Marcelo Bielsa rightly reserved rich praise for Pablo Hernandez after the Spaniard inspired Leeds to a potentially-momentous 3-2 victory over Millwall at Elland Road.
The Whites twice fell behind in what was a must-win match for their promotion aspirations before Hernandez – controversially overlooked for Championship team of the year – netted a first equaliser, before scoring a crucial winner seven minutes from time.
With Sheffield United tossing away a 2-1 lead over Bristol City to lose 3-2, the victory was enough for Leeds to open up a two-point lead over the third-placed Blades.
Asked how nervous he felt at full-time, Bielsa admitted: “I felt it in the heart.”
Th Argentine then, quite rightly, piled praise on Hernandez, saying: “Pablo’s a leader. He is not someone who likes to talk a lot or make behaviours like this. He usually asks for the ball when it is difficult to receive.
“He tried to take the risks which are usually hard to take for players.He creates a frustration with the nice feeling to be closer to greater chances. When we lose the balls at the beginning when we were playing out, it was a clear frustration.
“Pablo gives a pass which changes a normal attack into one which creates chances. He is someone that always keeps the feeling we can harm the opponent any times.”
Bielsa was asked if the late win proved Leeds had the will to win needed to secure promotion and he added: “Sometimes we spend more time than usual to get what we deserve.
“But we never feel we are going to lose, we insist on this every time.
“We insist on trying to change the result with a style which does not change. We insist we are not going to feel we cannot change the result. We defend trying to recover the ball fast to start the attack.”
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