Marcelo Bielsa insists reports that he is man in danger of the sack at Leeds is not in his thinking after backing his players to recover from their 7-0 hammering at Manchester City.
The Etihad destruction represents United’s heaviest-ever Premier League defeat and one of the worst in their proud 101-year history. You can see how we rated and slated the players at the Etihad, with only two Leeds players earning some semblance of praise.
Leeds found themselves 2-0 down after just 13 minutes as City set the tone from almost the first kick. They were 3-0 behind at the interval, with half-time coming as a relief to Bielsa’s side.
However, they continued to play their expansive brand of football in the second half as City rattled in four more. The Whites, however, were barely able to lay a glove on City in a thoroughly one-sided affair.
After the match, one pundit was far from impressed and had some serious questions about Bielsa’s tactics.
Furthermore, some observers in the media suggest Leeds need a change of direction.
Bielsa though remains unequivocally popular among their fanbase, with most horrified at thought of losing their coach.
The good news for Leeds though is that he doesn’t feel concerned and is focusing on the matter in hand.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s clash with Arsenal, Bielsa tackled the sack theorists head on.
Bielsa message to sack theorists
“What you are trying to say is if I am in fear of being sacked,” he said in a press conference when asked about Leeds’ struggles.
When the response came back that he was being asked about their current position, Bielsa continued: “I never feel it is correct to presume you have to show a fortitude with time.
“Of course, this moment is the worst of all the moments I have had at Leeds. And of course to lose 7-0 is not just another defeat.
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“You say we have won two in 10, you can also see it more positive. When you cut off the results it shows where the question is going, natural you do it this way.
“Can also say prior to City, this segment is the most productive so far? The performance against Chelsea was also the best.
“It’s natural a 7-0 result generates the repercussion it’s generated. It’s totally justified it’s that way. I always think in adversity you have to face the difficulties. That demands you be in form, face it with the totality of what you are capable of.”
Bielsa on Leeds team spirit
Bielsa is also confident Leeds can bounce back in Saturday evening’s clash against Arsenal.
He’s also adamant that the confident and spirit of his players on the task in hand will not be dented.
“The confidence and the fortitude of the players is all linked to what they do on the pitch,” he added. “The immediate, and what’s closest, is against Chelsea we played our best game of the season and against City, the worst.
“Both versions, they were reproduced with two three-days differences. I have the confidence and the obligation to manage for us to reproduce the performance against Chelsea and not the one against City.”
Bielsa confirmed the winger is sidelined against Arsenal, along with Jamie Shackleton.
Versatile defender/ holding midfielder Robin Koch, however, will return to the squad for the first time since August.