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Marcelo Bielsa ‘very worried’ by Leeds’ form but will not change philosophy

Marcelo Bielsa is sticking to his guns despite Leeds’ worrying form (Peter Byrne/PA)
Marcelo Bielsa is sticking to his guns despite Leeds’ worrying form (Peter Byrne/PA)

Marcelo Bielsa is “very worried” by Leeds’ form but will not change his footballing philosophy.

The Whites have slipped to within three points of the relegation zone after a run of four defeats from their last five games, conceding 17 goals in the process.

While there were some positive signs in a 4-2 defeat by Manchester United last weekend, Leeds were then hammered 6-0 by Liverpool on Wednesday and have conceded the most goals in the Premier League.

Asked how concerned he was, Bielsa said: “Very worried. The worry is proportional to the results that we’ve obtained.

“I am a normal person. I do a job that has a lot of repercussions. I feel like all the people that are not able to offer the results that are expected. I am used to living through these situations.”

The Argentinian cited the injuries that have reduced Leeds’ options in defence and midfield as a key factor in their leakiness at the back.

Many fans and pundits have questioned whether Leeds need to have a more defensive mindset but Bielsa was adamant he will not be changing his approach.

He said: “In these four years, I have received criticisms or demands that are exactly the same.

“In this case they are a lot more justified as the consequences of what’s being done badly are a lot bigger. But they are the same problems that at some point we have already suffered and we were able to overcome.

“In moments like this when the confidence is lost in the leader, which is natural and logical, how can I defend myself with a team that has conceded the most goals in the Premier League?

“I daily try to resolve it. As I reiterate, when you are the conductor in a bad situation, nobody trusts in what you say. What I am also sure of is that, if I stop doing what I believe in, which is what you are asking me, the situation instead of improving is going to be even worse.

“Of one thing I am convinced, what I will try is to do what we do but better.

“These players have already demonstrated they have the level to play in the Premier League. The style, the model has already shown it can work in the Premier League.”

Leeds will be boosted by the availability for Saturday’s clash with Tottenham of defenders Diego Llorente and, somewhat surprisingly, Robin Koch following his head injury against United.

The chance of Liam Cooper and Kalvin Phillips returning from their hamstring injuries in early March have receded, though.

“There’s not a fixed date,” said Bielsa. “The prediction that they were going to be available early March, how they are right now, it doesn’t seem like that’s going to be the case.”

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