Mark Jackson: We’re really looking forward to it

Mark Jackson: We’re really looking forward to it

Under 23s head coach on season starting.

Leeds United Under 23s begin their season away at Crystal Palace on Monday evening (19:00).

The Whites won the Premier League 2 Division Two title last season and gained promotion, alongside Monday’s hosts who won the play-offs to also go up.

After a summer of hard-work and preparation, Monday night will see both teams competing in PL2 Division One, when the game gets underway at Selhurst Park. 

“Pre-season is always a tough time for the players,” Jackson explained. 

“It's a time for getting fitness in, and in that respect we’ve been successful. It’s an important time to work getting the fitness in and avoiding any injuries. 

“We’ve been fairly lucky in that respect, just about everyone has come through alright so we feel we’re in a good position to go into the first game of the season. 

“The staff and boys are really looking forward to it." 

Friendly matches over the summer saw a number of different opponents across various levels for Jackson’s side.

He said: “We’ve had a mixed bag. 

“We’ve played Ajax, Fleetwood, Guiseley and Man City so the variation of the games has been really good. 

“What we tried to do is review the games with the players, address any issues and go into the next games in a better position.

“We feel like it went okay and we are where we want to be, now we’re looking forward to the season beginning!”

On to Monday night’s challenge, the Whites are expecting another tough test after experience both winning and losing against the Eagles last season. 

“We played against Palace last year, so it is the two teams who have gone up,” Jackson stated. 

“We had two challenging games against them last year so I expect the same again. 

“What we’ll try to do is focus on ourselves, we obviously look at the opponents but ultimately it is about how we prepare, and having our players ready to play the way we want to play. 

“We want to put our style on the opposition, we all know what that style is and we want to continue with that high intensity.”