Marcelo Bielsa: Five points ahead of Newcastle United

Quotes from Bielsa's press conference.


Marcelo Bielsa has held his pre-match press conference, ahead of Tuesday night’s Premier League clash with Newcastle United at St James’ Park.

Here we look at five points made by the Leeds United head coach, prior to the fixture.  

On Newcastle…

We analysed the difficulties of the opponent, but of course we worry more about our own difficulties. Our difficulties are just as present as theirs, as in every game we will try to improve ourselves as a team. We will try to be better than the opponent in all the possibles. We’re not focused on the opponents bad run of form, we’re focused on our own game and trying to improve our form. In no way we do we feel that Newcastle’s poor run of form will help ours. It’s not a rivals poor run of form that will help us to improve, we have to improve.

On Diego Llorente…

The minutes with the under 23s was an aspect he was missing so that he could return with us. Llorente has the characteristics of a strong defender. He’s a player who is happy recovering the ball and he’s a player who has a physical attributes which can help in the aerial game and also on the ground.

On Raphinha making different runs…

The players who play on the wing, play in a limited amount of space, different to the players in the middle who are able to go both ways. Those who play on the wing play on a longitudinal plane which is inhibited by the line, so there’s only one way they can go. The spaces are reduced, so as a resource the players use coming inside as another resource. If it’s done with surprise it’s very effective but if the movements are not done at pace, all it does is generate congestion in the middle of the pitch. What the attackers look for, are empty spaces. When there are too many players in and around the same position, instead of opening up they close. The way to do it is by looking for spaces or by making runs into free space to surprise the opponent.

On Patrick Bamford’s charity donation…

Any player from Leeds United that makes a contribution to a group of people who are in need, for me on a personal level, it’s admirable and very respectful that he was able to do this. It’s very difficult that in any profession to arrive at excellence without bringing a human conduct with us. The way they dominate the things in your profession can make you efficient, but to achieve excellence you have to have this human aspect. In football this is multiplied and this is because in football, whilst it’s a collective sport, it relies on the individuality of each player. Those who are able to help those in need on a human level, can also transpire this to the team.

On the new surface at Elland Road…

The club always makes efforts to help the team in all its necessities. We understand the problem they had to face and we value the effort they have made so that the rest of the winter we can play on a better pitch. We are grateful for this help and whilst I understand the difficulties, I don’t see it as a reason for the difficulties we faced in the previous games.

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