Marcelo Bielsa admits he is working hard to make Leeds more of a threat from set-pieces after recognising his side’s lack of efficiency from corners and free-kicks this season.
The Whites moved back into the automatic promotion places on the back of Saturday’s narrow 1-0 win over Birmingham; the winning goal coming after Jack Harrison teed-up local boy Kalvin Phillips to fire home from 12 yards.
However, their inefficiency in front of goal remains a major talking point, with the club dominating games yet still unable to convert possession into the goals their play perhaps deserves.
One area they can certainly improve on is their goalscoring from set-pieces, with Leeds rarely even registering an effort on goal when it comes to corner kicks.
And Bielsa, who also revealed Pablo Hernandez is also struggling with a fresh injury, admits that is one area he wants to improve on.
“If you achieve to score and avoid the opponent scoring set-pieces, this factor is very important,” he said in a press conference to preview Tuesday’s trip to Preston. “You have seen in some moments last season we had difficulties resolving this. A little bit less in the current year.
“For a team like ours, that doesn’t have ideal efficiency to score, scoring set-pieces is something really good.”
Bielsa on Helder Costa role for Leeds
Hernandez’s latest injury will rule the player out of both trips this week, to Preston and Sheffield Wednesday, meaning Helder Costa will get further chances to impress in a Leeds shirt.
The Portugal forward is yet to score in the Championship, but his influence has been steadily growing, despite claims Leeds’ style doesn’t suit his game.
Bielsa admits the high press does prevent Costa using his pace in behind the opposing defence as opposed to if Leeds sat back a little deeper, but he stressed that his preference is to recover the ball closer to the opponent’s goal – which led to the winner against Birmingham on Saturday.
“That’s my style,” Bielsa said. “I know this is not the only way [to play], but that style is diminished if we only play that way some of the time.”
When asked if Costa fits into his system, Bielsa said of the player: “His role in the side is to dribble with the ball in the right conditions.”
Been looking into #lufc record from corners. Leeds have had 87 so far, with 28.74% of them leading to a shot and only one to a goal (Bamford v Wigan). None of the last 10 have brought an effort on goal and they have only had 3 efforts on goal from corners in their last 3 games.
— All Stats Aren't We (@AllStatsArentWe) October 20, 2019