Marcelo Bielsa insists Leeds may have to learn to live with pressure a little better after seemingly accepting they will likely have to take the play-off route if they want to win promotion.
After fellow promotion chasers Sheffield United claimed a 3-0 win at Hull earlier in the day, Leeds needed to match the result at Brentford to move level on points, but turned in a disappointing display as they slipped to a 2-0 defeat at Griffin Park.
With just two games remaining, and with the Blades holding a vastly-superior goal difference, Chris Wilder’s side can all-but secure their place in the Premier League with victory over Ipswich on Saturday, with Leeds not in action until the Sunday against Aston Villa.
Bielsa admitted after the game he knows where Leeds’ failures lie, and although he hasn’t officially waved the white flag on automatic promotion just yet, he knows that now looks increasingly likely.
“As long as the maths says something, we will be following this,” he said on their top two hopes.
“But we know our opportunity and what the last two games now mean.
“This is linked to the fact we could have changed a few things, a few small details, to change both results.”
Asked if the pressure had got to Leeds in their last two matches, and indeed over the last few months of the season, Bielsa continued: “I will paraphrase Tiger Woods. He says that when you are fighting for something important, you have pressure.
“When something important is at stake, there is pressure of course.
“But if there is something I could say for sure, it is that this team was never affected, really never.
“If we want to speak clearly and why we don’t have ten points more, we just have to take a look at how many chances to score we have and how many the other teams have, and how many chances we need to score goal.
“I believe that teams have the obligation to create chances to score, we have many examples during this season that illustrate what I am talking about.
“Pressure has other ingredients. The level of the team has always been the same, the effort has always been the same, the disposal to receive the ball has always been complete, and of course the team has limits.
“But it has nothing to do with a mental aspect that could decrease the capacity of the team. I would almost tell you the opposite, that this team has hidden many limits with huge effort, with personality and by being demanding.
“Each player has played close to his maximum in many games and all that I am describing now is something very clear to me. I deeply believe what I am saying, otherwise I wouldn’t tell you.
“If we have to explain these circumstances, what we can say is this team deserves ten to 12 points more, but we don’t have them because we need too many chances to score.
“It is normal that I make this kind of analysis, because I have the vision of the whole season.”
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