenheim.
Leeds will meet Spanish side Bilbao during a week-long tour of Austria, three weeks before the start of the new Championship season.
The match on July 21 was one of two friendlies announced by United yesterday, with Rosler’s squad due to play German outfit Hoffenheim in Norway on July 25.
Rosler, who was named as Leeds’ new head coach last week, will take his squad to Austria for a training camp between July 18 and July 24.
United’s players will then fly on to Norway to meet Bundesliga team Hoffenheim in Lillestrom the following day.
Rosler said: “We decided it was in the best interests of our club, and for the quality of teams that we can meet, to go to Austria where we will find very good conditions to train.
“I don’t like to go into the heat. I like to go into a moderate climate, very similar to the UK where you can really put a shift in, in terms of laying the foundations for the season.
“The quality of opposition we will play against was massively important for me. We’re laying the foundations for the next 10 months.”
Rosler revealed that former Leeds defender Gunnar Halle – recently linked with a coaching job at Elland Road – had helped to organise the game against Hoffenheim, a side who finished this season in the top half of the Bundesliga.
Bilbao ranked seventh in La Liga and play Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final this weekend.
Rosler said: “It’ll be a good trip against two top teams. I didn’t want another game because I think we have to put a lot of things on the training pitch.
“I’ll spend a lot of time with the players on and off the training pitch to lay the foundations technically and tactically.
“Not having too many games allows us to do a lot of groundwork for what is needed in the season.”
Leeds will announce further friendlies shortly and the YEP understands that the club have been considering the option of playing Everton at Elland Road in August.