Leeds Utd boss Marcelo Bielsa backed under-fire goalkeeper Kiko Casilla after his latest blunder cost his side another goal, and surprisingly claimed his side performed better in their 2-0 weekend defeat to Nottingham Forest.
With huge promotion implications at stake, the two sides played out a frantic 1-1 draw that will both please and fruatrate both managers in equal measure.
Speaking in his post-match press conference (via Leeds-Live), the Argentine said regarding their overall performance: “We defended well. It was difficult to attack for us, even though we attacked the whole match.
“The players left everything on the pitch. We controlled well their attackers. We managed the ball as well.
“This is not easy against one team like Brentford, who have good players and manage the ball well.
“Klich played very well. Pablo managed a lot the ball. Impact managing the ball.
“The centre-backs were secure in their passes. Cooper in the right and left, full-backs controlled very well their side.”
Midfield general Kalvin Phillips returned to action following a three-game absence through suspension, and Bielsa was pleased with the impact he made: “I cannot say exactly that because I don’t have all his good matches to mind, but it was a player with impact tonight.”
Leeds dominated the posession stats, ending up with two-thirds of the ball but could not make their dominance count to the tune of more goals.
“I insist we had a lot of minutes of possession,” said the Argentine.
“We thought we could have had more chances with all the minutes of possession we had, but it was a narrow match with few chances for both sides.”
Spanish goalkeeper once again made a costly error that directly resulted in the Whites conceding.
Bielsa, though, backed his under-pressure stopper: “I dont think Kiko needs my words because I always support him with positions.
“Because I know the human quality of the players of Leeds, I think he will receive support from his team-mates and not lose confidence.”
Despite losing 2-0 at the weekend to fellow promotion chasers Nottingham Forest, Bielsa believed that performance was superior to the one his side put out tonight.
“The team played better on Saturday than tonight,” said Bielsa.
“In both matches we defended very well. In both matches we created few chances. Against Nottingham we had more opportunity to attack than tonight.”
Brentford boss Thomas Frank had stoked the fires yesterday when remarking that Leeds “couldn’t pick a worse place to play [on] Tuesday night.”
Responding to Frank’s bullish comments, Bielsa said: “Maybe I thought this could be our attitude to play tonight.
“During the match we always took risks. Our full-backs attack all the time and you have to think they have three very good attackers.
“That meant the opposite of fear to play here. This means we wanted to win and take risks.”