Tyler Roberts: We want to show we're the team that really deserves it

Tyler Roberts: We want to show we\'re the team that really deserves it

Leeds United forward Tyler Roberts discusses the lockdown

Today marks two months since Leeds United defeated Huddersfield Town 2-0 at Elland Road, the last game the Whites would play before the lockdown came into effect.

Tyler Roberts who had returned from injury and scored two goals in the previous clash with Hull, has been talking to the media about the current situation and what sealing promotion in front of fans would have meant to him.

How are you and the squad handling the current lockdown situation?

"The word you can use to describe it is challenging. The daily life is not the same, it's crazy, we're all having to adapt to it, but it is what it is. I'm missing the boys quite a bit, I feel like I haven't seen them in years, and just miss having the normal banter in the changing rooms. We've got a WhatsApp group, so the lads will just ask how each other are, and how it's going, but we're good, and everyone is alright."

How do you keep motivated without a date of when the game will return?

"The main thing for us is that we are top of the league, we are where we want to be, and we're just keeping the mindset that we are going to return at some point. When we do return, we all want to be as fit as possible to give ourselves a head start, and an advantage over teams that haven't. In the end that's what will benefit us when we're winning games."

Has it been frustrating knowing you were on course, and this week could have been celebrating promotion?

"Yeah, the last week has been the most mentally challenging. Just thinking that Saturday we could have been at Elland Road, the sun was shining, we could have been lifting the trophy in front of fans. It's been hard not to think about it because we all did believe that we would be promoted and could be champions.

"Even if we do get promoted by PPG or as it stands, it's still going to be a massive thing for the club. I'm sure when everything is safe to do so, then we'll all be able to celebrate together, everyone in Leeds. It will take away from the feeling of being at Elland Road, the last day, the fans watching us play and get promoted at the same time, you wouldn't be able to beat that."

In your view would you prefer to finish the season and get promoted, or would you rather someone just say Leeds United are promoted and do it that way?

"If we get promoted it's a massive achievement for everyone, no matter how it happens now. I think I can speak for the rest of the boys, but we want to finish the rest of the season. We want to play those 9 games, show that we are the team that really deserves it, put last season's 9 games right, and that we have the bottle to do it."

There's multiple scenarios being played out in the media at the moment. Are you as players keeping up with all of that?

"To be fair, I'm not sure about the rest of the lads, but for me I was following it a lot from the start, then as it got more towards the middle of where we are now, it's just confusing. One person will say this, another will say that, and they'll contradict each other. I know there's a big meeting on Sunday, so that's all I'm focused on."

Whatever happens, as a group what would it mean to be the ones that finally got Leeds back into the top flight?

"To do it would be a crazy, indescribable feeling, you might see me with a few tears. More special because we've kept the same team as last season, so a lot of the hurt and pain we went through together, we've been able to take it, bounce back together, not made loads of changes and just got stronger.

"They're a great bunch of lads, I can't fault any one of them, we've all gone through the tough times, we've all worked extremely hard, and there's no one who has slacked off or moaned.

"For the fans as well, they went through the same pain as we did last season, but they've stayed with us, they're the most passionate fans I've come across, so it would be great to do it for them."

It'd be almost unimaginable to play at Elland Road with no Leeds fans there?

"Yeah, it'd be very weird, it'd be a strange feeling but I know we won't let it affect our performance. With the 11 v 11 sessions we do in training every week, I think it'd just be like another one of those, so I feel like we've been preparing for a scenario like this for the last two years."

How much are you missing those intense 'Murder Ball' training sessions?

"As hard as they are, of course I'm missing it. I'm missing mentally making myself do that extra run to get into the space, being tired and being exhausted. As much as you don't like it when you're in it, you really miss it when you're away."

Have the coaching staff been setting you a lot of tasks to do at home?

"We've not really stopped, we've had sessions near enough every day, maybe one day off a week, two if we're lucky. We still have to weigh ourselves in the morning, so everyone has a scale and has to send in pictures to, showing that we're keeping good shape. I guess that maybe a lot more than other clubs but I'm grateful we have someone who cares that much and is looking after us."

Before the lockdown you were in great form, have you thought about all the goals you missed out in consequence of that?

"Yeah, obviously just before I got the two goals against Hull, I feel like I was back to full fitness, full sharpness, so it was a bit of a blow thinking I could have got a run in, or I could have scored in this or that game. But you have to look at the bigger picture all the time, that a lot more people are healthy because we're in lockdown, so that's the main thing."

Have you got any reservations about going back to playing?

"If they say it's safe to play, then I'm happy to play. I wouldn't ever want us to force it, or risk anything, but if there's a way that we can play, that we can be safe, and other people can stay safe, then I'd be buzzing to play again, just to get that competitive feeling."