Marcelo Bielsa: We must keep focused on the match

Marcelo Bielsa: We must keep focused on the match

Leeds United head coach on side's 3-1 win over Blackburn

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa spoke to the media following Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship win over Blackburn Rovers.

The Whites travelled to Ewood Park in search of a win following Tuesday's draw against Luton, and the visitors didn't disappoint, walking away with all three points.

Patrick Bamford opened the scoring after just 7 minutes, before Kalvin Phillips scored a superb free-kick before the break. Despite Adam Armstrong pulling a goal back, Mateusz Klich sealed a 3-1 victory, retaining the side's grip on top spot.

Answering questions from BBC Leeds, Yorkshire Evening Post and Leeds Live, Marcelo gave his thoughts 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 bit more direct?

We play as always, maybe we didn’t see so many passes before seeing the first pass. Maybe Cooper insisted a little more with Bamford to play more direct, but when the match progressed we could start the attack moving the ball and leave the long passes.

Mateusz Klich, how pleased were you with his performance today? Would you say that's the best he's been since the restart?

Yes. He played a great match today. He unbalanced the match for us. He was the player who unbalanced all the team today.

Did the match play out how you expected it to? Did your tactics work exactly how you wanted them to?

It’s very difficult to imagine what kind of match we were going to have. The opponent was playing with different shapes. Today they made some modifications that we didn’t expect. There number nine as a right winger, eight as a left winger, seven as a forward, that was new from their manager today.

There was a lot of quality in the game under the circumstances, have you seen a better free-kick than Kalvin's?

Kalvin has very good quality with the side of his foot. He didn’t expect the goal went there as well, to the post where the keeper wasn’t there. He thought he was going to shoot as in the last match, to the goalkeeper’s left, but it was a beautiful goal.

Dallas and Costa, how serious are those injuries now?

They were close to playing today, so we will see if they can play on Thursday.

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

In defence he had a good, efficient match. We were playing out, he is always correct. Even though he might not have attacked a lot, he chose the right moments to attack. In relation to the left full-back position, after Dallas was one of the players with more impact in the team, he couldn’t get continuity playing. Maybe this was the reason he didn’t play as much as you imagined.

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

When Pablo came onto the pitch we felt we needed his play to manage the ball and the last pass. In the moment, Tyler was weaker physically, and always when you have a substitute player that should have started, this is very important.

You seemed more anxious than usual on the touchline, was it an especially nerve wracking game for you?

Yes, every match in this period is very important, and every distraction we pay for that, so we must keep focused on the match.

Would it have been your intention to make the changes of Douglas and Alioski even if Dallas and Costa had been fit?

I couldn’t think about this because we knew two days ago Dallas and Costa weren’t able to play.