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Friday, August 14, 2020

Marcelo Bielsa: We must stay focused on the game

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa spoke to the media after Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship win over Blackburn Rovers.

The whites traveled to Ewood Park in search of a win after Tuesday’s draw against Luton, and visitors weren’t disappointed, moving away with all three points.

Patrick Bamford opened the scoring after just 7 minutes, before Kalvin Phillips made a fantastic free-kick before the break. Despite Adam Armstrong pulling back a goal, Mateusz Klich seals a 3-1 victory, keeping the team’s grip in first position.

Answering questions from BBC Leeds, the Yorkshire Evening Post and Leeds Live, Marcelo reflected on tactics, Mateusz Klich’s influence on the game and being slightly more anxious as we enter the final stages of the season.


Congratulations on the victory! Can you explain your tactics today? Were they a little more direct?

We play as always, maybe we haven’t seen so many steps before seeing the first step. Maybe Cooper insisted a bit more with Bamford to play more directly, but when the game went on we could start the attack by moving the ball and leaving long passes.

Mateusz Klich, how happy were you with his performance today? Would you say it’s the best I’ve been since rebooting?

Yes. He played a great game today. It unbalanced the game for us. He was the player who unbalanced the whole team today.

Did the game play as you expected? Did your tactics work exactly how you wanted them?

It is very difficult to imagine what kind of game we would have. The opponent was playing with different forms. Today they made some changes that we didn’t expect. There is the number nine as the right wing, eight as the left wing, seven as the striker, who was new to their manager today.

There was a lot of quality in the game under these circumstances, did you see a better punishment than Kalvin’s?

Kalvin has a very good quality with the side of the foot. He did not expect the target to go there too, to the pole where the goalkeeper was not there. He thought he would shoot like in the last game, to the left of the goalkeeper, but it was a beautiful goal.

Dallas and Costa, how serious are these injuries now?

They were close to the game today, so we’ll see if they can play Thursday.

Barry Douglas has made five starts this season, how do you think he played today? And was it unfortunate not to play more?

On defense he had a good efficient game. We were playing, he’s always right. Although he may not have attacked much, he has chosen the right moments to attack. In relation to the left-back position, aafter Dallas was one of the players with the most impact on the team, he could not get continuity in the game. Maybe that’s why it didn’t sound as much as you imagined.

Was there a temptation to leave Pablo on the bench today? Given how well the game was going?

When Pablo arrived on the pitch, we felt the need for his game to manage the ball and the last pass. At the time, Tyler was physically weaker, and always when you have a replacement player who should have started, this is very important.

You looked more anxious than usual on the touch line, was it a particularly nerve-wracking game for you?

Yes, every game in this period is very important and every distraction we pay for, so we have to stay focused on the game.

Would it have been your intention to make the changes for Douglas and Alioski even if Dallas and Costa had been in shape?

I couldn’t think about it because we knew that Dallas and Costa were unable to play two days ago.

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