Bielsa names ‘hard reality’ of Leeds defeat; clears up Hernandez absence

Date published: Saturday 7th November 2020 5:42 - Jonny Whitfield

Marcelo Bielsa Leeds

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa said that there will be a “hard reality” for his players after their 4-1 defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The Whites suffered their second successive Premier League defeat after last week’s identical loss to Leicester.

However, this latest reverse came in more controversial fashion amid Patrick Bamford’s disallowed goal. Nevertheless, Palace’s summer signing Eberechi Eze inspired the hosts to victory.

Speaking in his post-match press conference (via, Bielsa admitted that there were fine margins to the defeat.

“The defeat is fair but the difference is exaggerated and the goals Palace scored arrived at the time when we deserved to score,” the Argentine said.

“The opposition were dangerous. But when we attack the full-backs were well protected, and when they attacked they had more space in which to attack.”

On his side’s losing run, he added: “All defeats are complex. When there’s two defeats in a row, it increases how complex it is. We conceded four goals and only scored one, there is going to be a hard reality.”

Bielsa also gave a short shrift to questions about Bamford‘s ruled out goal. The striker’s outstretched arm was enough for VAR to intervene, albeit in controversial circumstances.

His manager said: “Whatever the referee whistles, he whistles and I never comment on his decisions. If the rules need to be changed, there are a lot of people who can do this.”

Bielsa clears up Leeds absences

Pablo Hernandez Leeds

Meanwhile, Bielsa also responded to questions about the absences of Jamie Shackleton and Pablo Hernandez.

“Shackleton had a knock in training yesterday. Pablo is fit but not in the squad for today’s game,” Bielsa said.

“I evaluate the players for the upcoming games. I didn’t pick him for this game. I choose the 18 players I think for the game.”

Bielsa named youngster Jack Jenkins in his squad, but he insisted that the 18-year-old was not a direct replacement for Hernandez.

“I didn’t pick Jenkins in place of Pablo,” the manager said. “The response to a question I’ve already had, I reiterate. I pick players I believe are in the best position for the upcoming game.

“I’ve already explained the decision. He was as available as other players.”

Leeds return from the international break with a fixture against Arsenal at Elland Road.

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