Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa gave a worrying verdict on Diego Llorente’s state of mind, and pulled no punches when discussing Leeds’ defensive weakness.
Leeds put their recent cold streak behind them after securing a 2-1 victory over Newcastle at St. James’ Park.
Summer signings Rodrigo and Raphinha combined for the first, while Jack Harrison notched what would ultimately be the game winner after Miguel Almiron had equalised.
“After the Harrison goal we lost the ball. We only managed to recover the ball in the last five minutes.
“Roberts and Klich were forced to defend more than they could attack. What they bring is more creative than defensive.
“Half an hour they played, 20 minutes were a lot of defending.”
When asked if Leeds had improved at defending set pieces, Bielsa quipped: “You know there wasn’t an improvement on this. Because they don’t score doesn’t mean we are defending them better.”
“Ablution in this subject. There will be a solution to this problem when we don’t concede chances from corners. Difficult for me to say exactly what I think.
“Though we did defend some set-pieces better, we should have done better with others. In the first half where they had some chances from set-pieces, they were always under pressure so we could force them to miss. In the second half there were chances in our box.”
Diego Llorente lasted just nine minutes after suffering a hamstring injury upon his return.
“He has a similar problem to the one as before,” said Bielsa of his centre-half. “It’s a problem for him, us, all of us. In this moment, Diego’s state of mind worries me because of the succession of injures.”
In the post-match fallout, Fabian Schar is reported to have claimed Rodrigo spat at him during the contest.
When asked if he knew of the situation, Bielsa concluded: “No, I don’t know anything about this.”
We showed great ‘fire’ – Harrison
Leeds matchwinner Harrison also spoke to the press, telling BT Sport: “We knew it was going to be a challenge. We’d been preparing all week for this and we had to come out strong which we did.
“The manager talks about having personality and character and we went into this game with a lot of fire.
“Newcastle can give you problems up front but we did well to come away all three points.
“We’ll keep our heads down and keep working hard game by game.”