Marcelo Bielsa has defended Leeds’ injury list this season and insists the Whites have been unlucky rather than victims of the high-intensity football he demands of his players.
The Whites go into this weekend’s crucial Championship clash against West Brom on Saturday evening top of the table after an impressive 2-1 win at Wigan on Sunday.
But they must do so without Luke Ayling and Gaetano Berardi who are both nursing injuries that will sideline them until the new year, while Patrick Bamford also remains sidelined with a long-term injury.
Pablo Hernandez, Kemar Roofe, Adam Forshaw, Stuart Dallas and Barry Douglas have also had spells on the sidelines this season, but Bielsa has denied the injuries have resulted from the brand of high-press football Leeds have operated this season.
“We are the team with the least injuries in the Championship”, Bielsa said.
“We protect the players.”
When asked if the injuries are of a result of the Argentine’s style of play, he added: “We analyse case-by-case. Muscular injuries are the result of burn-out but that is not the case with our injuries.”
“Usually as an average each team when you play twice a week, four players are missing through injury. We are close to this average.”
— Leeds United (@LUFC) November 7, 2018
Leeds, meanwhile, have unveiled a new yellow third kit, which they will wear for the first time on Saturday and to ensure there is no clash at The Hawthorns.