Jack Harrison ‘refreshed’ thinks outside the box as winger looks to Leeds United’s future
Determined to ‘think outside the box’ off the pitch, the Leeds United winger had the help of a psychologist to try and get back to excelling inside the box on the pitch itself.
Not that Harrison’s game is all about producing the goods in the box, far from a player continually moving up and down both ends of the flank he is selected to play on.
The 24-year-old has been virtually ubiquitous in head coach Marcelo Bielsa’s roster since joining the Whites for the first time on a one-season loan from Manchester City in July 2018, having only signed for the All Star City outfit of Pep Guardiola of New York City last January.
Three years later, the former England Under-21 international comes near the end of a third loan of a season at Elland Road and has confirmed that something is in place with a view to joining United permanently this summer for a fee believed to be in the region of £ 10million.
At best, such a fee would be another United transfer snip – a year after Brazilian winger Raphinha landed for just £ 17million from Rennes.
Still six months into his career with the Whites, Raphinha has already amassed six goals and five assists and Harrison also started his season with a handful of goals and assists.
Recently, however, the city lender had found himself in the unknown position of sitting on the bench as the winger lost his place next to Helder Costa for the recent fixtures against Aston Villa and West Ham.
Still, Harrison has been reinstated in the starting XI for the games against Chelsea and Fulham ahead of the international break and is hopeful that with the help of his work with a psychiatrist, he will now be back in full force.
“I hit a bit of a tough time mentally and physically and maybe I was just a little bit exhausted,” Harrison said, reflecting on a drop in form that was only minor but that he insists on. made that “I felt forever”.
“But I feel refreshed now, I feel ready to go and I hope I can get back to how I played at the start of the season.
“Football is full of ups and downs and these things happen and you have to come to terms with that.
“I always try to resist as much as possible and I would get pretty frustrated because I know I was doing everything I could to try to feel good and stuff in games.
“But everything I was doing off the pitch, be it ice baths, treatments or nutrition, sleep, whatever it was just wasn’t working and so it was the most frustrating thing.” for me. Once I stopped resisting and tried hitting the reset button a bit, I found things to be much better.
“It was just about changing my mindset and I worked with a psychologist who does NLP training which is neurolinguistic programming and so I was just trying to change my mindset and change my perspective on two. or three things. It really helped change my mindset a bit and it works so it’s been good so far.
“The nutritionist can also tell you that I’m always trying to find different things to help me out on the pitch and the mental aspect of things, especially now in the game, has become huge.
“This is something that I really started to understand, just realizing how important your mindset can be in games and during that time I asked my agent to contact a few people.
“We tried to find out what could be beneficial for me and what could help me in this situation because I knew I was doing everything I could off the pitch to feel good, but that just didn’t happen at all. simply not.
“Sometimes it’s just a matter of thinking outside the box and finding other solutions that few people think of.
“It can work. I kept doing what I know works and I think adding this has really helped me.
“Obviously it might be different for other people, it might not work, it might work, but for me it seems to work, so I was grateful for this opportunity.”
Harrison now looks set to have another opportunity on the pitch for today’s Yorkshire derby against Sheffield United at Elland Road.
If Harrison gets the green light again, he will make his 110th start and 121st appearance for Leeds since joining the club in the summer of 2018.
Impressive stats for a player who has never ‘belonged’ to Leeds on three one-season loans from City, but that looks set to change.
“Something is already planned for the summer so we’ll see,” said Harrison, speaking in an interview with BBC Radio Leeds.
When asked if it is difficult to still consider himself a Manchester City player, the gratitude felt towards both clubs is clear.
“It’s a little difficult,” admitted Harrison.
“Obviously I only had a pre-season there and I learned a lot there working with Pep and some of the other players, it was a great experience.
“But obviously most of my time here in England has been at Leeds and I’m grateful for everything they have provided me here and with Marcelo showing a lot of confidence and faith in me as a player for having had so many appearances here. as well as.
“It’s great for me as a player to develop and keep learning.”
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