Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips has stressed fitness has helped the Whites to implement Marcelo Bielsa's plans and become the fittest team in the Championship.

The Whites were recently crowned winners of the Championship and will be playing their football in the Premier League next season after a 16-year absence.  


The appointment of Bielsa has seen has a huge transformation at the club with the Argentine prioritising the importance of player fitness, as he requires his players to engage in an intense pressing style during games, which has brought success at the club.

Phillips admits fitness is the main cause for concern in Bielsa’s side as that his is the main characteristic in the Argentine’s game and insisted the players would be nowhere near their physical best if the head coach did not have them fit.

The 24-year old stressed his side are the most hard-working side in the league and revealed he has never looked back at his running stats after a game, but added he is sure of the fact that his stats are much higher now than they were before Bielsa’s appointment.

“Fitness is more or less the main attribute that’s made us the team that we are”, Phillips told The Athletic.

“If the manager didn’t have us this fit, I couldn’t play like I do. I think a lot of the lads would say the same.

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“There’s the tactics as well — I’m not saying tactics aren’t a big thing for us — but the running makes such a difference.

“He wants us to be the hardest-working team in the league, and that’s what we are.

“I’ve never looked back at my running stats but I know for a fact they’re going to be miles higher now.”

Phillips has made 37 Championship appearances for his side, scoring two goals and assisting two goals in the process, and is currently out injured.