Luke Ayling: The hard work continues

Luke Ayling: The hard work continues

Full-back on campaign and Arsenal.

Leeds United full-back Luke Ayling spoke to LUTV about the current international break and the season so far.

Leeds have recorded three victories in the opening eight games of the Premier League campaign, defeating Fulham, Sheffield Untied and Aston Villa.

With a large chunk of the squad away with their respective countries, Ayling spoke about what it has been like at Thorp Arch and reflected on the opening stages of the campaign.

“It’s been quiet, I think there are only probably seven of the first team lads left,” said Ayling.

“The hard work continues, though, we’re doing a lot of gym stuff and a lot of work outside, it’s pretty quiet when they all go away, but this is what happens when you get to the Premier League.

“Overall, I think we’ve started well, but the last two games have been disappointing.

“To let in eight goals in the Premier League and expect to get anything from it, that’s not going to happen, so we have to tighten up there.

“We have still been in games though and I don’t think the score-lines have been fair if you really look at it.

“We’re eight games in and have 10 points, so it’s not the worst start in the world, but certainly inside the dressing room, we think we should have a few more points on the board.”

Arsenal, the club Ayling came through the ranks with are Leeds’ next opponents with the Gunners visiting Elland Road and he gave his thoughts on the prospect of coming up against his former side.

“I spent a lot of time there as a kid, but I was only a kid then and I never really played or trained with the first team,” said Ayling.

“I don’t know anyone there and I’ve got no ties there, so for me it is just another game, but it will be nice to finally play against them in the Premier League after getting released at 18 will be nice.

“I think we can take confidence from our first half performance (in the FA Cup tie in January), but we know our second half performance was nowhere near it, we need to play like we did in the first half for 90 minutes.

“It should be a good game of football, it will be two teams trying to win the game, playing good football and hopefully it will be us coming away with the points.

“We’ve worked so hard to get to the Premier League and play teams like this and we’ve done well so far against the top teams and hopefully we can do well again here.”

Ayling also revealed his delight for his teammates Ezgjan Alioski and Liam Cooper, with North Macedonia and Scotland securing qualification for Euro 2020 on Thursday evening.

He said: “It’s unreal for the pair of them.

“They’re both playing for countries who haven’t been at major tournaments for a long time, so for them to be part of it, it is brilliant.

“I’m pleased for them, what a great experience it will be for them to go to Euro 2020 and play against some of the best countries in Europe, it’s a massive achievement for them.”