Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier says he takes all the blame for his bad performances last year that saw him dropped from the team as the club were relegated.
The French keeper arrived at the club on loan in 2019 and quickly grew and eventually became the undisputed number one at Elland Road. His good form continued as Leeds won promotion to the Premier League under Marcelo Bielsa.
However during the 2022/23 campaign he made costly errors in games and as a result was benched near the end of the season by Sam Allardyce.
Meslier believes his performances last season gave him the confidence to come into this season stronger:
“It wasn’t easy, to be honest,” he said. “It was a tough season for everyone and I can’t deny it was not that difficult, but in my mindset, it’s just I’m learning.”
“I failed and I will maybe fail again, but how to react is the most important [thing] and to work hard. ‘Okay, this happened, now how can I react to this situation to become stronger and more confident?”
“For sure, it wasn’t easy being relegated with Leeds, but it is a part of football. It can happen and that’s why I’m still here. I want to be promoted with Leeds because, to be honest, the Premier League is our place. That’s why I want to give everything I can to help the club to be promoted again.”
When asked about meeting Daniel Farke before the season began, Meslier says he made an immediate impression:
“We didn’t need to speak a lot, we just needed to speak on the pitch and it was my feeling on the pitch,” he said. “I feel directly concerned with the team and I feel directly I will have a huge role, an important role, inside the team.”
“For me, it was easy to like it, the method of Daniel, how we wanted to play. Since the first week he came in, I knew I would enjoy a lot under his commandment.”