Bielsa defends stand-in Leeds star – but rues triple injury blow

James Marshment

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa has refused to admit his side are struggling in front of goal without leading strikers Kemar Roofe and Patrick Bamford.

Bielsa will be without both Roofe (calf), Bamford (knee) and playmaker Pablo Hernandez (hamstring) once again when his side bid to return to the top of the Sky Bet Championship with victory at Hull on Tuesday evening.

Tyler Roberts has filled the void up front and scored twice in the recent win against Preston, but Leeds failed to convert, or get on the end of, a string of chances in last Friday’s 1-1 draw at Sheffield Wednesday. You can read Bielsa’s thoughts on the match at Hillsborough here.

“Tyler is good in front of goal,” Bielsa told a press conference in a staunch defence of the stand-in frontman. “I think Roofe is good at finishing, Bamford too.

“I don’t think when we miss a goal someone on the bench or (who is) unavailable could have scored that goal.

“If I had the choice, of course I would want more players. I miss the presence of Bamford, Roofe and Pablo.

“What I regret is the three injuries happened at the same time, because when they were in the team we scored more goals than when they were not in the team. We had more points with them than without them.”

Should Leeds fail to secure three points, Middlesbrough will go top if they triumph at Ipswich, who have yet to register their first league win of the season.