Carlos Corberan believes it is a dangerous time to play Leeds United and feels there is still plenty of quality within the Whites squad despite the club’s frustrating start to the 2023-24 season.
The Spaniard returns to Elland Road for the first time since leaving the club in 2020. The 40-year-old worked under Marcelo Bielsa as an assistant as well as taking on the head coach role for the club’s Under-23s side.
He departed for Huddersfield Town and led the Terriers to the Championship play-off final. Corberan’s West Brom side have lost one and won the other of their opening two league games so far after picking a 3-2 victory over Swansea City last weekend.
The Whites are yet to win from their opening two league matches after suffering a late defeat to Birmingham City last weekend. Leeds have sent a number of players out on loan since their relegation from the Premier League but Corberan feels there is still plenty of Premier League standard players within the squad and believes there will be more additions at his old club before the transfer window closes.
Asked if it was a good time to play Leeds, Corberan responded: “I think that Leeds, when you play against teams like this, or Southampton, or Leicester, when they are relegated from the Premier League they are going to have a transition period. Especially when you change the coach, and this happens normally in that scenario, but they still have Premier League players.
“In the case of Leeds, they have Premier League players from the last three years. They have a group of Premier League players. I know they are in this transition where some players don't want to keep playing and they prefer the transfer, and other players will come. They have two or three new players who are probably going to be in the starting XI, and I know they'll be a team with still more things to come in the market because they're in this transition period.
“That doesn't mean that they're not dangerous now. Especially for me, these teams, after one defeat, are even more dangerous. They're at home after one defeat and that's the time you have to be ready because they're going to go for the game.”
Corberan left Leeds following the club’s promotion back to the Premier League and looks back fondly on his time at Elland Road. He also had a successful period in charge of the Under-23s before moving into senior management.
He reflected: “I enjoyed a lot my time there. I have only good memories with the Under-23s - in the second year we won the league and the cup and it was a nice time there. Of course after I worked with Bielsa - my time in Leeds was a time that has helped me a lot to develop and grow as a coach. We have good moments because personally I spent two years with Marcelo Bielsa and there isn’t a price you can pay for this.
“From the targets point of view, we achieved two times the top six - the first year, unfortunately in the play-offs, we didn’t achieve it. The second year we achieved promotion to the Premier League. I have very good memories of my time there and it’s the first time I will be back at Elland Road.”