Championship pundit praises Christiansen’s impact at Leeds United

David Prutton believes Thomas Christiansen has proved he was the right man to take over as Leeds United’s new head coach.

Christiansen enjoyed success in Cyprus with APOEL, but was viewed as a shock choice when he was appointed as Garry Monk’s replacement this summer.

However, the former Leeds midfielder and current Sky Sports pundit insists the 44-year-old has already made his mark.

“First up, the players have taken to him,” Prutton told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

“You can see that clearly and don’t let anyone pretend that as a somewhat out-there choice as head coach it’s a simple job to get a squad on your side.

“On one hand he comes across as being in charge but on the other, he seems comfortable as part of a wider organisation at Leeds.

“There’s no sign of power struggles or any dispute over authority. He looks in control.”

Prutton says he has been particularly impressed with Christiansen’s media skills, highlighting the way he dealt with Chris Wood’s departure from the club.

“When he was asked by Sky before the Sunderland game to speak about Chris Wood, he told us that he’d answer questions afterwards. At full-time he dealt with everything that was put to him and spoke about Wood in depth. I respect that.

“As an individual, he’s multi-lingual and without suggesting that speaking foreign languages makes you a good manager, that does appeal to me. It shows a capacity to be open to new cultures and experiences and, by extension, open to new ideas.

“These days that’s critical for any up-and-coming coach. I don’t expect Neil Warnock or Harry Redknapp to start reinventing the wheel but the technicalities of analysis, tactics and performance are changing all the time.

“You either try to move with them or you get left behind and it has to be said that by turning to a coach who’d been working in Cyprus, Leeds avoided going down an old beaten path.

“At a club who recruited heavily from abroad, Christiansen’s background should make him an empathetic presence.”

Christiansen has had a busy summer as he looks to build a squad capable of challenging for promotion to the Premier League.

Samu Saiz and Ezgjan Alioski have looked particularly impressive additions, helping Leeds pick up 11 points out of a possible 15 so far.

Leeds face Burton Albion on Saturday with forwards Pierre-Michel Lasogga and Pawel Cibicki in the running for a start. They look an excellent bet to pick up three points and keep up the pressure at the top of the Championship.

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