Marcelo Bielsa has given his thoughts after Leeds United confirmed Liam Cooper, Patrick Bamford and Kalvin Phillips all sustained hamstring injuries during Sunday’s draw with Brentford.
The Whites have found the going tough on their second season back in the top flight and currently lie 15th. Indeed, a plethora of injuries have taken their toll on Bielsa’s plans with the Argentine liking to work with a small group. And it’s now been confirmed that Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Brentford has thrown up three major new concerns.
Leeds face a difficult run of fixtures with Chelsea and Manchester City away, followed by Arsenal at home. Then follows a Boxing Day trip to tackle Liverpool.
With Saturday’s trip to Stamford Bridge on Saturday, Leeds comfirmed that Bamford, Cooper and Phillips all now face spells out.
“Patrick Bamford suffered a hamstring injury against Brentford at Elland Road,” a Leeds United statement read. “The evolution of the injury is subject to daily assessment.
“Kalvin Phillips and Liam Cooper also both suffered hamstring injuries in Sunday’s game. Both players have undergone treatment for their injuries. The club’s medical staff will structure the next steps in their recovery.”
The bad news doesn’t end their for Leeds, either. Indeed, record signing Rodrigo is also struggling with a heel problem and faces a spell out. Robin Koch, however, is soon back in training after illness.
“Rodrigo has been suffering from bilateral heel pain for some time,” the statement continues. “The player and medical staff have deemed it necessary to reduce his activity for the time being, in order to aid his long-term recovery.
“Robin Koch has overcome his pelvic injury, but has been ill for the last 10 days. He will resume normal training again this weekend.”
Speaking at a press conference to preview Saturday’s game at Chelsea, Bielsa provided a further update.
Bielsa though was unable to put a timescale on their return: “The time that they will be out is subject to their evolution.”
Asked again about speculation that Phillips faces two months out, Bielsa responded sharply.
“I’ve already answered this, it’s all subject to their evolution. I can’t provide any more specifics.
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“We don’t know how long it will take him to recover from this injury.”
Bielsa did later elaborate, saying: “The injuries are in the tendon, not in the fibre of the muscle. I wanted to be precise.”
On the task of facing Chelsea, Bielsa added: “We are preparing ourselves with a lot of hope, whether that is drawing or winning. These hopes are pronounced as it is a very big opponent.
“To get points in these games gives us an added value. We will tackle each of those games with added excitement.”
Bielsa sends Leeds message of positivity
With Leeds facing a tough run of games, Bielsa insists he’s not looking on the downside.
“The adersity is a stimulant to help resolve situations. I understand there is a certain pessimism as the upcoming games are difficult. Instead of bringing back players, we have new absentees,” he contined.
“But when we play against big teams, I think there is an added strength.
“My position is one of optimism and fortitude. It’s the values I have by evaluating the team. We have optimism, the hope and the fight.
“I never say we are going to win, but I say we will always do our optimum to win.”