Marcelo Bielsa: The results Aston Villa have had speak for themselves

Marcelo Bielsa: The results Aston Villa have had speak for themselves

Head coach on Villa Park trip.

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa spoke to the media ahead of Friday’s Premier League clash with Aston Villa.

After defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers at Elland Road on Monday evening, the Whites are looking to bounce back following a good run of results prior to the international break. 

Bielsa firstly gave an update the fitness of his squad, beginning with who will replace Kalvin Phillips in the side.

He said: “The one who will play in his place will be Pascal Struijk.

“I can’t confirm whether Liam Cooper will be available or not, as we are two days away from the game and we are still not sure if he will be. 

“Diego Llorente won’t be available for this Friday’s game.

“At the moment we currently have injuries in all of the same positions.

“That doesn’t mean we have a small squad, if you have six players for three positions and four of them are out, it doesn’t mean we have a small squad. 

“When you have the six players, who are all of a similar level, and you are missing the other players we have mentioned, you will have some issues. 

“We also can’t rule out players from the Academy who also deserve their spot in the squad and as a result, we feel we can manage the necessities of the team.

“We have many players who can play in a number of positions and I would say almost all of them, minus Patrick Bamford and Cooper, play in more than one position. 

“Being able to play in more than one position always helps the manager and it’s not that I force them to play in other positions, when you play in a certain position it forces you to do the things you would do in other positions. 

“For example, you can see the wingers play both sides, the full-backs do this as well, the defensive midfielders can act as centre-backs and all these types of movements means the players can play in different positions.”

Friday’s opponents have begun the season with four wins from four, following a stoppage time winner from Ross Barkley in their last fixture, away at Leicester City. 

On the form of Villa, Bielsa said: “The results that Aston Villa have had at the beginning of the season don’t need me to comment on them, they speak for themselves.

“Their victory over the reigning champions shows how good of a moment they are currently in.”