Marcelo Bielsa has refuted claims that Leeds will adjust their performance in any way against Manchester City with several players sitting one yellow card away from a suspension.
Just days after a frustrating 3-2 defeat at Chelsea, United face another daunting away trip – this time against champions City. Leeds can consider themselves unfortunate to leave Stamford Bridge with nothing after an excellent display at Stamford Bridge.
Bielsa revealed Leeds have no further injury worries ahead of the game with Kalvin Phillips, Patrick Bamford, Rodrigo and Liam Cooper still absent.
“No new injuries, no new players returning and I can’t clarify anything on Kalvin Phillips surgery. No precise news over his hamstring tendon nor his shoulder,” Bielsa started.
Asked for the mood in the Leeds camp after Saturday’s late, late defeat, Bielsa insisted there was disappointment, but Leeds remain unaffected in their plan.
“We have a lot of hope we can get what we deserve,” he added. “To lose in added time always generates disappointment and frustration. The efforts are valued more when you get something from them late on.
“The defeat always affect the mood but we want to face these big teams with confidence.”
Leeds go into the game with several players one booking away from a suspension.
As such, Bielsa was asked if Leeds will adjust their tactics and plan going into the game.
Bielsa though is adamant nothing will change and denied suggestions his team are “violent”.
Ben Brereton Diaz has been linked with Leeds United
Blackburn's Ben Brereton Diaz has been linked with a Premier League move to Leeds United.
“There is no needed for an added recommendation to what we usually make. We won’t try and avoid any actions that can result in a booking. That is not conditioned to the amount of bookings a player is on.
“If not it can generate a nervousness. The same recommendation is kept, because we don’t want them to produce excessive actions. We always try not to be booked, whether on a yellow card or not.”
Bielsa added: “I do not think we are a violent team. We are not defending worse, nor do we use the interruption in the game to delay things.”
Pascal Struijk has unusual injury
As well as Leeds’ afformentioned quartet, they also go into the game at the Etihad without Pascal Struijk.
The defender sustained a foot injury against Crystal Palace and remains unavailable to face City.
Now Bielsa admits his injury is causing more concern than initially expected.
“An explosive movement caused two bones to push together. That generates a lot of pain and until that pain disappears, that’ll prevent him from playing. Sincerely, in my whole career, I have never seen an injury like that,” he added.
“It’s the same as Rodrigo’s and the pain in his heel. Again this is something I have not seen in many years.
“The specialist that treats it says he’s seen very few cases like this.”